The only book I read, of the 4 that I took, whilst on my Grand Canyon trip last year was The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You are by Brene Brown
I love the real, practical, research based and human way that Brene Brown writes and it is a book I’ve picked up again this week. I’ve decided to dig into how I’m experimenting and playing with my imperfections as I look to create the next phase of my life. I’ve also decided to “write out loud” my ponderings on the guideposts from the book.
Before I jump into my first set of ponderings, I thought it might be useful to share a bit of background on the book. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brene’s work I highly recommend you watch her famous TED talk The Power of Vulnerability one of the most viewed talks on TED with over 41 million views so far and if you subscribe to Netflix, her recent special Call to Courage .
Her research over many years has delved into how shame, fear and vulnerability impact our view of the world and how we live our lives and often stay small. The research showed that despite our fears and other imperfections many people live inspired lives. From the thousands of interviews she has conducted, Brene found one word that summed up the people who have embraced their imperfections and chosen to live their lives to the full and be seen for who they truly are. That word is Wholehearted defined by Brene as
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think; No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking; Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
Wholehearted living is a daily, lifelong choice to embrace courage, compassion and connection, no matter what.
To help us make those daily choices we are given 10 guideposts to light our way. These involve cultivating certain things whilst letting go of others.
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self Worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
I’m choosing to write about them in the order with which they resonate with me.
I invite you to take a Wholehearted Living Challenge with me and think about, write down and share how each of the guideposts resonates in your life. If you’d like to buy and read the book now or as we go, I thought it might be insightful and fun to have a “Thinkalong” together.
I’m also going to share the fact I AM and hopefully WE ARE doing this with Brene Brown in appreciation of her continuing research and sharing of how she shows up in the World.
The guidepost I’ll be starting with in my next blog is Number 5 – Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty.
Are you up for the Wholehearted Living Challenge?