I’m an avid reader and have been meaning to share some of my good reads here on the blog. The book I’m about to feature was the first book I read this year. It’s life changing and one of those books I think all women should read. I’ve referenced it in workshops and recommend it to friends and women I work with. So let me tell you about The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown.
If you’ve been here before you’d know how much I adore the work of Brene Brown. Brene is a writer and research professor who has been featured on Oprah, CNN, PBS just to name a few. She’s also done some amazing TedTalks you can find on YouTube.
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. It’s a challenge that many women and men can relate to. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene calls us to let go of who we think we are supposed to be to embrace who we actually are through wholehearted living. Wholehearted living is engaging in our lives in a place of worthiness, knowing that we are enough and worthy of love and belonging. The book also offers 10 guideposts on how to fully achieve Wholehearted Living. Each guidepost is represented in a chapter:
- Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
- Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfection
- Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
- Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
- 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 as a Status Symbol 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 Being Cool and “Always in Control”
You should read The Gifts of Imperfection if:
- You are suffering from insecurities, feelings of worthlessness, shame, anxiety, stress, etc.
- You want to embrace yourself and love yourself as you are.
- You desire genuine relationships.
- You want a more deep, fulfilled, whole and enriched life.
This book is deep, thought provoking and packed with lots of quotes to mull over.
Some of my favorites quotes include:
- Shame loves secrecy.
- Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
- When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.
- Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.
The book isn’t about a quick fix. But I highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to embrace her true self and her imperfections. And if you approach the guideposts presented, you ought to do so with the understanding that this is a lifelong process because this is life work. It’s a good place to start to dig deep and get really personal with yourself. The Gifts will challenge you and at times you’ll want to close the book and move on. Don’t. Lean into the discomfort and uneasiness that may arise. It’ll be worth it.
I’d love your feedback on the book if you’ve read it. Happy Friday femmes!
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.