• Brene Brown’s Call to Courage 2018

    I was very moved by some words I found on Brene Brown’s blog just over a week ago. I’m grateful to have the words so beautifully and succinctly put so I can share them with my children. This is Brene Brown’s call to courage 2018:

    Stop walking through the world looking for
    confirmation that you don’t belong.
    You will always find it because you’ve
    made that your mission.

    Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence
    that you are not enough.
    You will always find it because you’ve
    made that your goal.

    True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we
    don’t negotiate their value with the world.
    The truth about who we
    are lives in our hearts.

    Our call to courage is to protect our
    wild heart against constant evaluation,
    especially our own.

    Brene Brown #Bravingthewilderness

    Brene presents these words, on her blog, in a visual way for sharing on pinterest and facebook so please click through to her original post if you wish to pin or share.
    Brene’s work has inspired me for years and really helped me to positively change the way I think and parent. I highly recommend her material, some of which I have listed below.

    Thank you Brene for being such an incredible source of inspiration.


    Brene’s books that I have read and recommend:
    The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
    Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
    Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution.
    Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.

    Brene has a selection of material on Audible. I recommend reading her books rather than listening to them (except where she has narrated them herself), but there are several speeches that are brilliant and well worth investing in:
    The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
    The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection
    Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice
    Men, Women and Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough

    Update on my weight loss program: I am posting my progress publicly to keep myself accountable! Good news is that I’m well ahead of target at 53.2kg. I’ve lost 2.3 kg since January 12th, so going well! If you are interested in how I am doing it – using Tony Robbins’ 5 steps to change – click through to the original post. I’m amazed at how easy it’s been so far using this technique.

    I haven’t done any new work lately, so I am sharing some of my older pieces. Hopefully I’ll get back in the groove soon! Licensing options are available for this design; please feel free to contact me with any queries.

  • An Authenticity Mantra and Why We Need One

    Once again I’ve found myself listening to Brene Brown, a truly inspirational speaker. The teaching of hers that I am exploring this week is the importance of being authentic. It has inspired me to adopt her authenticity mantra:

    “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up.
    Just stand your sacred ground.”


    For my image creation this week I have been experimenting with simple shapes and textures. This piece uses a texture I created while lino-printing, and a crack texture that I drew by hand.

    What Brene found, through extensive research, was that ‘fitting in’ is the primary barrier to belonging. True belonging, she claims, only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world. She says fitting in is all about assessing a situation and acclimating to it. When our goal is to fit in, and it fails, the resulting emotion is shame. When our goal is to be genuine – our authentic selves – and it doesn’t go well, the result can be disappointment, confusion, perhaps sadness or another emotion, but it is not shame because our self worth is not on the line.

    True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world.

    Being authentic allows us to connect deeply with people, particularly those that share the same values and desires as us. It liberates us from the pressure of trying to be perfect or what other people want us to be. We can act consciously in line with our core values and beliefs without being swayed by the forces and influences around us.
    The spiritual leader Pema Chodron makes an important point about the authentic self:

    “The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It’s who we are right now, and that’s what we can make friends with and celebrate”

    Pema Chodron

    There is an exceptionally good recording of Brene Brown speaking on this topic (and more) on Audible. The recording is called The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage and is made by Sounds True. I highly recommend it, and if you are not already a member of Audible you can sign up and get this recording for free.
    So remember: “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Just stand your sacred ground.”
    Why not make this your mantra too?

    The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage by Brene Brown

  • Daring Greatly:
    Brene Brown & Theodore Roosevelt

    Most people will be familiar with the work of researcher-storyteller Brene Brown. If I had to name one person whose ideas I most admire and wish to integrate into my everyday life it is Brene’s. Why? Because her ideas come from years of research – thousands upon thousands of pieces of data. She’s also extremely likable, very funny, down to earth, and her findings just make so much sense to me.

    My featured creation this week is a pattern I put together in Photoshop using three separate linocut prints I made recently (see previous post).

    Through reading Brene Brown’s excellent book Daring Greatly I was introduced to a wonderful passage from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt called “Citizenship in a Republic”, sometimes also referred to as “The Man in the Arena”. It evokes powerful imagery and has an inspiring message. I think it’s also a great follow-on from the last post – supporting the idea that it’s the showing up that counts, not the result. Here is the famous passage:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….

    Theodore Roosevelt


    A lot of Brene’s work examines vulnerability. She took a lot of inspiration from the passage above and teaches that we must dare to show up and let ourselves been seen. Her TED talks are among the most watched, and I guarantee it’s time well spent. If you haven’t already seen them I hope you will enjoy them now. Scroll down to find the famous talks.
    Have a good week everyone,
    Bren xxx

    The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown. This is a Sounds True Recording available on Audible.

    The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong – all excellent books by Brene Brown,

    Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

    Brene Brown: Listening to Shame