The Gifts of Imperfection

On the flight home from California last night I read Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Many of my students have been telling me about the book saying things like, “Brene Brown has written about what we do in the Healing From the Core workshops, Suzanne. You have to read this book. Her research describes beautifully what you say to us all the time.” I have been looking forward to having the time to dive into it, and I loved it.

In her Ten Guideposts, or characteristics needed for wholehearted living, she deftly weaves the stories that have come out of her own struggles with shame and vulnerability as well as what she uncovered in her interviews with thousands of people. It is compelling because these are issues we all struggle with everyday. And she has done it with such humbleness, humor, and honesty that I instantly felt safe looking at my own shadow pieces around vulnerability and shame. The clarity of her examples also made it much easier to recognize my own stuff.

It is also clear that she listens to the wisdom in her body in her healing process. She mentions ‘knowing something in her bones’, or ‘listening to her gut’ and many other references throughout the book. This is a woman who may not talk directly about grounding and filling the container of her being so that she can utilize her body wisdom as the navigational system it was meant to be, but she sure demonstrates it in her stories.

In her final paragraph of the book she invites all of us to join her “Wholehearted Living” revolution. I am in. I am volunteering to form the Washington, DC branch of the revolution. In the meantime, if you haven’t read it, pick up the book – a great, relatively short read, chock full of thought provoking, heart opening information. Well done, Brene!


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