podcasts · thought of the day

Thoughts For Today #mind #soul

BREAKING NEWS: Oprah has a podcast!

Her first two episodes were interviews with Brené Brown, which was smart, because Brené Brown is AMAZING.C-L2WozUMAA2ErH

My biggest takeaway from their conversation was this Brené quote: People always say to me, “I want to go into the arena, but I’m scared. Can I take a little armor with me?” But one thing I have found in my life is that the only thing you need when you go in is clarity of values and faith. As in, “This is the article I wrote. And if you think I need to lose weight or that I suck, that’s okay. I’m standing on my faith and my values. You cannot knock me over.”


I often worry what others think of me.  I wish I didn’t.  It’s embarrassing to me, to admit this worry.

But according to Brené – if I am clear about who I am, what my values are, and why I’m doing what I’m doing – and if I have faith in a power greater than me (which I do, albeit in vague terms) – then haters can’t hate on me.  Or rather – they can hate all they want, but it won’t break me down.

That’s powerful stuff.

I don’t know if I’m completely clear on what my values are.  There are words swimming around in my mind as I write…  Honesty.  Authenticity.  Growth.  Love.  Kindness. Mindfulness.  Presence.  Balance.  Play.  I’m always glad when something prompts me to consider my values.

Listening to the conversation between Oprah and Brené also prompted me to think about faith.  Brené says, “My faith is the organizing principle of my life.”  And I had a little faith moment, with these words jumping into my head – I have faith when I allow the universe to fill me with faith and spirit.   I do not have faith when I close up and try to do everything all by myself.

Just wow.

Here’s the whole Oprah-Brené interview.

Counting My Blessings: I am grateful for a clean kitchen and an hour of writing practice.  

blogging · books + reading · snapshots · writing

SNAPSHOT #mind #soul #spirit

The pretext of my blogging is that I write about balance – about ways that I nourish my heart, my soul, my mind, my body, and my spirit.

Every once in a while, I find myself with a scattering of thoughts I want to share, and I include a snapshot – just a little list of ways that I’m nourishing each aspect of self.  These lists help me to feel grounded and less scattered.  They’re also a good reminder of what I am nourishing and what I’m neglecting.

Here’s today’s snapshot:

-I am on a crazy Book Binge right now!  It started with Glennon Doyle’s two books, followed by Roxane Gay’s Hunger (incredible), and then Before The Fall by Noah Hawley (so good).  I just finished one of my Book Of The Month Club books, The Love Interest, and have moved on to No One Knows by J. T. Ellison.  #mind

-In early June, I spent several days my commute listening to Brene Brown’s latest CD, Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice.  She is amazing.  The CD is amazing.  My number one takeaway was this: you have to recognize when something – a conflict, a resentment – has you hooked.  You have to make a note when something has gotten under your skin, and get curious about it.  #mind #soul

-I am trying something new: posting a quote-slash-picture on my heartsoulmindbody Facebook page every day.  I really don’t know why I decided to do this, but I’m enjoying it.  It’s almost like a little daily check-in or prayer; the quote reveals itself when the time is right, and I put it out in the universe.  I have maybe three followers on the heartsoulmindbody Facebook page (you can follow here if you want), so it’s not really about connecting or publicizing.  It’s just a little message from me to the universe, or from the universe to me.  #soul

-I wrote a story!  It’s been a really long time since I finished a short story, and I have felt wonderful ever since the idea for their story popped into my head.  It is flawed and needs editing, and it will never be perfect.  But I wrote it, and I’m so, so grateful.  #mind #soul

books + reading

#mind #heart #RisingStrong #takeaways

rising strongI finished reading Rising Strong last week.  I flew through it, and I can’t wait to go back over it more carefully, giving myself time and energy to absorb it all more thoroughly.  As previously stated, I don’t like writing book reviews, but I do like listing takeaways – things Brene Brown writes and says and preaches that I would like to remember and to practice in my everyday life.

Sidebar: Sometimes I am writing or talking about Dr. Brown and I feel like I am totally all over the place.  How do I take my thoughts and keep them organized?  How do I take my feelings and my reactions to Rising Strong and other Brene Brown works and put them together in a way that makes sense, to me and to others?  Sometimes lists help me; I’m going to give that a try.

Brene Brown Takeaway # 1: You can’t selectively numb.  brene brown numbing

One of my favorite takeaways from Dr. Brown’s previous books is this: You can’t selectively numb.  

