In September I finished my first Book Club (actually two, I did a virtual and in person one) and it was so fabulous! I loved every minute of it! I love to read books that inspire and/or enlighten me and to have the opportunity to do that and come together with a fabulous group of women to discuss each others insights and perspectives on what we just read is my idea of an amazing way to spend an evening.
We read Brene Brown’s bestselling book The Gifts of Imperfection. I’m a huge fan of Brene’s work. It has had a profound impact on my life and I’m even enrolled in her Daring Way training program in Australia in March to be certified in it. If you aren’t familiar with Brene, the best place to start is with her TedX talk on The Power of Vulnerability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o which currently has about 3.8 million views. Brene is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and a wonderful storyteller. She’s spent over 12 years researching courage, vulnerability and shame.
What Brene found in this research created what she lovingly refers to in the Ted Talk and the book as a “Breakdown Spiritual Awakening” in her own life. This happened when she realized that the people that she found in her research and refers to as the Wholehearted (living and loving with their whole hearts) had ten things in common and she was not seeing them in her own life experience.
If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. I couldn’t begin to do it justice in just a blog post, but let me share with you the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living:
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting go of what people think
2. Cultivating Self Compassion: Letting go of perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting go of the need for certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting go of comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting go of anxiety as a life style
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting to of being cool and always in control
Brene shares that the work of cultivating and letting go that shows up in the ten guideposts is not “to-do list” material. It’s not something that we can accomplish or acquire and then check it off our list. It’s life work. It’s soul work. I couldn’t agree more from my own experience with the work.
She also shares that she now sees that “owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” So true!
The mantra that I (and so many others) walked away with after reading Brene’s book is “I am imperfect and I am enough!” They are powerful words to live and love by. It really changes everything.
As far as the book club goes…we had so much fun that we’re going to make it an ongoing thing. We start again in January and we’re going to read Martha Beck’s book Finding Your Own North Star. I can’t wait! If you want to join us (virtually or in person) please sign up at www.lilliemarshall.com .
If you have read the book and have some personal insights to share, please add a comment.