A few more people wrote to me to add their thoughts about what rising strong looks like for them. Here's what nine of our bookclub participants had to say.
If you're interested, let me know. This is what I asked for:
A gentle challenge to my wonderful, inspirational, and courageous Rising Strong bookclub participants:
At the end of every Guidepost lesson in The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené included a section she called, "DIG Deep." DIG stands for get Deliberate, get Inspired, and get Going. She devised this section as a means to move each lesson from theory into practice, from head to heart. She's using a similar device in the Living Brave Semester but calls it, "Into the Bones."
I thought it would be fun for anyone who wants to participate to pick one lesson or piece of guidance of Brené's and commit to making a practice around it. I'm going to gather and share them here. I know it might be difficult to pick just one–I could probably pick one off of every page of the book–but let's help each other be accountable and move the rising strong theory from process to practice.
Here's what Heather had to say:
My key learning from Rising Strong was "The story I'm telling myself…" This was so impactful and such an incredible tool to apply in any situation! I've used it with my daughter, I just shared it with a friend last night and again today as we were talking about communication and misunderstandings. So powerful!
Here's what Wendy had to say:
So just today as I am going about my daily routine of "up-shower-feed-drive-work-serve-work-drive-feed-drive-clean-plan-drive-feed-sleep" of a day, I came upon a family in need at my local market. The little cardboard sign the dad was holding simply said, "Doing my best." After I walked the family into Subway and bought the food (their choice), I was brought back to the part of the book where Brené said this is a question we have to ask ourselves. I must always consider: "Am I doing be best? " when I am in the throes of whatever pile of mire I might be wading through at the moment.
Blaming others less, taking responsibility for your own well-being, and the choices you make.
"Self-loathing is truly part of the human condition. We are in a constant state of flux emotionally, and hating ourselves is part of that range. That's why they call us human 'beings'." Me in my summary.
Here's what Nancy had to say:
Digging deep means exhaling to release barriers to vulnerability. This is my deepest, most achingly persistent challenge – letting go, naturally, in the moment. Being off my guard so that my true self, that gentle, compassionate self who can resonate with others, is allowed to glow from within. Only in doing so will others be comfortable with me and seek me out. My wish is to be comfortable with the intimacy that permits it to happen, to be unafraid. I have to begin by becoming conscious of the physical responses to certain people and situations that provoke my defenses, begin to anticipate these, and consciously exhale and lean into them with an openness of heart so that I can begin to enjoy and be reinforced through positive responses of others. This has been a problem for me for my entire adult life; I don't expect change to happen quickly but it won't happen at all unless I commit to begin.
Technically, this meme was not created for our work in bookclub, but I didn't want to pick a comment of my own to use as I thought that would be weird. So I asked Xeno if I could use the one he made for me, and he was nice enough to say yes.
Here's what I had to say:
One piece of learning/practice I want to cultivate comes from Chapter 1, and it is the tenth rule of engagement for rising strong. Rising strong is a spiritual practice. I no longer have a traditional view of spirituality, and was very moved by Brené's definition on page ten. I created a ritual for myself around my expanding view of spirituality that works for me, that grounds my perspective, and provides meaning and purpose to my life. I plan to continue to live/feel this in my bones by refining my ritual and striving to perform it more often.
Here's what Maria had to say:
My first thought was from chapter 10, You Got to Dance with Them That Brung You: I can't rise strong unless I bring all of my wayward girls and fallen women back into the fold. I need them, and they need me. I plan to do this by dancing to a favorite song every day.
Here's what Xeno had to say:
That one thing I'd like to embrace is SHARING. I know I'm a writer and writing is a form of sharing but being in the book club "forced" me to be more honest with myself because I think that's a requirement in being honest and vulnerable with others. That's my biggest take-away from the club. So I try to expose my feelings more to people offline (and online especially) and I did notice that since the book club started, I find myself becoming less and less afraid of doing it.
Here's what Crystal had to say:
The one thing Brené wrote that moved me most is to value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries. I often find myself in these situations where I'm avoiding feeling uncomfortable and instead building resentment inside. This is the year I plan to change that! I'm walking right into the discomfort and facing it head on because I know that ultimately, that is what will set me free. I've recently put this into practice with a work situation and as painful as it was to do what was needed to protect my self worth, I kept hearing Brené's words in my head cheering me on.
Here's what Steph had to say:
My take away from our cyber club is that we are all in life together. No matter where we live or what our ages are or backgrounds. I intend to stay open to others and listen with new ears knowing that we are all connected – staying as non-judgmental as possible.
Here's what Patty had to say:
One of the first things I highlighted as I was going through the book was on page 35 – "Like everyone, I know failure and I know heartbreak – I've survived the kind of professional failures and personal heartbreaks that rearrange your life." This struck a cord with me, because I swear for most of my life, I felt like everyone knew something I didn't. Like they got the manual, but when I stopped by all the issues were sold out. It actually felt like a weight off my shoulders to know we're all in the same boat – and we have to be mindful of that and not assume anything. She went on to say we should "not discount the importance of having a process to navigate everyday hurts and disappointments. They can shape who we are and how we feel just as much as those things that we consider the big events.." This is HUGE, because we have those everyday hurts and hopes, well, every day! Again, it is being aware before we become angry, or for that matter happy. Why? Well why not be aware it is a happy moment – and being extra happy?! Finding the things to celebrate as well as finding the moments where we learn the most.