The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown

The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown April 23, 2015

The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and CourageThe Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage by Brené Brown

“In my research,” Dr. Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted.” Being wholehearted is a practice—one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness. Join this engaging and heartfelt teacher on The Power of Vulnerability as she offers profound insights on leaning into the full spectrum of emotions—so we can show up, let ourselves be seen, and truly be all in.

The best way to get an idea of this book is to watch Brené Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability. It was a real eye-opener for me and it went viral so I wasn’t alone in loving it.

I was delighted to find this 6-talk series on Audible that I could use as a refresher.  Brown pulls together all her research to continue the vulnerability conversation on a deeper level.

Brown herself is so engaging and genuine that the sessions are easy to listen to. She freely shares personal stories as examples so you know you’re not alone when you recognize some behavior being discussed. And she’s funny. I will never forget her story about the three-dozen cookies.

Brown’s work is like a secular look at the human condition and how to live as our most honest, fulfilled selves. She doesn’t ignore spirituality. Indeed, her research found that is a key component of whole-hearted peoples’ lives. I was fascinated when I realized how often  Brown’s findings echoed personal discoveries I’ve made in 15 years of Catholicism. I look back at how far I’ve come and I see someone who has come into the light after spending much of my life in darkness.

One of the things I loved was when Brown said that if you feel shame then she can guarantee there are other people who feel that same shame. Again, a very Catholic teaching. As someone said to me the other day about the value of belonging to our parish, “I learned we’re all broken. It’s not just me. I’m not alone.”

I didn’t always agree with every single thing Brown said (and I bet she’s ok with that imperfection!). However, those were usually the instances where she was making her own points instead of using research based information. My disagreement didn’t come on many points and they didn’t matter to the overall work.

Am I done? Of course not. We’re never done, as Brown points out and as the Church also tells us. But Brown’s work comes together wonderfully well for anyone who is striving for a more authentic life. (That’s all of us, by the way.) I learned things that help me understand why I act the way I do. Over-functioning when stressed — right here! Will that change things? Not sure but it can’t hurt to know it.

And it meshes wonderfully well with the Catholic faith which just validates both even more to me.

I’ll probably be revisiting these talks occasionally for a refresher. Highly recommended for … everyone.

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