56Rising Strong

Rising Strong cyber-bookclub

Hello intrepid Rising Strong gang! I am so excited to get this ball rolling I can’t even see straight. (If you missed my first post on this topic, read it here.)

The basic guidelines and preliminary schedule are detailed below. I’d like to get this party started and plan to have the first post for the Introduction and Chapter 1 go out next week on November 12. I will spearhead this first post.

Basic Guidelines:
1.    As with any public forum, rules of decorum prevail. We will respect each other’s opinions. We are free, of course, to disagree, but will do so with utmost respect. If we don’t understand a comment, we’ll ask. If we’d like further discussion on a topic, we’ll generate it. Please remember that this is the first time I’m trying this format. If you don’t like the way we’re doing something, don’t hesitate to let me know and we’ll try to figure out a change together. (I reserve the right to delete any comment I find offensive or inappropriate.)
2.    Remember: This is a public forum so comment accordingly. Don’t tell the group deeply personal information if it makes you uncomfortable.
3.    If it is not your week to spearhead, leave your comment in the comment section under the week’s post. Check back once in a while during the week and see if you’d like to make additional comments based on what others are saying.
4.    If you are spearheading the chapter for the week, please remember to email your comments to me at traceyyokas@gmail.com by Wednesday morning. As far as length goes, if you’re a writing type person, try to keep your post in the 600-800 word range. (If you’re like me, achieving that goal may be hard! I tend to go long.) If you’re not a writing type person that means up to about 3 pages or so, double spaced. To find out how many words your post contains, look in the lower left hand corner of the document. Microsoft Word keeps track there for you of word count.
5.    If you haven’t signed up to receive my email newsletter, please do so before we begin. Go to the Home Page and scroll down until you see Stay Informed. Enter your name and email address and click Subscribe. You’ll get a confirmation email in your inbox. Click the link to confirm.

How it works:
1.    If you are spearheading the chapter, you will get your comments to me on Wednesday prior to your scheduled day (see below for schedule).
2.    Using your material, I will generate the post and it will go out via email on Thursday morning to everyone who is signed up to receive my newsletter. As soon as it goes out, the comment section is open for use.
3.    Everyone who agreed to participate will leave at least one comment. Let’s have fun! We have a diverse group with many perspectives. We even have one courageous gentleman joining us. I'm stoked to hear his ideas. Let’s learn as much as we can from each other and grow in our knowledge.  
4.    If you’re particularly excited one week (or more) about the dialogue we’re generating, feel free to share it with friends you think might also be interested.

Schedule and Spearheaders:
(I made that word up! We have more participants than chapters, so I entered everyone’s name into a basket and randomly selected. If you do not want to spearhead, let me know and I will make another selection. If you have a conflict with the date your assigned to spearhead, let me know asap and I’ll arrange a swap.)

Chapter                          Spearheader                Date of Post (submission gets sent to me the day prior to             traceyyokas@gmail.com.)
Chapter 1                       Tracey Yokas                             Nov. 12
Chapter 2                       Susan Schwartz                        Nov. 19
Skipping this week for Thanksgiving    
Chapter 3                       Maria Rodgers O’Rourke        Dec. 3
Chapter 4                       Crystal Chin                               Dec. 10
Chapter 5                       Nancy Gentry Glenn                  Dec. 17
Skipping this week of Christmas (I will be out of town)
Chapter 6                       Wendy Goldstein                      Dec. 31            
Chapter 7                       Martha Sullivan                         Jan. 7
Chapter 8                       Xeno Hemlock                          Jan. 14
Chapter 9                       Janice DelSanto                       Jan. 21
Chapter 10                     Tara Espinoza                           Jan. 28
Chapter 11                     Heather Higinbotham                Feb. 4
Wrap Up/possible skype session                                   ??

(And yes, clearly I need to learn how to set up columns!)

Questions to help you if you feel stuck: (You do NOT have to use these questions. I wanted to have a few suggestions in case someone needs a little help to get started.)
1.    Does the issue in this chapter affect your life? How so, directly?
2.    Pick a specific passage to discuss that struck you as significant or interesting. What was memorable about it and why?
3.    What have you learned from this chapter? How has it broadened your perspective and how do you plan to incorporate into your life?