I numb.  I numb when dealing with anger, sadness, uncertainty, stress, physical discomfort.  But, says Dr. Brown, when you numb sadness, you also numb joy, excitement, contentment.  You can’t choose what you numb.  That statement is profound, and is helping me to take steps toward engaging with emotion rather than fighting it off.

Sometimes, though, I want to numb!  I want to be released from whatever exhausting emotion is ruling my universe.  On those days, I have to remind myself that trying to cover up my feelings with TV, Skittles, and diet Cokes also keeps me from noticing the sunshine all around me.

Brene Brown Takeaway # 2: You can’t skip Day Two.

In Rising Strong, Dr. Brown talks about The Daring Way, a community of practitioners who are certified in Dr. Brown’s work.  The practitioners participate in a three-day intensive training in order to become certified.  (There may be other components involved in the certification, but I don’t know what they are.)  Dr. Brown talks about how Day Two is always the worst day of this training – it’s the day when “we are moving into the shame and worthiness part of the curriculum, and people are feeling raw.”

I think there’s a Day Two involved in just about every life experience.  You start something, and you feel energized and awesome – then you move into the grunt work part, at which point you either abandon the quest or suffer through Day Two – and then you get to the awesome, proud final phase.1456506_748385275176584_1927097425_n

I suck at Day Two.  Day Two is usually the part when I stop taking care of myself, stop moving, start numbing.  But – you can’t skip it.  It’s non-negotiable, as Dr. Brown says.  That’s important for me to remember.

Brene Brown Takeaway # 3: Your ego is your inner hustler.

“Our ego is the part of us that cares about our status and what other people think, about always being better than and always being right.  I think of my ego as my inner hustler.  It’s always telling me to compare, prove, please, perfect, outperform, and compete. Our inner hustlers have very little tolerance for discomfort and self-reflection.”

-Brene Brown, Rising Strong

I’ve learned a lot about ego since I went into recovery three years ago, and I’m always learning more.  My ego thinks that I can do anything if I struggle hard enough.  (I tend to use struggle when Dr. Brown uses hustle.)  It thinks that if I struggle hard enough, I can control the universe.

I’ve been struggling lately.  A lot.  And I’m trying to stop struggling.

In fact, I’m trying to stop thinking that if I struggle hard enough, things will be better.  Struggling has never been effective for me; what’s been effective for me is learning to let go.  Living in the present.  Trusting that the universe keeps everything in balance and that things will fall into place.

Brene Brown Live and Love Whole Heart 2I’m sure that I’ll have more takeaways as I reread; I’ve been reading the book out loud to Tee, which is a way for me to re-experience the book. Plus, I get to introduce it to Tee!  Look for more takeaways in the future.

books + reading

#heart #mind #BreneBrown #TedTalks

Last week, Tee and I went to a talk by Brene Brown, held at Sixth and I in Washington, D.C.  Brene talked about her new book, Rising Strong, and some of the concepts she’s introduced about how to get back up after a fall.

I absolutely love Brene Brown; I felt like a groupie, or like a devotee listening to her guru.  The sixty-minute talk flew by, and when it was over, I felt like I could have listened to her for six more hours.  Or days.  Or weeks.

The talk felt refreshing to me – it felt like an opportunity to use my imaginary restart button.  There are so many takeaways from Brene Brown – so many.  I fear that I will spend the next six months talking in Brene Brown phrases; I’ve already referenced “standing in my truth” at least a dozen times in the last seven days.

I’m sharing Brene Brown’s insanely popular Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability.  Just because.


#mind #soul #BreneBrown #tedtalks

This week has been hectic and crazy and emotional, for a lot of different reasons.  When I feel hectic and crazy, I journal and I write, but it can be kind of all-over-the-place, sans topic or format or theme.  8611204410_33c86be477

I decided to post one of my favorite TED Talks, Brene Brown’s talk on listening to shame, because I’ve been feeling vulnerable, and I think it’s related to what Brene says about women and shame – we want to be able to do everything, do it perfectly, and never let anyone see us sweat.  That’s definitely what I want – to always be smiling and happy and to handle everything with grace and poise.  Even the stuff that makes me want to pull my hair out or cry in public.  I know I shouldn’t need to appear perfect and unruffled to the world, and I’m working on it – progress not perfection.