Far more than an anti-perfectionist manual, it gives research-based guidance on living a fulfilling and "wholehearted" life by letting go of who you think you're supposed to be and embracing who you are. Amazingly, Brené - I call her by her first name because I have a total fangirl crush on her in a completely uncreepy, non-stalkery way - explores shame, vulnerability, fear, and other cringe-inducing topics in a way that's not only interesting and accessible, but also entertaining, inspiring, and uplifting.
Plainly put, this is one of the books that's had the most impact on the way I lead my life: the way I see the world, the way I see myself, the way I approach my work, the way I raise my children, the way I connect with my husband, family, friends, clients, colleagues....even the way I view and interact with perfect strangers. For me, reading this book was a real game changer, in a truly wonderful way.
(If you're not familiar with Brené and want to get a taste of her awesomeness, click here to watch her super-viral TED talk on vulnerability and wholehearted living. At the time of this writing, it had 9,905,111 views.)
So, when Brené announced last year she was releasing her follow up book, Daring Greatly, I felt like someone had told my 12 year old self that Duran Duran was coming out with a new album. I think I actually squealed. I ran right over to pre-order my copy and waited in anticipation for its arrival.
Then life took over (as it so often does) and, before I knew it, months and months had passed and the beautiful hard-covered book was still sitting in its place of honor at the top of the teetering pile of must-read books on my bed stand. Somewhere in the middle of raising two small children, building a business, nurturing a marriage, de-junking my lifestyle, and having some semblance of a social life on occasion, pleasure reading just didn't make my list of priorities.
But then I opened this month's O Magazine (June, 2013) at the gym the other day and was delighted to find a multi-page article in which Oprah interviewed Brené about living wholeheartedly. Oprah and Brené together in the same place? That's like a Duran Duran - Wham double header in my world. I know I squealed this time, right there on the elliptical machine.
I devoured the article, nodding my head and marking section after section with the pencil I bring to the gym, in case I run across something I want to remember (putting my own multitasking advice to use!). I came home with a renewed excitement about the little gem waiting patiently for me on my night stand, especially for Chapter 7 - Wholehearted Parenting: Daring to be the Adults We Want our Children to Be.
Oh, man...this is gonna be good, folks!
In the meantime, here's a graphic (from her website, www.brenebrown.com) with her Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. I love it and I think you will too.
(For a printable copy of the graphic that you can hang in every room of your home, should you so choose, click here.)
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