Nov 192012




Synchronicity is writing this post yesterday morning and starting (and finishing) this book last night.


This book made me feel like this:



I need every Monk to read this book. I actually cried reading it.  This brilliant, funny, REAL woman, Brene Brown, has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVING all of these HUNCHES we’ve had forever. Her work names and validates feelings and experiences that can’t quite access but can FEEL deep down. SHE EXPLAINS, with SCIENCE, why we’re so tired. Why we’re medicated. Why we’re angry.

Today, during Thanksgiving week, I am GRATEFUL for Brene Brown. Deeply, deeply grateful that she steps into the arena every morning and gets knocked down and around and then gets back up. And back up again. Because by being brave, by Daring Greatly, she has helped me stay brave. WE WOMEN ARE HERE TO HELP EACH OTHER BREAK THE “RULES.” Here are the rules, according to Brene:


I almost killed myself trying to follow the first three rules, and now I’m paying for breaking the “stay quiet” rule.  I’m okay with it now – now that it’s been named. Have you ever paid for breaking one of these “rules?”  I bet you have. I bet we all have. SCREW THE RULES. We must HELP EACH OTHER break out of these boxes so that we can be free-er AND so that our daughters’ and sons’ boxes will be a bit bigger. With more room to breathe.

Brene- if you get a chance to read this, please accept my deepest thanks for your HUGE brain, courage, heart, and work. Please extend my thanks to your family and closest friends, for helping you become and stay you. God, I needed you yesterday. Thanks for showing up for me.


Monks- If you can afford to buy this book, please buy it. You won’t regret it. I believe in honoring the hard work of artists and writers by paying for their work. If you can’t afford it, but know in your heart that you need to hear Brene’s life saving and life giving message ASAP- no worries. I’m going to order five copies TODAY and send them out to the first Monks who write “I need it!” in the comments section and EMAIL ME RIGHT AWAY ([email protected])  with a mailing address. Please write Daring Greatly in the subject line of your email.

I am going to send a copy directly to one Monk along with four more Monkee addresses. It will be the first Monk’s responsibility to write those four addresses in the front of the book, and then send it along to the next monk on that list. I want this book crossing the country back and forth and freeing one Monk and then another.

I’ll let you know when we’re done with the give-away, I assume it will be almost immediately after I hit publish this morning.  After it’s over, don’t give up. Put it on your Christmas list, call your library and put it on hold. Ask on your FB account if anyone has as a copy you can borrow.

I love you. Let’s break these stinkin’ rules together and then help each other endure the inevitable backlash.



Love and Courage-



Here is Brene giving her now famous Ted Talk about vulnerability. Cannot express how much I LOVE.


POST SCRIPT!!!! GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! Please start your own Daring Greatly Tree!!!!!! Love and Courage- G

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  270 Responses to “Queen Brene”

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  8. Interesting how I stumbled across this post when I haven’t read your blog in months, maybe over a year. This is EX-ACT-LY the post I needed to read to support an ah-ha moment I had yesterday when I realized I’ve been making myself unhappy by believing society’s doctrine that I need a man in my life in order to be content. The reality is that my life is amazing and I am perfectly content to be on my own and free! Until a man appears who is willing to engage in something other than the “standard” relationship contract, then I will remain content to be on my own.

  9. Brene spoke at the National Magnet Conference in October of last year (2011) in Baltimore. I work for American Nurses Credentialing Center (and am not a nurse)and was able to hear her speak.
    It was A-MAZE-ING she spoke to 6000 or so nurses (and others) and signed books afterwards. She managed to make you feel like she was talking to you in a small group with thousands of other people around.
    Between hearing her last year & astronaut Mark Kelly this year (his talk was about how you have to try and then try again and you’re not going to be great the first time and you might be horrible the first time but keep going) I have felt so lucky and so special to be able to hear people tell me what I need to hear.

  10. I heart Brene Brown for many reasons. And she’s a social worker. What’s not to love.

  11. I took your advice and bought the book, and it is really one of the better books I’ve read in recent history.

    So glad I took a friend’s advice and found your blog!

  12. […] was almost smothered by these rules, which you can read about here. So many women can relate to that feeling. Trying to stuff themselves into some mold and feeling […]

  13. Krista Tippett interviewed her on “On Being” on NPR this week. Give it a listen!!

  14. My heart just opened up when I read this post. I am all about breaking the rules. BREAK THEM, SMASH THEM, DANCE ON TOP OF THEM. Live outloud, Sweet Momastary. You are a butterfly emerging from your cocoon.

  15. I’m a newcomer to your blog, Glennon, and love what I have found here. I have heard of Ms. Brown before, and the help she has been to women I know.

    Other than spending money on my looks, I am a pretty traditional woman. I can’t decorate my house and I own no makeup and only three pieces of jewelry… but I love being a wife to my best friend and raising/homeschooling our three kids.