4. How does what Brené writes in this chapter coincide with how you were raised to deal with courage/failure? Is "rising strong" a fit with your basic character and/or upbringing or is this something you have to learn to incorporate in your life now?

I know this is a lot of information to take in at one time. Don’t worry; we’re going to take this adventure one week at a time!

Brene Meme 1 courage

Now that you’ve finished reading these guidelines, please take a second to comment (below) and tell us a few sentences about yourself, why you like Brené’s work (if you already know it), what you’re hoping to gain by joining us here, and any other tidbit you’d like us to know.



  1. Hi, Tracey and the Rising Strong Cyber Book Club!

    I'm excited to read and reflect along with you on what I'm sure will be an amazing book. Brene Brown is the real deal…I can't wait to see what she has to say. I'm hoping to gain deeper insights about how to learn from what looks like failure in my life, and strategies for applying those lessons to future situations. I'd love to be able to release regret more quickly, and focus on the good in circumstances and people.

    I'm a mom, wife, writer, speaker, and communications expert. Tracey and I met a couple of years ago on the Haven writing retreat in Montana, and have been friends ever since. My husband Steve and I have been married 23 years, and have two daughters, 22 and 15. My home is in St. Louis, Missouri, and yes, I love the Cardinals!

  2. Thank you Maria! I'm so glad you mentioned the Cardinals. Yes, peeps. Sports talk (a little anyway) is fine here, as long as you don't dis on my Broncos. Just kidding. Anyway, welcome Maria. Thank you for the intro and what you hope to gain. I sure agree relative to what I'm hoping to learn along the way. I believe we need a whole new view of "failure," or at least a new definition of it. The Gifts of Imperfection was inspirational in my life because it gave me language to talk about issues that had plagued me but that I had only thought about. I had no constructs to use to really dig deep and get them out into the open. Also, having concrete activities to put the learning into action has been crucial for me in carrying that learning forward.

    Tom and I have have been married for 19 years. My daughter will turn 17 next month! It's been an inspirational journey, and I know it will continue to be inspirational.

    I thank you Maria, for being such a great friend and for joining us here for Rising Strong! I look forward to reading your input.

  3. Hi, Tracey and Rising Strong Cyber Book Club members! I'm a huge Brene fan and am so excited to participate and share reflections/experiences related to Rising Strong. I have begun reading but must confess that I sneaked a peak at my assigned chapter. Things must happen for a reason because Chapter 5 has profound relevance to my life's journey and a particularly thorny issue I've been struggling with for more than 50 years. The chapter hits me, as they say, right where I live! I'm eager and more than a bit anxious about confronting it once again through this reading. I've learned that those feelings together are telling me I must, must go forward and lean into it. I'm looking forward to rich and rewarding learning through shared experiences. Thank you, Tracey!

  4. Thank you so much Nancy! Isn't it awesome how serendipity can work in our life? I'm glad your chapter resonates with you. Now I can't wait to read it. I hope our journey together is indeed rich and rewarding for all of us. Thanks for taking the time to check in!

  5. Hi! I'm Jessica. I live in Madison, WI, with my husband and our teenage daughter. I've been on two writing retreats with Tracey (and Maria!) and one with Heather. It's fun to have a mix of familiar folks and people I don't yet know. I'm in the early stages of working on a memoir. I've read some of Brené Brown's work before and especially like her TED talks. I'm looking forward to participating in a cyber book club–a totally new experience for me.

  6. Hello Everyone! I met Tracey in a writing class where we all started working our memoirs. SInce then, I have finished my memoir and am on the search for an agent. I am a professional dancer, Pilates instructor and now, writer:) I was not familiar with Brene's work until recently when I listened to a talk of hers. Absolutely everything she spoke about resonated with me and many of the topics I write about on my blog. I'm really excited to read this book and interact with all of you! Thanks for putting this together Tracey!!

  7. Hi! I met Tracey about two years ago in a memoir writing class in our community. Tracey introduced me to Brene's books and I have been very impressed by what Brene has to say. I grew up in a household where my feelings didn't matter much; so much so that I learned to squash my feelings to the point of not being in close touch with them anymore. That did not serve me well. I definitely wasn't living what Brene calls a "wholehearted life." I've grown a lot since those days, and, as I'm sure you all can relate to, I've since had triumphs as well as other struggles.

