Several years ago a friend of mine was telling me about Brené Brown’s work about shame. At the time, I heard her excitement and was so happy that she was experiencing transformation, but I didn’t jump on the train. I don’t think of myself as experiencing a lot of shame. Overwhelm, sadness, feeling like I don’t always measure up to my expectations of myself, yes. But not shame.
The last several months I’ve been on a jag of reading books by women about being brave – Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr. And another book that was on display at the library: Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani. I subscribe to Tara Mohr’s newsletter and she sent out a list of books (including hers) that was featured on NY Mag – The 8 Best Books For Career Advice, According to Executive Coaches. And next to Tara Mohr’s book was “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown.
I went back to the library and it turned out they had a very fine collection of Brown’s work, so I requested some books and tallied forth gathering picture books for the little one.
I got “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” and I dove in. And I love this woman’s work. I love her advice about parenting and helping your child feel that they belong in your family, and everything else can sort itself out. I also got a nugget of wisdom around stopping shaming our children and meeting them in vulnerability when they are having feelings. Restraining myself from saying, “I told you not to do that, your not listening got you hurt.” Instead saying, “yes, I see you are in pain. It’s called road rash. I have had it before.” And then only after he’s feeling better asking, “what do you want to do differently next time?”
I’m on to Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.” Now that I’ve been reading more of Brown’s work (and watching her online videos), I can see the ways that shame play in to my overwhelm, sadness, and not measuring up to my own expectations. I see how I like to play it safe and how I attack myself first in case it might come from outside. I see how I can use some reality checking on the “never good enough gremlins.” And I’m feeling a little calmer about my list of things to do. I’m attempting to prioritize the list, and I’m also really loving prioritizing playing and connection.
I built my Women’s Drumming webpage and will be starting classes again in the fall. And I’ve been writing more. I am feeling like writing in addition to music is one of the ways that is mine to share my unique voice. So we’ll see where this ride takes me. Blessings on your travels.