    One thing I have noticed about norms for women: They seem heavily enforced by other women!! I feel that women drive fashion, I’ve never had a guy criticize my clothes… but girls do! Men are attracted to women of many varied body types, and each body type probably looks best in a healthy range. Women all want to be slim and leggy, tiny-waisted and buxom. In the working world that I have little experience in, I can imagine that there is more male to female discrimination. So I won’t argue against that. But I do think that we as women not only need to be free, but to free EACH OTHER. I just have a hunch that if we women try to change our own hearts and expectations of ourselves(which we translate onto each other), we might find that a significant amount of pressure from our culture goes away. Not all of it, but a significant amount. I’ll try to do my part!

  16. I REALLY wish that these social norms did not always have to be a centerpiece in advocacy for women. If you don’t want to invest in hair color-DON’T. If you don’t want to care for children-DON’T. If you don’t want to be nice-SO BE IT! If you have something to say, SAY IT! Sorry to be cliche, but we live in a free country!! Sheesh. We should stop spending time demonizing these rules, they are fine to follow or not. We need to teach our sons and daughters to allow every person to be themselves, and most importantly to accept consequences for their choices. Make your own choices people.

    • wow – that is quite a judgement. You must be one of the very very few people in the world with skin so thick you are immune to cultural conditioning. Unfortunately for many of us, that is not the case. Blaming people is not a particularly helpful way to make a point.

      • and I am not actually disagreeing with you entirely, just feeling that we need to have compassion for where each other is coming from and how we got to where we are. We have not all had the same opportunities, therefore we may not have the same feeling of “choice” or freedom. I agree that what we teach our children about choice is vitally important but coming from my mother’s generation (and it WAS her generation that was indeed defined by these definitions of feminitiy), I am freer than she was to choose and I plan to be sure to do my best to help my own daughter feel free to choose her path, her clothes, her hair, her career, her partner etc. etc. and I hope I do a good job. Lets just be kind to each other for our differences.

        • I really, really am trying to help. I am not judging anyone who feels subjucated by ‘the rules’. My estimation is that if these particular rules were done away with, other one’s would replace them. The rules are not the problem. Inner strength, or something to that effect, is what needs to become the focus. You can not free women by saying that A is good and B is bad. To assume that women who are domestic or modest are ‘hiding their gifts’ is damaging. Just as damaging as denying women the intellectual opportunities of college etc. Here, now, we all have the choice to do as we wish if we have the courage to do it.

  17. Love it! Would highly recommend Brene’s “Daring Greatly” read along on her site, Her work has been life changing for me. She is on a book tour, and I was able to see her in Minneapolis. If she is nearby you, get there! Love to you all.

  18. WOW to Brene!! Vulnerability wins when it sits next to Love!!

  19. I would love this book to if it’s still available. I’m not a “need” so I wanted the different people to get it. But the more interest I see by people the more I’m intrigued!

  20. Read The Feminine Mystique! Apparently, the old is new. Sadly, progress hasn’t really been made. Proudly call yourself a feminist and stand up for your right to be your authentic self!

  21. Glennon,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your honesty and your courage in sharing the difficulties you are facing with us. We all have “issues” and when others share theirs with us, it helps us to feel not so “abnormal” or “wrong”. We begin to see that others are human just like we are, and then hopefully, we can find within us some compassion, not only for others, but for ourselves too! Thanks for sharing Brene’s message…unfortunately, it is still very relevant in women’s lives. Can’t wait to read your book. Lots of love, Cora

  22. I don’t think the passage from the book implies that there is anything wrong with those traditional feminine norms. I read it this way: femininity should be defined by each individual woman. Each of us should have the power to make our own rules for what it means to be feminine. The problem arises when society defines it for us and we feel obligated to play by those rules. Maybe “being feminine” should simply be defined as being true to oneself.

    • Just because you “feel” obligated, does not mean you are. We DO have the power to make our own definition of femininity. We just need to the confindence to do it. Blaming society will never fix the problem. We have laws in place, thank God, that allow us our rights. It’s up to our personal psychy to do the rest.

      • Completely agree! I just wanted to suggest that Brene isn’t saying that there is anything wrong with being traditionally feminine as long as you are being true to yourself in the process. Some of the other posters seemed to have been offended by the idea that there is something wrong with those traditional ideals. You are right…confidence is key. Be yourself!

  23. Monks- when I am sad I find solace just by reading your comments. I love the respect, love, kindness and pure gracious giving in these pages. This is my happy place; I have never been more comfortable with a (virtual) group of women. Oh, and I can’t wait to read this book! May I borrow it from someone? <3

  24. I agree with the posters who say that we should embrace femininity (if we want) AND our gifts. For example, I’m absolutely certain that my daughters are going to march into her dissertation defense in head to toe glittery pink. Think Elle Woods, people! :-)

  25. Umm… not to buck the trend yet again, but I agree with Elizabeth, Karen, Candace, and Elizabeth Beckman.

    What bothers me about that page is the suggestion that a feminine woman cannot do outstanding cancer research (or, by extension, any groundbreaking work). I am a cancer researcher myself. I’m not especially feminine, but do meet at least 5 of the “rules” in the top paragraph of that page. And I work with lots of gorgeous, modest, feminine cancer researchers whose work is top-notch, and wins them both awards and leadership positions. Just because someone invests in her appearance, raises children, is faithful to her husband, etc., does not mean that she is incapable of rising to the highest heights of accomplishment.