    My husband and I are coming up on our 29th wedding anniversary this month. We have a 26 year old son and a 23 year old daughter. Rising Strong hits home with me right now, just like with Nancy. My husband has had very serious medical issues over the last several years, and we are now in the midst of a new one, seeing doctors at UCLA and City of Hope in search of a diagnosis and treatment plan. As I started to read Rising Strong, I've been telling myself I need to be strong today, tomorrow, next year, etc., come what may. I want to be strong, yet I don't always feel I can pull that off.

    Both Tracey and Brene inspire me to live a better life. I signed up for this book club before my husband's latest medical issues. I thought it would be fun to discuss the book with everyone and learn to be a stronger person for the next struggle that came along. But now I'm in that struggle. I hope I'm a quick study!

  8. Brene's research on shame, vulnerability, and whole-heartedness, have helped me through some recent "flesh tearing" times. I listened to her talks on "Sounds True" with tears flowing as I struggled through some major depression. I continue to lean into her writings as I face day to day challenges. I am grateful for this platform and look forward to sharing this with all of you.

    Tracey and I are joined at the hip via FB and met each other a few years ago in Montana at a profound writing retreat. Nothing excites me more than to share "Rising Strong" with someone who demonstrates it so well.

  9. Thank you for this opportunity Tracey! I've been on one retreat (so far) and hope to attend another at some point. I'm looking forward to joining this group and learning about ways to improve my own life as well as those around me.

  10. Thanks for starting this Tracey. I was not familiar with Brene Brown until you started the discussion on our Rising Strong book club. I have since spent time on her webpage and today signed up for the courses from January to April. What a great look forward to.

    I am enjoying "meeting" others in our group and look forward to our interactions.

    I turned 65 last week and have spent my life in various undertakings to learn more about me and how to be in the world. I don't believe in coincidences so know this opportunity came at exactly the correct time. And Tracey we are Haven Alums so anything you know is a great experience, I want to tag along. 🙂

  11. Hello and I'm so excited to begin! Thank you Tracey for this brainchild. I'm a wife, mother of two college age kids and live in Seattle, WA. I met Tracey a few days ago at the Haven II retreat and I'm so glad I did. Looking forward to a great experience.

  12. Looking forward to the discussion of each chapter. I listen to a lot of TED talks and resonated to Brene's talk on shame, which has been a part of my life – not being good enough, smart enough, loveable, etc. She KNOWS whereof she speaks.

    I'm a retired elementary school teacher, living in Surrey, BC, Canada. I read the Haven Alums FB postings, as I have taken a Haven workshop with Nancy Glenn and several other amazing women, June of 2014. I'm glad to be part of this group.

  13. I forgot to mention that I am married, have a daughter and 3 grandchildren, reside in Ashburn, VA, teach part-time in an MBA program at a University of Maryland University College, am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (volunteer) for children in the foster care system, and enjoy painting, walking, and, of course, writing.

  14. Welcome Jess! I'm so glad you're joining us on this journey. Thanks for introducing yourself. I, for one, can't wait to read your memoir and your thoughts (along with everyone's) on what Brene has to say in Rising Strong.

  15. Hi Crystal- Thank you for the introduction! Everyone loves Brene's TED talks, including me! Maybe I'll post some along the way if I can find ones that happen to back up the weeks' topic. Hmmm. Well, if I forget, someone remind me! Welcome Crystal. Crystal's blogs are awesome, by the way. I believe she posts one a week on Fridays. Check her out when you get a chance! Welcome Crystal.

  16. Susan, I am so sorry to hear of the latest medical struggles for your husband and you. Just know that you have, here, a loving and supportive community of people who have got your back. Obviously, not everyone here yet knows you, but they will. Your huge heart, compassion, and wisdom will be a beacon. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for taking this journey with us. We will all keep positive thoughts and energy going to the universe for Richard.

  17. Welcome Stephanie! Thank you for sharing a little bit about your recent journey and struggles. You are surrounded by loving support here! I very much look forward to hearing your insights and particularly who you've incorporated Brene's wisdom into your day to day life. This is really the tough part, isn't it? We can learn, all kinds of stuff, but if we don't incorporate what works into our life on a regular basis then we don't make the progress we aspire to. This seems so obvious sometimes, but it's really the hardest thing, to make lasting and significant changes even when we know we will benefit from them. Welcome Steph! Thank you again for taking this journey with us.

