Tag Archives: personal growth


wind-05.jpgIt’s the first day of spring, and as the howling “wintry mix” splats against my windows, I can still somehow feel the first tiny tendrils of life returning. This morning, walking around, I could feel the hint of warmth on the breeze, at least until the gale turned around and got cold. I can’t help thinking of the old fable of the competition between the wind and the sun, where they fought over who could get the coat off a man soonest. The wind tried to blow it off, but the man pulled it tighter and tighter around himself. The sun shone down, and the man took off his coat to walk in his shirtsleeves.

The moral of the fable was that kind words and warmth win over bluster and force.

Well, sometimes that’s true.  I wish the weather would figure that out…

I’m gorging on books while I wait for the greenery, filling my head with short stories and novels and poetry and music, topping up my creative juices with learning new tunes on my Uke, doing my various other weird and wonderful creative things. I was lucky enough to spend my past weekend hearing good music, eating good food, and laughing with people I care about. I’m filling up my brain, pushing it til it’s full and writing will spill out.

I’m hoping that, like the seeds underground, the soaking I’m doing will lead to explosive growth.

When spring finally gets here, that is…


Daring Greatly or Shaming Slightly

shame-on-youI’ve heard the name of Brene Brown in various Facebook postings and TED talks and etcetera, so curiosity finally got the  better of me and I took “Daring Greatly” out of the library.

I’m so glad I didn’t buy it.

Of course, she did tick me off right away by mentioning how her TED talk went viral  – at least three or four times in the first pages. Then she talks about how everyone is wrong to feel shame or shyness or whatever and that we should all go around showing vulnerability all the time as this would make us happier and healthier, etc, etc, better parents, better people, etc.

I’m not sure about this. I know it wasn’t necessarily a good thing to learn my parents were vulnerable. I preferred thinking of them as invincible. Who else to stand for me against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? When I realized they were vulnerable, it was heartbreaking and terrifying.

Perhaps my having to tell lies in the Confessional as a kid has hardened me, but shame doesn’t seem to be too much of my makeup, either, though I do know I have failed at a few things and have appropriate cringing behaviour when thinking of that. Failure is never cheering. Without a little shame about my failing, I might well be even more insufferable than I am!

And I’m not fit, I’m overweight. I’m not happy with that, but I’m not shamed by it – I just wish to be mystically healthier. Brown talks about the awfulness of body shame, something that might come better from someone not in the blonde, beautiful and fit category. Of course, fit people can have body shame, but it strikes me as  form of narcissism that is sad and wasteful.

The books goes on to talk about how we shouldn’t be ashamed of how we parent, or of how we can’t buy everything our kids want or feed them only vegetables from contented soil or whatever. Do we need to be told this? If so, we’ve lost sight of a lot of the good things of life, of the value of friendships, of simple pleasure, of responsibility.

In all, the book, a quick skim, made me sad. Sad for the need for such a book, sad for the relief with which its simple messages are greeted.