Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please and attempt to be perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all these balls in the ar? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, Ph.D, L.M.S.W., a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted living ~ a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.
This isn’t one of those embrace~the~universe~and~it~will~send~you~warm~fuzzies kind of self~help books, this is one of those self~help books that demands that you relax and embrace yourself, warts and all, because you’re worth it. And I think that’s a message we all need to hear. Too often, books of this sort tell us how to make our lives better by adding more “stuff” to it to make it more fulfilling or to get more accomplished but sometimes we need to learn to sit back and say “What I’ve done is all I can do and that is enough.”
I’ve seen so many women wear exhaustion like it was the latest fashion trend. In fact, I used to be one of those women who proudly proclaimed that I was carrying on with my maternal and wifely duties with barely 4 hours worth of sleep. I thought this added value to my day and, ultimately, to my worth as a woman. Who was I kidding? Seriously, the only thing I was proving was that I really didn’t care enough about myself or my family to take proper care of my needs and one of the most fundamental needs of all humans is rest.
Of the ten guideposts that Dr. Brown writes about, the one that resonated most with me was “Guidepost #7: Cultivating Play and rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self Worth”. She offers three tips for leading a Wholehearted life that embraces rest and relaxation, they are:
- Get Deliberate ~ make a list of conditions that are in place when your life is going well
- Get Inspired ~ do something you enjoy
- Get Going ~ take something off your to~do list and make room for a nap
The Gifts of Imperfection will be available for purchase on 1 October 2010 can be purchased at your local bookstore or through an online retailer.
For more information about Dr. Brene Brown, check out the following:
Blog: No Ordinary Courage
Website: Brene Brown
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me courtesy of TLC Book Tours free of charge in exchange for a review. This does not in any way influence my review. The book may be purchased by clicking on the picture. I do not benefit from your purchase.