  18. Hey Stephanie! Yes–we have two Stephanie's–so if the two of you think about it, could you leave comments with at least a last initial so we can differentiate! Welcome. Thank you for joining us on this journey–if there's one thing I've learned over the last couple of years, to Rise Strong we definitely need a community committed to embracing the same general ideals. Welcome!

  19. Welcome Katherine! I think several of us are doing Brene's classes after the new year. That will be so fun, to know we're connecting here and also there! Yippee. And regarding Haven, yes. I am convinced as much now as ever, that one of Laura's gifts to this planet is the drawing together of people who needed to meet at that time and in that place and under those circumstances. Thank you for joining us Katherine. I can't wait to hear more of what you have to share!

  20. Wecome Sarah! I'm thrilled your joining us here. I look forward to the insights and wisdom you'll be sharing. I don't know about you, but I'm still recovering from Haven–in the best and most profound ways! Welcome..

  21. Welcome Nettonya! SWEET…your participation means we've gone international! Wow…that's exciting. LOL. And yes, Brene sure does know what she's talking about. For me, one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with her work is her honesty and willingness to use her own life as the main example of what she's talking about. I immediately trusted her for doing so. I try to embrace that courage in my daily life. I look forward to hearing what you have to say along this journey.

  22. Wow Nancy. Off-line, I'd love to learn more about your advocate work. We have that here where I live and I have considered volunteering. Down the line, maybe we can touch base about it. Thank you for doing that, making such an impact.

  23. Hi everyone! So excited to be a part of this group. I'm Heather, and Tracey and I met at Haven writing workshop last year. I'm a HUGE Brene Brown fan, I took her "Healing our Creativity Wounds" class a couple years ago and it has changed my life. Tracey, which classes are you referring to of Brene's next year?!?
    A little bit about me: I'm a recovering people pleaser and conflict avoider, spent over a decade living other people's versions of my life, and have just in the past 7 years broken free and am in the ongoing process of rediscovering myself. What fun! I've learned that I am actually creative, I have something to offer the world, and i'm pretty freakin' rad–all things I didn't believe for a long time. I've returned to writing (so grateful!) and am currently working on two books, one on recovery from an abusive/alcoholic marriage and one on being an environmental hypocrite.
    In my "professional" life, I am a sustainability geek and eco-warrior. I recently launched my own coaching business, focusing on personal growth, authenticity, vulnerability and owning our soul truth.
    I am a single mom and Sherpa to a precocious 9 year old daughter, whose favorite conversation starter is "Do you know how to spell 'hypochondriac' or 'onomatopoeia'?".
    Woo hoo! So excited to meet all of you!

  24. Welcome Heather! I'm so excited that you are going to join us on this journey. First, re: Brene's class next year. Visit http://www.courageworks.com. She's doing 2 6 week classes focused first on Daring Greatly and then Rising Strong. (We should be experts by then!) I think a couple others here are already signed up as well. Thank you for the intro. I can't tell you how excited I am about your two books. Wow…I can't get one done let alone two. You are showing us some badassery there!, but I get ahead of myself. Welcome Heather! I can't wait to hear your thoughts here…

  25. Hi everyone.. My name is Yolie. I've been friends with Tracey for many years.. I have a daughter and right now we are going through some exciting and scarey changes in our lives. I'm hoping through reading this book and reading everyone's comments, I will be able to be strong and move forward with my daughter into incredible new lives….

