Brené Brown's bio contact us speaking info event schedule books & dvds videos & articles connections certification ordinary courage blog downloads & badges classes & links downloads & t-shirts Brené's favorites


Learn more about the books!

I Thought It Was Just Me


Can't display this module in this section.
  • 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

happy WholeHearted day!

So what exactly is WholeHearted and why are we celebrating?

I’ve been telling you about my “new book” and today is the day that I tell you that the title is "WholeHearted: Adventures in Ordinary Courage and Everyday Authenticity."

In fact, there are two new books – the second one is based on my parenting research and is called "The WholeHearted Family: 15 Guideposts for Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection."

Today is also the official launch of my new site (notice the groovy tabs at the top of the page). When I stared blogging one year ago, I thought my website and blog needed to be two separate sites (my work and my journey). I’ve since learned that my work is my journey.

Today is also the day that I tell you how I’ve been putting off writing for over a year and that I need to be brave enough to talk about my fears and ask what for what I need. So here goes:

The absolute heart of my work is connection. My work on shame resilience, authenticity, belonging, empathy, compassion is really all about connection. I’m a connection evangelist. I believe it’s why we are here and it’s what gives purpose and meaning to life.

My greatest writing struggle is the isolation. I basically have to write about connection in total isolation. There is an important and powerful feeling of solitude that is part of the creative life; however, that solitude can quickly become a place of disconnection, disengagement, and loneliness.

I’m tired of choosing between being a writer and being a fully engaged and connected partner, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. Writing for this blog is the only writing that I’ve ever done where I don’t feel forced to choose between being creative and being present in my life.


1. You inspire me. Your comments and emails keep it real and never let me forget that it has to be honest. It has to be true. And connection can’t be sacrificed in the process.

2. I get to make it pretty and artful (I learned that it’s OK for that to matter to me during the 2007 breakdown).

3. I don't let perfection get in the way. I'm not paralyzed about grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. I try not to be sloppy, but I let myself make mistakes (and count on good friends to email me if they're big ones).

When I told my dear friend Jen about the painful irony of writing about connection in isolation, she asked, “What do you need to fix that?”

The question startled me and I replied, “I don't know. I have no idea.”

She wisely offered this: “I think you do know. You just need to ask for it. That will be your struggle. You need to believe you can ask for it.”

I’ve thought about it. I need the momentum and energy of a movement. I need to be surrounded by other authenticity activists who are willing to be imperfect and real. I need to build a community full of people who can straddle the truth that we are afraid and brave (often at the same time).

Choosing authenticity is an act of resistance.

Choosing to live and love with our WholeHeart is an act of defiance.

I want to create a movement! Let’s take to the streets with our messy, imperfect, wild, stretch-marked, wonderful, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives. I don’t care who you are or how big your house is or how perfect your life looks – EVERYONE has a story that will break your heart. Let’s tell our stories and reclaim those hearts – every single piece!

I’ve been an activist long enough to know that good movements need “stuff” to mobilize and inspire folks! Hmm . . .

Right after I wrote the authenticity definition for my academic work, I noticed that I started using it more personally – like a prayer. I thought about tattooing it somewhere, but it would require a lot of space (no comment).

So, I did the next best thing to a tattoo – I also asked the lovely Shawn to create a print-quality definition that I could offer as a free download (a lot of y’all have emailed and asked for this too). She came up with two amazing styles. Both 4X6 designs are on one page. I have one framed in my room and one in my office. You can download yours here!

And, what’s a movement without great art? Just to make it more fun – for the next twelve months (which is when the first book will be published), artists are going to create tributes to the power of authenticity and WholeHearted living and loving. I’ll be offering give-aways on the blog and interviewing the artists. Trust me – you’re going to be amazed.

Last, but not least, we decided that a badge and a pledge/promise/prayer/manifesto might be awesome.

Check it out! Pick the one you like best and help yourself! (Or take both!).

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your support, ideas, and comments.

Just in case there's not enough rockin' news in this post: I talked to my publisher on Friday and he was blown away by your responses. The read-along is ON! And, better yet: No workbook! We're going to do a meditation, devotional, artsy, creative, fun book instead. It will still be a companion book for ITIWJM, but less work-y, more feel-y. If you need to get the book, the least expensive place to buy it is here.

We'll start on 4/1 and run through 5/28.

I'm so damn excited. I can barely stand it.

« powerpoint accident? | Main | celebrating 1001! (and a survey) »

Reader Comments (56)

Thanks so much for the download! I love it! It's going right into my planner so I see it every time I open it up. I'm looking forward to the read along.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterThien-Kim
Oh, Brené! You're rocking my world right now. I am gearing up to share my story, thank you for the encouragement, motivation, and connection! I'm looking forward to the whole makes it so much easier to know that others will be sharing their stories, too; that we're all in this together.
The badges and print downloads are gorgeous. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Brene - this is very exciting. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us. Blinkie is on my blog and I am ready. I am so happy for you to be asking for what you need. Community, connection, support - you are speaking to my whole heart!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandi Keene
Wow, I love the downloads and the badges. I need much courage and authenticity right now. Oh, and a bucket more connection would help too!

