In the Gifts of Imperfection Brené explores wholehearted living, what it looks like and how to live it.
The key theme seems to be that we need the courage to turn up and live our lives despite any fear of judgement or shame. When we are ready to accept our imperfections then there are gifts waiting for us. These gifts are courage, compassion and connection.
She refers to the times when life overwhelms us and we sometimes dig deep and push through. Following her research findings, Brené suggests making our D.I.G.G deep – Deliberate Inspired and Get Going deep. Being deliberate by using prayer, meditation or intuition. If we make an inspired choice, then this can really nourish and recharge us for the task ahead. Once we are inspired then we need to get up and do it. Wholehearted living is about living and loving with our whole hearts.
Wholehearted living by cultivating courage and compassion to feel that we are enough. But how do we embrace imperfection, cultivate what we need and let go of what holds us back?
As a researcher Brené wanted to find tools to help readers navigate into wholehearted living. She identifies various truths about what supports and what gets in the way. By practicing courage, we become courageous. By having compassion for ourselves we are able to find it for others. By understanding the difference between belonging and fitting in we appreciate our own worthiness and can build better connections. It is the opposite of being fearful, judgmental and alone. Brené identifies guideposts to help us on our way and also takes a look at what gets in the way.
Brené discovered the keys to wholehearted living – self compassion, acceptance and gratitude – but how do they work individually and together to create wholehearted living? Having been a shame researcher she knows that shame and fear have a big impact. We need courage to let go of our fears of what other people say. We need self acceptance before we can feel belonging.
On love, belonging and worthiness she wonders if we are we stopped by the fear that we are never good enough or someone might say ‘who do you think you are?’ She encourages us to practice courage, compassion and connection. We are wired for connection; to be seen, heard and valued feeling helps us to thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The second part of the book offers a series of guideposts, with examples, stories and research data. The aim is to help us to cultivate that which supports wholehearted living and let go of what does not.
- cultivating authenticity, self compassion and letting go of perfectionism,
- cultivating a resilient spirit and letting go of numbing and powerlessness,
- cultivating gratitude and joy, letting go of scarcity,
- cultivating intuition and trusting faith, letting go of the need for certainty,
- cultivating creativity, letting go of comparison,
- cultivating play and rest, letting go of exhaustion and productivity as self-worth,
- cultivating calm and stillness, letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle,
- cultivating meaningful work, letting go of self doubt and supposed to,
- cultivating laughter, song and dance, letting go of not being cool and always in control.
This book could help you live a more wholehearted life. If this raises issues for you then either comment below or contact me to arrange a 1 to 1 counselling session.