  26. Hello Ladies! Please forgive my delay in introducing myself. As I shared with Tracey its been one of "those" weeks! Which I know each and every one of you understand! I live in a little town just three miles from the Hudson River in NY. I've got four kids – two were a package deal that came with my husband. He told me if when we had children and they were ugly, it was my fault because he has a portfolio! Yeah. I still married him, and just last month we celebrated 29 yrs together. My kids ages range from 38, 36, 26, 24. I've been a teacher, worked in the defense industry, owned a day care (in which some days I swear I was being held hostage by two year olds!) became a full time care giver when my mother developed Alzheimers, had my heart broken many times, including by my husband, yet have always, some how, persevered. Then in June 2012 after both my husband and I lost our jobs, were fighting to keep our house, I met Laura Munson. Two months later I was in MT. (the story of just getting there is just a 'wow' adventure). I was a mess when I arrived, and totally transformed when I came home. Since then I know the path I am on is absolutely the right one. Too many things lined up in the universe for me to believe otherwise. I had a small first piece published in January 2013 – took whatever workshops on writing, poetry etc I could find. Networked. Met some really strange, twisted "writers", but met more amazing, generous, authentic, really really kind and wonderful writers. Last year I challenged myself and participated in the NaNoWriMo. It was suppose to be for me – just personal. A practice. Then lightening struck. And by the end of the month I had a rough draft of a murder/mystery presently titled "Northeast of 8"0. A lot happened between then and now – but in ApriI I was accepted by an editor who is working with me – pushes me – critiques with purpose and direction. I've learned SO much from her. But the reality is – you must learn 'how' to write. She told me if the story was not as solid as it is, she would have not accepted me. My sentence structure was horrible. My tense usage ridiculous and inconsistent. My modifiers dangled. (I didn't know what the hell a modifier was or that it could dangle!). But she was right. I'm still working hard on understanding the mechanics of writing. It has not always been easy – but when the light bulb turns on and you can clearly see YES! That's it! That is how it sounds even better than the first time, or even the second! Writing is a process – rising strong is a choice. So I am crafting my life at 52. I house/pet sit for income and sit in other peoples homes as much as I can to write. They are just as excited as I am about this book – which makes it a pleasure. I am so honored and humbled to be in this group, looking forward to reading, listening and learning from ALL of you! Thank you Tracey so very, very much for creating this that can only have a positive academic, but also emotional, soulful conclusion, that will never really end. Breathe Deep, Think Peace, Patty

  27. Hi everyone!

    I'm Xeno from the Philippines. Tracey and I met in an online writing class at the beginning of this year.

    I didn't know Brene Brown before. One day, while visiting a book store I saw Daring Greatly standing out in a book shelf. The author's name was familiar to me. Then I remembered where I saw the name before – from Tracey's posts on my Facebook timeline. So I bought the book in good faith; Tracey's raving about the author and I trusted her taste. I was glad I did. Like the serendipity story above, the timing of my buying the book was amazing.

    I had been working on one article since February/March that I had a hard time finishing. Reading Daring Greatly made me realise why that was happening. I was avoiding vulnerability. The book served as a wake-up call to up my writing. Lo and behold, i finished the article after reading Brown's book. Very grateful for that. While there's a bit of self-promotion here, you can read that article here: http://www.xenohemlock.com/blog/3-relationship-truths-in-every-major-life-transformation I believe one aspect of vulnerability is being proud of your work and if I am to practice Ms. Brown's teachings, I got to be proud of myself and what I do.

    This is my first book-club ever, online and offline, so I'm very excited. I have no idea what to expect but I think that's the beauty of it. My book is still wrapped in plastic cover, I don't want to take a peek on what's inside but follow the plan of tackling it chapter by chapter. And am very much looking forward to hearing everybody's insights and learning new things from you all.


  28. Hi Yolie! Welcome to the group. I can't wait to hear your thoughts related to what Brene has to say. I'm so excited for you and the new phase of life you and your daughter will soon be entering. I know Brene's insights will help you, for sure!! I know the group will too.

  29. Thank you Patty! You are so funny…and WOW about your book. That's really exciting. You'll have to keep the group posted to new developments if any come along while we're still gathering here each week. I'm working with an editor, too, on my book and I feel you! She sure pushes me and it's done more for my writing than I could ever have imagined. Thanks for your intro. I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on Brene's material.

  30. Welcome Xeno! Now we're really international. Canada and the Philippines! This is fantastic. What a unique and awesome perspective you will bring to the group. I'm so glad you were able to finish the article and that Brene's wisdom helped you to do so! Everyone do check out Xeno's work. He's very inspirational at http://www.xenohemlock.com. Thanks Xeno! I'm thrilled your joining us here.

