Brene Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection

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I wish my nose was smaller. I feel guilty every time I leave my kids in day care. I’m afraid to say what I really think. I hate these thunder thighs. I should be married by now. I sounded so dumb. Whether we fixate on our bodies, minds, personalities, or actions, every woman struggles with feelings of not being good enough. Each day we face a barrage of images and ideas—from society and the media—telling us who we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only change those flaws by looking perfect and leading a perfect life, then we’d no longer feel inadequate.In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, Ph.D., the leading expert on shame, reveals that it is actually our imperfections that connect us to one another as human beings and make us who we are. We are naturally drawn to those we view as authentic, real, and down-to-earth. It makes sense, then, that we should stop reaching for something «better» and, instead, strive to be who we are, fully owning every aspect of ourselves. Through essays, stories, inspiring quotes, meditations, and dynamic creative exercises designed for personal discovery and growth, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits in finding the greatness in our flaws and evolving our self-perceptions. She helps us develop the skills to accept our humanness with compassion and practice empathy with ourselves and others.

From BooklistHuman-behavior researcher and author of I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), Brown has made a career out of studying difficult emotions such as fear and shame. In this latest book, she emphasizes that above all other ingredients of living an emotionally healthy life is the importance of loving ourselves. In the grips of what she took to be a breakdown, or midlife crisis, Brown came to understand she was experiencing a «spiritual awakening» and worked to explore its significance and the interaction of knowing and understanding yourself and loving yourself. She intersperses her own personal journey with research and clinical observations of others of the work of living a «wholehearted» life, or «engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.» The point is to embrace life and oneself with all the imperfections, releasing the stress of overdoing and overworking. Brown offers exercises for readers to plumb their own emotions and begin to develop the kind of resilience needed to stand up to unrealistic expectations of others and ourselves. —Vanessa Bush

Review’Brown… urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection.’—Publishers Weekly

(Publisher’s Weekly )
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