Welcome. I'm Brené Brown. I’m a mom, researcher, writer, activist, wannabe photographer and lover of twinkle-lights (not to mention a former 2-year old beret-wearing free spirit).
My blog. This blog is a way to celebrate the idea that it’s much more fun to discover who I am rather than create the person that I’m supposed to be (Dianaism #2 – stop creating start discovering). The term “Ordinary Courage” is something I came across in my research. You can read more about it here. The bottom line is that ordinary courage is about telling your story with all of your heart. My blog is a space for my story.
I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the questions I’ve been asked over the years. The questsions come from different places - some come from my graduate students and others were posed by strangers at book signings or lectures. I used to struggle to answer these or get really defensive about just being asked. When I'm in a good place with my integrating and discovering, the answers seem much more clear:
Is your work about mental health issues or social issues? Both. I believe separating the two makes us crazy and makes the world more dangerous.
You’ve been described as a serious academic researcher and a storyteller. Which is it? Both. I study people’s stories and I retell them along with some of my own. Giving voice to our experiences is the most powerful way to teach and to learn – stories are data with a soul.
Is it hard to be a mother and an activist? I think it’s impossible not to be both. I’ve always been an activist. Now, when I look at my children I realize that fighting for a better world is not a choice, it’s an ethical responsibility – a commitment bound by profound love and respect for my own children and everyone else’s. We all just need to find a form of activism that inspires us.
Do I work or am I a full-time mom? Both. I don’t know any mother who doesn’t work and there’s no such thing as a part-time mother. Dumb question. I’m tired of being asked and I’m tired of asking myself.
Do you study shame because you have it or you heal it? Both. Shame is universal – we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and the need to be perfect. I’m certainly not immune. If I’m in a bad place, a Pottery Barn Kids catalog can make me feel like an unfit mother (aren’t monogrammed beanbag chairs and gingham-lined baskets a basic human right?). However, after spending years interviewing hundreds of men and women about shame and resilience, I’ve learned a few things that have changed my life and that I believe are worth passing on to others.
Do you think healing and resilience come from psychology or spirituality? Both. Emotional wellness and the human spirit are inextricably connected – the mind’s eye is housed in the heart.
Are you devout in your faith or are you uncertain? Both. I question because I believe.
(This is the latest) Will this be a serious blog or one of those kid picture blogs? Both. Hey, wait a minute. Are you saying that pictures of my kids aren't very serious? Shaddup.
Now for the important questions . . .
Clogs or cowboy boots? You can’t make me choose. I won’t do it. I’m a German-American Texan, which doesn’t make me unique in these parts; however, it does give me the footwear birthright to both clogs and boots (black patent leather Danskos are my trademark favs). You’ll also catch me in Reefs during the hot Texas summer (March–October). Oh yea . . . Oprah (and my friend Laura) have me clomping around in the Nike Air Cole Hahn pumps. They’re pretty comfortable, but they ain’t boots.
So, now you know a little bit about me and my diagnosable bothness, I hope you’ll stop by and visit. Please feel free to join the conversation – there’s plenty of room for good-hearted, respectful discussion and debate (unless we're talking about those serious pictures of my kids - then only oohing and aahing will be tolerated).