  31. Hello All. I'm Janice. I live in southern California and have known Tracey for quite a long time now. Our friendship began with the love and care of the cats in our lives and has grown through the local book club that Tracey spearheads. We've loved and lost and shared tears and smiles. I worked in veterinary medicine for 30 years which was my passion and my calling. I now have embarked upon a Real Estate career that I love but that challenges me to find new strengths within myself.
    I am not a writer but I do love to read and learn. My greatest life's work are the beautiful souls that are my daughter and my grandkids. Like all mom's I struggle through their heartaches and celebrate their successes. I am a very pragmatic person. I believe that kindness and unconditional love, especially with ourselves, are the key to resolving any struggle, And I firmly believe that the "truth" always lies somewhere in the middle.
    I look forward to reading this book with my daughter and together reinforcing our ability to rise strong.

  32. Thank you for this beautiful and heartfelt introduction, Janice! We sure have shared tears and smiles and the love of words for a long time now. And the love of cats!! My most beloved, Finn, came into our lives courtesy of Janice! He is my bestest buddy!! You do NOT need to be a writer to be part of this journey…I'm thrilled to pieces that Tara is also joining us here. I very much look forward to the mother/daughter insights you might have to share with us when your chapters are spearheaded. And yes…gee whiz. Abiding the struggles of our children/grandchildren continues to be a lesson I have to learn over and over again. Welcome!

  33. Hey there, everybody! My name is Kari and I'm very excited to be part of this book club. I'm in my 40's and live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan in television news. I've followed Brene Brown's work for a few years and connect strongly with her research on vulnerability. Sharing thoughts and experiences is the highway to a robust world view and I appreciate everyone in this group for seeking and "rumbling". Really looking forward! Thanks, Tracy, for bringing us together!

  34. I made a mistake on my comment– my name is Kari not Kati. And, not sure why that's my profile pic!!!! Anyway, looking forward to getting to know everyone.

  35. Hi everyone! So excited to be part of this book club. I have never been to a book club and think this book and online platform is a unique approach! I love Brene Brown's books because of the vulnerability she displays. I am a mother of 1 and have been with my husband for 13 years. I have known Tracey 5+years and couldn't have asked for a better friend. She is amazing.

  36. Hi Kari! Thanks for taking the time to touch base. In my former life, I was a news videographer for two small affiliates, 1 ABC and 1 Fox. Hmmm. Maybe one day we'll be able to compare news notes. And I agree with you completely relative to sharing thoughts and experiences as the highway to a robust world view! This is how we broaden our perspectives and continue to become more open-minded! Thanks again. I'm so glad you're joining us.

  37. Oh my goodness! Thank you Kim. I feel pretty lucky, too, to have you in my life. Welcome! I'm so glad you're joining us for this journey. I think it's going to be fun and enlightening! Hold on to your butts, as is said in Jurassic Park. We're going to have a blast!!

  38. Good morning, everyone –

    I'm a little late getting to this party and introducing myself. But now that I'm here, I can tell you that I'm excited to do a cyber book club. I go to many book discussions at the library and most are very casual. I like the idea of each of us getting a turn to say how we feel about a specific part of the book. I work in my local library and take care of the marketing part of all that goes on. My main job is to create flyers, newsletters and short blurbs to describe our programs and events, so I am a little frightened to write a more expanded "essay" on my chapter. But, in reading the first couple chapters of the book, I realize that this is a challenge I should take on! I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you a little and am interested in where this book and its ideas may lead.

  39. Hello Everyone….My name is Cheryl, and I'd like to read Brene's book with you and see what pearls of wisdom emerge. I read her gifts of imperfection a few years ago and loved it. I still have the copy and found gobs of scribbled notes in the margins, either highlighting a point she made or sort of conversing with her and myself. Does anyone else do that?
    So, I discovered your site, Tracey, because of a shared friend we have, Maria O'Rourke. Maria and I have been friends for years. When I saw her mention of your bookclub on her FB page, I thought…hmmmm…like you, Tracey, I've never done a cyber book club, but I do enjoy learning and some degree of challenge/adventure in my life, so here I am.
    Sounds like many of you are professional writers. Although I am not, I have journaled on and off since I was ten y/o and enjoy the writing process. It definitely has helped me clarify my thoughts and feelings.
    I am a registered nurse for many years now, which has been very rewarding, challenging, and spiritual experience for me. I have a loving hubby, elderly momma, and a very sweet golden retriever that create my little family at home. Home health nursing about twice a month keeps me involved in nursing as my primary responsibility has become my 91 y/o mom in this past year. She has lived with us 16 years, but has become more dependent this past year.
    There are so many things about Brene's book on imperfection that I liked. But, I find myself ruminating on her remarks on how we've become a society that seems to value exhaustion and productivity as benchmarks for admiration/ having success. Boy, do I see a lot of that pressure in different areas of my life, especially at work and in my dear church to some extent.
    I look forward to sharing with you all, to showing support and learning together.
    Thanks for making this available Tracey and thanks to my dear friend Maria for letting me know about it!
    Warmly~~Cheryl M.

