Chances are if you and I have had a discussion about anything even mildly important in the last two years, I’ve managed to bring up Dr. Brene Brown and her book I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t). I’m also pretty sure I’ve mentioned that book on this blog at least once before. Her research on shame and shame resilience has had a profound effect on the way I see myself, the world, and the way I parent. Needless to say, I was thrilled when she made a recent appearance on one of my favorite podcasts, On Being. If you are a parent, or if you have parents, I highly recommend giving it a listen.
Her research on shame has led her to explore the role of vulnerability in connection and courage and what she has discovered is profound. The wisdom that she has unearthed for herself and others through her research is nothing that cannot be found in ancient traditions and philosophies, Yoga included, but perhaps because of her scientific approach to these very familiar feelings, her findings feel very understandable and relateable to us modern folk.
Something she calls wholeheartedness – an ability to move through the world knowing that “I am enough” – seems especially important as we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday season. It is a time of celebration and joy, yes, but can also be a time of isolation and angst. Connecting with our families and friends and other loved ones can be wonderful or difficult or both. It is often both and the vulnerability that we feel during these times can be a great source of connection, meaning, and courage if we allow it to be.
More on this later, but in the meantime, seriously, listen to the podcast. You’ll be glad you did.
And Happy Holidays to all!