Vulnerable. Worthy. Authentic. Take Aways from The Gifts of Imperfection

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Oh, this Book! I will write about this book again, and again…and maybe even again as I re-read it, and let the lessons unfold.

For now, I will say that my biggest take-aways were:

We can choose with whom to be vulnerable.

Not everyone earns the right to see our vulnerability. Holy Crap. That’s huge! Let me tell you something about Colombian families….everyone knows everything. Always. And, they all have an opinion they believe is meant to be heard – which can create a lot of shame even though that might not have been the intention. So, I guess you grow up believing your life/triumphs/failures have to be an open book. Don’t get me wrong here. I didn’t misinterpret Brown’s words. I’m not saying she’s advising to close ourselves off. She reminds us of the power we have to select who has the right to our vulnerability. We can choose those who support us, nurture us, and challenge us to be the best version of ourselves with compassion. These people have earned that right.

Stop the hustle! We are worthy as we are.

That’s it. So simple…yet, so hard to do, right? This is the equivalent of teaching our children: never try to get someone to like you. We are perfect in our imperfections. Shit happens. Life happens. Stop trying so hard because regardless of what happens or what does or doesn’t get done, we are worthy of love. The End.

Remaining true to ourselves. Using another, very popular term du jour, be Authentic. 

Authenticity goes beyond being truthful. Brown defines it as “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are” (50). I guess it means shedding all of the ways in which we’re expected to show up in our different roles. I remember I had a therapy session with a friend of my mother’s. I was feeling extremely depleted at the time; she worked with my energy and chakras. During the session she asked me to bring to mind all of the expectations I had of myself, or believed others had of me, and to see them, as though I was looking in a mirror. She asked me to hold that vision for a few seconds. And, then, with all my might, I was instructed to shatter that mirror. As the pieces fell away, she asked who was left. The only answer, of course, was me. It was one of the most powerful moments in my life. I go back to that moment often when life becomes too demanding; when I need to go back to me and let go of the bullshit.

Perfectionism Sucks

While this wasn’t a new lesson for me, it was a great reminder to let go of any nagging need to satisfy appearances. It’s part of the everyday flux…what to let go of because it doesn’t serve and what to embrace because it makes up the imperfect person I am.

I think this book has something to offer everyone. From those well into their vulnerability journey to those who are toying with the idea of facing down their shames in order to live a fuller life. Brene Brown teaches, reminds, guides with compassion, humour and stories which show she is in the trenches with us.

Hope to hear about your own journey, whether through this book, or another you might recommend.

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Get Messy, Be Unmessable #YogaLessons

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Hearing the words “get messy”, followed closely by “be unmessable” when I started practicing yoga made the English teacher in me raise a brow…oxymoron much?

Get messy.  It implies disorder, inefficiency, chaos. Everything which makes me cringe. I like order, calendars, ticking off boxes. Getting messy wasn’t what I was about. Little did I know, it was exactly what I needed.

It wasn’t until I embraced Get Messy and allowed myself to Get Messy did I see just how Unmessy it made me.

The freedom to allow myself to try, to learn to recognize fear of falling and failing (something I still struggle with on and off my mat), to look like a complete fool because the pose is completely wrong brings with it the promise of peace. Of quiet. Of telling every outer and especially inner critic to gth because I’ve got this.

Getting messy helped me tap into my confidence, my sense of certainty that regardless of how messy life can get or I get as I navigate it, I am okay. And, therefore, I can be unmessable.

When I accepted a position as a Guidance Counsellor, an area of teaching I had tried so many times to get into, I almost talked myself out of it because of the visibility of the position within my school. I was afraid that my mistakes would be known by all. I might have to do presentations to staff (something I find terrifying…yes, I’m a teacher…I know). I could make a decision which others would disagree with or an oversight could affect a student’s academic pathway. My reasons were endless. But, I also knew I couldn’t let the opportunity to learn something new, to stretch myself as a teacher pass me by. Well, I made (and am still making) mistakes. I asked (and keep asking) a lot of questions. I presented to staff and a group of parents…and, I survived. I gave myself room to be messy and in the process became un-mesa-ble. (see what I did there?)

Yoga practice offers insight about who I am and how I live my life almost every time I hit my mat. The nuggets of understanding are invaluable. But, this one…becoming messy and un-mesa-ble at the same time has enabled me to bring to fruition my biggest dream: to author a novel.

After two years of assessing my life on and off my mat, I can confidently advise anyone who is feeling off course, to get messy and become unmessable. Fearlessly embrace who you are, what you want to do, and then don’t let anyone stop you from doing it…especially, yourself.