  40. Hi, Cheryl! I'm so excited you've joined this group. I expect much beauty and wisdom to emerge from our discussions. You will bring your characteristic compassion and insight to the conversation. Yay! Can't wait to get started. Love you, Maria

  41. Welcome Cheryl! I'm thrilled you are going to join us on this journey. If you haven't already, go to my Home page. Scroll down until you see Stay Informed. Enter your information and click Submit. You'll receive an email in your in-box to confirm subscription to my email newsletter. Click that link and you're all set. That way, each Thursday morning, the new post will be emailed directly to your inbox and you won't have to remember to come and look for it. Any friend of Maria's is welcome here! Thank you for the lovely introduction of yourself. This is NOT an exercise for writers. This is a forum for anyone who loves Brene and has grown from her work. I want to be clear about that!! BTW, YES! My books have tons of notes in the margins and on the front and back blank inside pages. I love to write myself notes about things I loved inside the book and want to remember or about things I want to look into further. How wonderful that you are able to take primary care of your mother. I know how hard that is although now both of my parents are gone. I look forward to getting to you better, here! Welcome Cheryl.

  42. No way! Didn't know we have the journalist life in common. Hope to compare notes about this crazy business one day. Thanks again for kicking off this great group!

  43. Hello Martha! Welcome! I'm excited that you decided to join us. Anyone that works in a library is A-OKAY in my book. You are definitely in the right place here! We can't wait to hear your thoughts on your assigned chapter, and your thoughts relative to the rest too. Please don't worry about the writing! In this context it is simply the tool for us to use to get our thoughts out there to start reviewing, thinking, and discussing AND so we can write our own brave endings. Thank you!

  44. Hello all,
    My name is Tara and like all of you I am a women of many hats. I am a mother of three young children, ages 6, 4, and 2. I am a Christian, a coach, a soccer player, the wife of a police officer, a huge sports fan and much much more. My mother is my idol. I strive to be a better person everyday and want to be the best role model to my children I can possibly be. I am a very passionate person with many insecurites. I am very much looking forward to reading this book and hearing, or reading rather what you all have to say.

  45. Just saw Maria Rodgers O'Rourke's FB share on this book club and am so excited! The timing couldn't be better- I am about 3/4 of the way through listening to Rising Strong on my way to work and was so taken by it ( not a surprise I have all her books) that I ordered a hard copy of it and it arrives today! I shared Maria's post on my FB wall also. Thank you for starting this!

  46. Welcome Judy! Any friend of Maria's is welcome here…and friend of anyone's is welcome here, by the way. I'm so glad you are going to join us on this journey. Gosh, Brene has so much wisdom to share. It never ceases to amaze me how many people she inspires on a regular basis. I'm so happy to provide a platform for us Brene lovers to discuss what we love the most! Thank you Judy!

  47. Welcome Tara! I was so excited when your mom told me that you both wanted to participate. What great news. I'm very much looking forward to the chapters the two of you spearhead and your thoughts related to same. You are one busy lady…I admire you so much! Especially the sports fan part 🙂 It's such an important part of motherhood, I believe, to do this kind of work. What helps us helps our children. Thank you for joining us!

  48. Are the comments/discussion all happening here on this blog page? Do we want to start a Facebook group to have the discussion?

  49. Hi Heather. yes, the comments are going to appear each week on that week's blog post. So, there is a new one out as of yesterday for the Intro and ch 1. No, I'm not going to start a Facebook group. I'll post the link again to this week's new post and, if you signed up for the newsletter, the new post will arrive in your email inbox every Thursday morning.

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