October 15, 2013

A Random Tuesday Pondering

We live in a time where a woman’s beauty is defined almost solely by the size of whatever we can measure on her; her waist, breasts, legs, lashes, the fullness of her lips, the sheen of her hair, the whiteness of her teeth, and the perfection of her skin. At what point did these things take the place of a woman’s capacity for utterly fierce knowledge, integrity, honor, success, partnership, and nurturing of family, friends and the human race? Moreover, at what point did we, as women, start to accept this change?

I am a woman who no longer physically appears to be the same person I was even a few years ago…and this is true! My sides are softer, but my mind is sharper. My curves are more defined, as is my integrity. My ability to run long distances has decreased, but my ability to persevere has never been stronger. The calories I consume are probably at an all time high, but my failures as a partner, a mother, and a professional are at an all time low. I will not secretly eat chemically altered diet foods in order to keep off a couple of pounds ever again, but I will enjoy a glass of wine alongside a beautiful meal that someone who loves me has made. I no longer know the feeling of a flat, hard stomach…but instead know the love of a young daughter who can read a book, write a story, solve a math problem, cook a meal, empathize with others, and make people laugh.

Knowing these things does not mean I do not have room to achieve great things with the strength of my body, nor does it make me perfect, completely secure in myself, or worry-free. But it does make me damn fierce…and that is beautiful.

March 31, 2013

My “Ah Ha” Verification

Two weeks into my 30s… and I find it rare to make it past 9:30pm, but here I sit…well after midnight, and unable to sleep without first writing.

This blog, and what I wish my life to be an example of, is based on the simple premise, “Find your joy. Enjoy the journey.” I have written many times about this, starting with the very name of the blog, Cue Your Life. So much of what I write is based on the idea of personal Cue Cards, and  of life being an active process, not a passive experience. I recently summarized the past few years of my process when I wrote about Finding Joy.

Tonight, I sit in amazement, continuing to learn of a movement in our culture to find the very thing so many of us are missing…and also the very thing that each of us fears more than anything else, Joy. One of the leaders of this movement is Brene Brown, a PhD and researcher of the nature of shame in our culture. Brene is studying exactly what shame is, and how shame can be transformed into courage through vulnerability…and how that vulnerability can be cultivated in to joy.

I have shared many ideas, links, books, and stories over the past 2 years…but if you choose any amount of time to invest into this blog, or into yourself, I recommend the following. In a valiant effort to set aside the biases associated with politics, religion, career, and self…Dr. Brown creates a simple language that describes the process of finding joy in a way that has left me with a more grateful heart, a clarity in my values, and a desire to share that language with others in a way that allows each of you to feel seen, heard, and valued in a most deserving way.

Dr. Brown, to steal another’s words, is a true “Ah Ha” verifier. As a woman, mother, and researcher, Brene has in just a few hours opened my boundary-driven mind, and often-closed heart in a way that years of personal experience could not. She has given me new hope, and an ability to understand the cornerstone behind everything I desire my life to be an example of.

The following links have made me laugh, swear, weep, and think. I have taken so many notes that I’m not sure where to start…so I thought I’d start by simply giving you access to the same information. Dr. Brown hits on every idea that I’ve had in the corner of my mind for years…and somehow gives those ideas a language that can be spoken and understood. The amazing 2 hours housed in the below links are possibly the most transforming in my adult life. This woman is the real deal, period. If I could spend an afternoon with any one person on the planet, Brene would be my choice.

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown: Listening to Shame

Brene Brown: Daring Greatly

Brene Brown: Living with a Whole Heart

Let’s start a conversation about the ideas Brene shares. What is your #1 take-away?