One of my clients sent me this great TED talk from Dr. Shauna Shapiro on mindfulness. Dr. Shapiro shares a lovely bit of wisdom she received while struggling as a younger woman: What you practice grows stronger. The implication, of course, is that it is up to us to decide which parts of our selves we want to feed — the anxious, judgmental, avoidant, reactive parts or the compassionate, present, calm, and centered ones.
On that note, she explains that the key to growth and change is not just paying attention, but HOW we pay attention. So many of us can be hard on ourselves, often thinking that if we are tough on ourselves, we can will ourselves to change. However, unkind, judgmental attention that triggers shame literally leaves our brains incapable of growing and learning. (This echoes the evidence-based work on mindful self-compassion espoused by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer — and taught locally by Dr. Luana Coloma Cook & Dr. Sean Cook.)
So, enjoy this TED talk, and I hope you'll be inspired to be a little kinder to yourself today…and every day.
Dr. Brene Brown is a researcher who studies vulnerability…who hates vulnerability. Like a lot of us, Dr. Brown struggles with shame, self-judgment, and a sense of weakness when discussing her perceived failings and vulnerable emotions. Her storytelling prowess, hard-won authenticity, and self-deprecating humor make her a powerful advocate for treasuring the parts of ourselves we most want to hide.
These two devastatingly funny, heartfelt TED talks do a wonderful job of explaining how critical vulnerability is to our relationships with our selves and being authentic and how vulnerability and emotional risk is ultimately the thing that creates connection and safety with others.