I think your sort of activism is one i can sign up for : )
Count me in.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkazari
Downloads and a meditation, devotional, artsy, creative, fun book? Two new books, not one? Every Monday should be this exciting!!

On a more serious note, I love these two lines from your writing this morning: Choosing authenticity is an act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our WholeHeart is an act of defiance. They will be posted at my office and home. So true and so powerful. You are helping me raise two authentic, whole hearted children!

I am so glad you are asking for what you need. It is a privilege to be a part of your journey. My activist sleeves are rolled up and I am ready to do my part for the movement!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterpm
At the risk of being redundant, YIPEE!!!!!!!!

I had printed-up your quote when you first put it on the blog, but knew it needed something "more" (as if words alone aren't enough). Now I have it!!! I am so thrilled. Thank you.

I realize that the joy of a "read along through shame" seems counterintuitive, but honestly, I am so looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being willing to do it.

Let us know when we can preorder the new books...

Hey, chicka, congrats.

03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Oh Brené, I'm so, so excited and I LOVE the way the new book is going to be laid out. Just what I need right now. I can't wait to get started and I think I'm going to invite my soul tribe to join me.... real life connection and online connection. I'm a little under the weather today, but this news is enough to make me want to get up and run around the room in absolute excitement!!!

Have an amazing week.

Carmen Torbus
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commentercarmen torbus
Gosh, what a great blog to wake up to on a Monday morning. And downloads! And a start date for the read-along! Can I just say, without even having met you face to face yet, I just love you Brene. Thank you Thank you Thank you!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen Hardee
Yea, I am so excited. Count me in!!! Your enthusiasm is contagious.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdawnfh
the downloads are gorgeous! i'm so excited to put them up on my wall!

and i'm totally joyous that the read-along is on! i've thought a lot about it since you mentioned it and am so looking forward to jumping into it!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commentervivienne
Brené, I'm sure I've posted these words several times in response to your posts . . . but, Thank You. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am so excited for you. And for me! I cannot wait for the read-along, and the new book and your message. It's like a big old warm hug on this blizzardy Wisconsin day!!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
yeah! I love it (and I blabbed about it on my facebook too!). Congratulations and I'm really damn excited too!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah Braniff
I can feel your excitement when I read this. Living authentically is a tall order but the alternative doesn't appeal to me. Love reading your posts, you inspire me.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
I'm rebelling/ resisting with you- and I'm excited at how many of us are committed to this concept.
Did I mention that I needed the reminder about being "emotionally honest, setting boundaries"? I was working on flunking that one over the weekend, but this morning have been finding my way out. Thank you!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmalia
Brene! I'm so excited - so excited I had to stop myself from reading through this post at hyper-speed.( To slow myself down, I would read a paragraph and then go wash a dish, read another one and fold a few towels...)

Your enthusiasm is contagious. I've ordered another copy of your book for my sister so she can join the read along too.

I feel so lucky to be a part of all this!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Other Laura
here's to embracing... letting go and GRABBING ON with a WHOLE HEART!

can i be honest... :)... this makes me nervous... and down right excited all at once!
... i don't know whether it's the extra cup of coffee this morning or THIS that is making me shake in my shoes!

thanks Brene for letting us be a part of such a special journey!
This is awesome! I posted your button on my blog, but I am going to print out the download and put it on my door at work. Maybe we can inspire some college students too!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandy
This is so exciting for me. The way you inspire people - inspire me- is just amazing. If anyone can kick off this movement, it's you. And the comments section of your blog is as uplifting and inspiring as your posts. Thank you. :)
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkrys
i just ordered the book - i can't wait!!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterangie
Great downloads and I have the badges (yes both) on my blog. THey are great. I"m really excited about the read along. Have your book and I'm ready to go.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Jones
WooHoo! I am so thankful that I found my way to your blog. What an exciting and inspirational place this is proving to be. Thank you for including us in your journey.

I can't wait to begin the read along, and in the meantime, I love the downloads you shared with us today...Shawn did a truly beautiful job on these and I can't wait to share them with others.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJammie
Awesome! Glad you could ask for help, glad we have a community here willing to give it. I'll be sending your link to a few people I know can reach a LOT more viewers...
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheri Andrews
Just, thank you.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMissy K
this is all so amazing!! thank you!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterstef
tears again! Your posts blow me away - i feel like you are a sister (much younger sister!..grin) in the connection family - connection is the blood in my veins, too!! I haven't even looked at the downloads yet, the words are bouncing around in my heart right now.

Thank you for being so REAL here!!

This connection-call reminds me of Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolin's The Millionth Circle - and times that I've been blow away by communities of women (though in my younger years I was sure groups of women meant talking only laundry and nail polish - sigh).
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSquare-Peg Karen
All I can say is THANK YOU Brené!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristina
Count me in! I can't wait!

