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I Thought It Was Just Me


Interviews & Videos Brené Brown in Video, Audio, and Print

  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice

the gifts of imperfect parenting - blog series

covermediumparentingLast month I presented my parenting research for the first time. After 8 years of studying shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion and sitting on the parenting findings for close to two years, I did it. It was terrifying, exciting, hard, easy, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I speak in front of huge groups all of the time, but this felt so personal and vulnerable (just like parenting). Of course, it didn't help that it was the hometown crowd and that the lecture was being recorded.

I'm sure my anxiety and vulnerability stems from two places:  first, what I've learned about parenting has changed my life, my family and my work. Unlike a lot of work that hangs out in my head, this is heartwork for me.  Second, I feel like there's not a good blueprint for this work - it's different than a lot of what's out there around parenting and families.
heart.pngIf you want to know what I mean by "heartwork" - these are the 10 guideposts for engaged parenting that emerged from my study:

Practice loving-kindness
Embrace imperfection
Understand shame and practice resilience
Make space for rest, creativity and gratitude
Hold spirit sacred
Make mistakes, make amends
Learn hope
Practice forgiveness and self-compassion
Lean into discomfort and pain
Practice courage by setting limits and respecting boundaries

I know these sound like lofty, out-of-reach ideas, but through hundreds of interviews, I've learned that there are many specific strategies for each of these guideposts. We just need to figure out how to practice and teach them in our families (and be willing to practice and teach imperfectly, of course).  I think the single most important thing that I learned from my research is this: We can NOT give our children what we don't have. If we want our children to have courage, compassion, and connection, we must practice these things in our daily lives. If we want them to love and accept who they are, our job is to love and accept who we are.
This is the tough part (at least for me). Now that I've had a couple of years to think about the research, it makes perfect sense. As a parent, I just kinda hoped I could make Ellen and Charlie better. I always thought that teaching them self-love was mandatory and figuring it out in my own life was optimal, but optional. This research has forced me to let go of that idea. It's been quite a journey (hence the two years).
I'm really excited about this work and I believe so deeply in what I've learned from the amazing research participants that I'm going to venture out and try something new. We turned the recorded lecture into two-CD set (artwork by the lovely Jen Lemen). Starting on 6/9, I’m going to do a blog series on the parenting material. To read more about the lecture, CDs, and series click here.

The series will be like an on-line discussion, but rather than having to log-in and keep up in real time, the discussion will take place on my blog. I’ll post 2-3 times per week, and each post will correspond with a track from the CDs.  The CD set is now available for purchase and the discussion guide (a free .pdf download), parenting library, and lecture references will be available on 6/5. Each blog post will include slides from the lecture, stories, examples, and references. You can comment, share ideas and/or leave questions. I think it will be a great way for us to learn from each other.

If you’d like to participate, you can purchase the 2-CD set here. It’s $20, including shipping in the U.S.

The series will unfold on a blog that’s part of this blog. Just log on to Ordinary Courage and click on the link on the left (look for the sunflower). I’m going to post update notifications to this blog so that Ordinary Courage feed subscribers will know when new parenting posts are available.

If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, I’d love to hear it! Please send me an email.

Hope to see you on the blog!

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Reader Comments (12)

I'm so excited the cd is for sale, and that you're going to be hosting discussion here!
06.1.2008 | Unregistered Commenternyjlm
Oh, I love this!! I'm so glad I've found this 'conversation' while my kids are relatively young.

Have you ever read any of Barbara Coloroso's books? Some of what you've shared really makes me think of her books/lectures. Hers is the only parenting book that's really resonated with me. And I own multiple copies of some books. :)
06.2.2008 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
i'm officially de-lurking to shout with joy.
great post and i can't wait for the blogchats.
06.3.2008 | Unregistered Commentercyndi
I really really really like your layout :)
06.3.2008 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous
Am ordering the CD's now. I can't wait for the discussions.

06.4.2008 | Unregistered CommenterRenae C
YES!!! I am so excited and grateful for both the CD's and the new blog postings. I had really wanted to attend the nights you did this and just couldn't. What an awesome opportunity! Can't wait!
06.4.2008 | Unregistered CommenterStacey D
Sounds exciting! And yes, if we don't practice it, we cannot teach it to our children. We have to be the example...i'm so proud of you and greatful for you...for doing the research... for being interested in this subjects, to be able to write a brilliant book like this.

High five! Trust this is going to be really successful! xx
06.6.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinni
The CD is brilliant as will be the blog series. Your work is inspirational and life changing Brene! Thank you for sharing your gifts.
06.7.2008 | Unregistered Commentertracey
I'm so excited for this series. And scared too. Thank you so much for doing this.
06.9.2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah-Ji
congratulations on what you are doing, hope you'll do good on it...
10.2.2008 | Unregistered Commentergifts in wa
I'm now 19 and experiencing being a dad. I must say although it feels good it's still hard. I knew it wouldn't be easy but to be honest, the hard part is having to balance time. My daughter is great and makes managing her never dreadful. -Teen dad
08.11.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeenDad
Your work is inspirational and life changing Brene! Continue with this good deed. I love your post!

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