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Wednesday Quotables: Surrender

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This week’s quotatbles are all about surrender. Too often we find ourselves in challenging situations and we don’t know why and we wish we could wish ourselves out of them.  It is only once we are through those situations that we see why we had to live through them…and we learn that had we simply allowed ourselves to live through them, we probably would have had an easier time.

Surrendering is not an easy lesson to learn – nor is it easy to do because it requires trust.  (We can do next week’s quotables on trust.)  However, it is the most peaceful approach to all circumstances and surrendering actually helps you keep your sanity.

from yogametaphysics.wordpress.com

from yogametaphysics.wordpress.com

Surrendering is a great way to show yourself compassion, love and trust. I love this quote because it reminds me to breathe. It is my way of reminding myself to surrender. Once I got over the fear of not being in control it actually brought me a huge relief!

from zenstillness.com

from zenstillness.com

from shadowtext.net

from shadowtext.net

from wordsonimages.com

from wordsonimages.com

Surrendering teaches you about yourself.  It makes you get out of your own way and allow your path to unfold in ways you would have never imagined. It is pretty empowering to watch yourself grow and be the person you know you are.

from motivationalquotesabout.com

from motivationalquotesabout.com

from femalefundamentals.com

from femalefundamentals.com

from imgquotes.com

from imgquotes.com

These three quotes go hand in hand…accept what is happening, no matter how terrible because it will end and inevitably you will come out stronger.  The process and the outcome will teach you things about yourself that you never imagined…you will blow yourself away with your strength! Also, isn’t it wonderful to know that the past can stay there? That your present is completely in your power to create as you wish?

I hope these quotes help you through the rest of the week. Right now I’m dealing with surrendering to this crazy, frigid cold and figuring out how to battle cabin fever! It’s all good.

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Wednesday Quotables: Friendship

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My little girl is 6 weeks old.  I am blissfully in love and happy.  However, these 6 weeks have also been difficult.  It has been 6 weeks since I’ve had an uninterrupted night of sleep, my hormones are just starting to settle down and I still wish and need to be present in the life of my four year old. Motherhood is glorious and challenging.

Luckily, I have an incredible support system.  My mother is my saviour.  And, my friends are precious.  I have received so much love and support from my mother and all of my friends that today’s quotables are all about the beauty of friendship.

courtesy: graphicsheat.com

courtesy: graphicsheat.com

This quote reminds me of my dear friends from elementary school.  I met you at the tender age of 14…our children now play together!  Your friendship, love and support mean the world to me!

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ND friends!!!  When you befriend a colleague, you do it with caution and the knowledge that “work” friends come and go.  I am blessed because my “work” friends are now dear friends.  We try as much as possible to ban “shop talk” when we are together.  They make my work environment feel less like work and more like a daily opportunity to hang out with my friends.  Here’s to all the wine we’ve consumed and to all our “Wednesday Parties”.  You make me a better teacher, woman and friend.

courtesy: hdwallpaperstop.com

courtesy: hdwallpaperstop.com

My mom and brother.  I could write an entire blog dedicated to them, their story, and how they inspire me.  I am lucky to have friends in my family.

Because the people we choose to have in our lives help to shape our lives and our experiences. When those people are people of quality our life is made all the better.

And lastly, this sums up today’s quotables on friendship:

courtesy pics22.com

courtesy pics22.com

In person, via email, phone calls, messages and texts – friends make every experience in life rich, memorable and beautiful.  I hope today’s quotes inspire you to thank your friends!

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Wednesday Quotables: On Support

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In light of all of the support, kinship and good spirit that Book Marks has received in the past few days. today’s Quotables will be about Support – those who support us, why we need support and how it affects us.  Enjoy!

from quotes-lover.com

from quotes-lover.com

I find in the blogging community a deep respect for all writers, great encouragement and support for all that a blog has accomplished and where a blog goes.

from searchquotes.com

from searchquotes.com

Just when I feel my most empty, without words, wiped out – the universe reminds me that I love doing this.  Last week, it was a short message from Dawn at Life, Love, Adventure “Karen, we miss you!!”

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

Ok, so who doesn’t love a Winnie the Pooh quote? And, isn’t this how you feel when you discover a great new blog or connect with a blogger who’s blog you love?

from quoteshunter.com

from quoteshunter.com

Every fantastic blog and writer out there challenges me to improve, change and better my blog.  I feel like it is always a work in progress.  Each step helps me discover who I am as a blogger and what I’d like to see at Book Marks.  I wish I had more time to do this!

from happyologist.co.uk

from happyologist.co.uk

We all love to see the stats go up, it’s fun to check the daily numbers and views and clicks…but ultimately, it’s the great comments and support from the people who read and care about our blogs and what we have to write about that really matters.

So what did you think of today’s quotes?  Any ring true, hit home, make you think?  Share your thoughts!

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