03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
"Choosing authenticity is an act of resistance. "

I love this line. I heard the ting of recognition when I read it.

Love your blog!!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterglad
I already ordered my book last week and it should arrive this week. I am excited
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commentertracy g
let me think about this? living authentically...... is RESISTANCE and living wholeheartedly is....DEFIANCE ...that is why it is so easy to be unauthentic.

I have ordered your book on amazon "i thought it was just me" so looking foward to reading along with you and everyone else what a CONNECTION!

I feel a part of something REAL finally...YAHOO!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Kirk
Super Psyched!

Going on the record that I think we need to conclude the study with a weekend getaway.....10,20,100 gals......let's go!!

Should I start planning? Grinning big.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkrista
Thank you, thank you for the downloads!

I'm in. I choose to live wholeheartedly!
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterWanda
Thanks so much for sharing your wholehearted work and connections. Looking forward to joining in.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
Awesome, awesome! It's been a busy week over here in my life, but I feel so soothed just stopping by and reading about all your great stuff. I am, as you know, such a huge, huge fan of your work, and I just can't wait for WholeHearted. (Greatest title ever!)
03.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine Center
So happy to hear the read along is on! I just orderd the book and I'm looking forward to this uniuqe experience. Thank You.
03.2.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdawn
Thank you for the beautiful download! I am whole hearted in my admiration and kinship with this kind of authenticity in my life!
03.3.2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna
I can only repeat what others before me have said -- Count me in, and yippee!!!! Love the downloads too! I already have a copy of the book and can't wait for4/1!!!
03.3.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTricia
oh and what a nice idea for the badges or poster tags - i will print one off and put it on my desk at work.

have a great week
I'm ordering your book right now...

I think you need to come to Portland, Maine for my friends new play that opens on March 19th-April 11 The Passion of the Hausfrau. Check out the original hausfrau's website at: It's about being honest about how hard this parenting thing can be and about being an artist and true to yourself at the same time... It's very funny too.
03.3.2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica
Way to be out there in front, friend! Hope you see and feel us all lining up with you to make the changes that will matter for us, our families, and next..the world! I had to share you with the Oklahoma set on my little Facebook portal to the old world because you are such an amazing part of my present and future. Rock on!
03.3.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee
Awesome! The first time I found your site (via Ali Edwards' site) I was so incredibly touched and moved by what I read, I printed it out and posted it on my office wall - and I left you a comment telling you so. I love that you have made these gorgeous printable inspirations available to us. I am going to purchase your book and be part of the read-along. Thank you. I'm also happy to see that you will be speaking about women in recovery in Seattle in October.

Brene', Yay!

Shame and fear, Boo!
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Awesome. April 1st -- I am putting it on my calendar. Your site renovations and new artwork are fabulous.
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarla
This is so awesome! I tried to grab a button, but for some reason--probably my own issues with technology--I can't get it to show up on my blog. I'm going to work on it today with a professional (!) and see what the deal is. SO excited for you and this beautiful new everything!!!
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine Center
Brene, I haven't a clue how I came to be I even came to read today's particular post, but damn, I'm grateful I have!

"Authenticity is a daily practice." Ok ~ this shocked me. Here I thought because I have chosen to be an authentic woman therefore I would be just by the power of my mind. Ha! Of course, it's a daily practice! Of course I need to remind myself to choose that this act or these words are reflections of my authenticity or they are not (and the shame that comes with uttering and doing that which isn't is a whole other topic). This AHA! moment caused by your words have cinched the deal for me, I am onboard...

My word for 2009 (inspired by artist and blogger Christine Kane) is TENACIOUS ~ persistent determination. I think I'm going to need it....

03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLil
I always think I'm alone in all these feelings...until i come here..and remember it's normal! it's ok! I am not alone...and I can breath again...cause I'm ok...I'll be joining you too xx
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinni
Brene! This is serendipity! - I found you through Superhero Journal - and my heart is singing! I just purchased the kindle version of your book and will joyfully participate in your read-along. Thank you for this opportunity -
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Thanks for the downloads! They are great!
I think in order to heal whatever it is we need to heal, it does come down to connection with one another and finding those special people that acknowledge and value authenticity and connection as much as I do. That is truly spiritually healing in and of itself. Thank you Brene and all that are here to go on that journey. I hope we all find peace, love and joy.
03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDena
Thank you so much for the download--I fell in love with your authenticity definition when I read your first post on it and tried to print it out myself, but this is much prettier! I am so inspired and intrigued by the work you do! As a new mom I am just thrilled about your new book and can't wait for it to come out. I think true bravery is when you feel the fear immensely and do it anyway, so WRITE ON, and we will be here supporting you. I have grabbed your badge for my blog and am taking your authenticity message to the streets! You are definitely living your mission of connection, as we all feel connected to you through this blog.
03.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSavor It
Thank you so much for writing the post and for the badges...exactly what I needed!!
03.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLori

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.