Rising Strong

Failure. Vulnerability. Courage. These are hard things to write about. (And I’m not going to try!) Brene Brown, does a wonderful job, however, in Rising Strong. (She also wrote Daring Greatly, which I blogged about here.) She has done a ton of research, but her writing is highly readable and full of stories.

Rising Strong My biggest take-away from this book was her description of the stories we tell ourselves vs. the reality. (We think someone is mad at us, and they just have a headache.) Now, this concept is not really that new to me. However, Brene shared a story about herself that has already shaped several conversations I’ve had. In a conflict with her husband, Brene uses the phrase “The story I’m telling myself is. . . .” as a way to start the conversation. Then her husband is able to tell his perspective, which is completely different than the story she had told herself. I love how this phrase can make it {slightly} easier to take the step of vulnerability and start talking about difficult things.

February Reads

February has been full: farm work, home renovations, parenting. . . but I have gotten some reading in.  I thought I’d share three of my favorites from the month.

eating on the wild side Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson. Robinson examines the nutritional profiles of different fruits and vegetables; she explains how the breeding of fruits and vegetables over the years has caused them to be less nutrient-dense. Basically, we’ve ended up with more starch and less vitamins. She includes helpful charts of the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables (who knew that red lettuce is generally better than green!) and some fun recipes. My only regret is that I ordered my garden seeds before I read this book.


power of habit The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I had to read this one quickly because it was a library copy (and somehow I had too many library books all at the same time!)  The sections on organizational/business habits were particularly interesting to me. Little habits contribute towards big results. Duhigg uses a lot of stories and case studies to illustrate his points, making this a quick, but thought-provoking read.



all the light we cannot see All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  Doerr tells two parallel stories that take place during the German occupancy of France in WWII. I’ve never read a book with a blind heroine, so I found the one story particularly riveting. I’d highly recommend this book. (If I’m going to take the time to blog about a book, it is safe to assume that I’d recommend it.)

Daring Greatly

daring greatly I just finished listening to Brene Brown‘s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I think I want to read it again, for myself. It was that good. I don’t want to miss anything. 6 a.m. is a little early to be listening to an audiobook.

The problem with Audiobooks is that I can’t flip through them to refresh my memory. I can’t pull out any quotations or summarize terribly well.

But, I will say that reading this book caused me to re-examine my own battles with vulnerability and shame. Brown writes of courage. And oh, how I’m growing in courage. I’m trying new things (knitting for starters). I’m meeting new people (hard for me as an introvert). I’m not shrinking away from hard things (taking my toddler and newborn to the grocery store).  I have by no means, however, become courageous all the time. I still hide from difficulty and social awkwardness and the possibility of failure.

Brown‘s work encouraged me to continue to walk in courage, to acknowledge my vulnerability, and to stop hiding from myself and my life. I love how she shares from her research AND her personal life – making the research more palatable, and normalizing my experiences.

Check out her TED Talk on Youtube about vulnerability here.