    Women are capable of doing and being a LOT at the same time (we’re the queens in multitasking, eh). Achieving femininity, however one defines it, and breaking new grounds in cancer research or other fields are not mutually exclusive. And there is a lot that is GOOD about the feminine soul. I certainly don’t think that the answer is to become more masculine. In fact I think the world would be a better place with more of the feminine soul at the top.

    • I think there’s a temptation to dissect a statement — as a lawyer and former scientist, I am always subject to that temptation — but I think this tiny exerpt from the book is best read with a bit of intuition, and while giving a little benefit of the doubt (unless you’ve read the entire book). I think what this page means is, there’s nothing bad and much good about each thing listed. But if women are nothing more than that list, then we are not reaching our full potential. For example, if a women invests all her resources in her appearance, she’s not securing her future. And if she does nothing but raise kids, the world may lose out on another cancer researcher.

      That’s how I read the exerpt. And thank you for being a cancer researcher, and a feminine one to boot! :)

      • I have only read this page, as most of you, but to say that the excerpt does not insinuate that the rules are bad, I’ll eat my shoe. And a call for a pledge to “break the rules” only proves my point. Elaine, thank you for pointing out that indeed many rockin’ cancer researchers do not have to re-define social norms in order to be “successful”.

        • There are two paragraphs that are important here. In the first one, the author lists attributes that are considered “feminine.” Those are almost all perfectly fine qualities. In the second paragraph, the author synthesizes the research on those qualities into implicit “rules” a woman must follow to be considered feminine — “stay as small, sweet, and quiet as possible” — as I read it, those are the “rules” we are encouraged to break. Nothing wrong with being small, nothing wrong with being sweet, nothing wrong with being quiet. But to stay that way as much “as possible” is to lose yourself! If someone does you wrong, rather than call it out if you focus on being sweet — the wrongdoer gets away with it. If someone asks you a question, but rather than give a complete answer you focus on being quiet — the asker loses out on your wisdom. And, if you’re healthy when you have a curvy body, if you focus on being as small and thin as possible, you could even end up killing yourself with bulimia or anorexia.

          To me, it seems like a question of where you put your focus, rather than an argument over whether it’s good to be pretty.

  26. I CAN NOT wait to read this book… So glad you did finally! (you’ve had it for a while now, we talked about it about a month or so ago) Must have been holding out for just the right time…. Hope you and the entire Melton clan have an awesome Thanksgiving!! xoxoxo

  27. I am new to reading “Momastery”…but what I have read (2 days ago started at the beginning) the greatest thing…women being good to each other…I want to be involved more in this group…friend others and meet new people! Truly an inspiration…<3. Kellie

  28. G! I’m a librarian…tell everyone they can get any book they want for free at their local library!! Get a card today, girls!!

    • You’re awesome, Shannon! I’m in love with all of our librarians, and my girls and I spend a big portion of our week raiding our library’s shelves. I just put these book on hold for us there, so I can go rub elbows with my librarians again. ::virtual hug::

    • I think she is trying to send some blessings back to this author via book sales for those she has sent out to the rest of us by putting herself out there. Just my take. But that said, I LOVE the library and am so thankful to have so much available to me. My four kids and I are there multiple times a week!

  29. You know, I grew up with intellectual parents that shunned everything feminine. I was supposed to be valued only for my intellect. I was as good as men, as strong as men, as smart as men. I was supposed to cure cancer.

    I can’t tell you how liberating it was for me to learn that I can expect my husband to “save me”, that I can enjoy him valuing my feminine beauty (not JUST for how I look but my outer beauty as a complement to my inner beauty), that I did not always have to be strong, that I was allowed to just be tired instead of having to talk about what I was feeling. That I can have 6 kids if I want AND stay at home with them AND that is not a waste of my education….

    I’m not saying that Miss Brene’s book is off here–how can I, I haven’t even read it–I’m just saying that you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I’ve been there.

  30. Wow! It’s the little things that wear away at you. Since I’ve decided at 45 to let my hair go natural (gray) I’ve gotten the most demeaning comments–from other women!! I’m breaking a rule that I never knew existed. But this time I will not back down. I’m excited to read Brene’s book.

    • At 41, I am totally gray…but spend much money and time covering it. I think women with grey hair are beautiful. I wish I had the courage to let mine grow out. Good for you!

      • Amy, I could have written the exact same thing! When I was 16 and I got my first gray hair I thought it so cool, now at 41 my thoughts have changed. If my eyes were blue and I had flawless skin I could do it, but alas I am a freckled face brown eyed mama! So to you Jen, my hat’s off!

  31. Wish I had read this early enough to put in a request for one. Boy could I use this book right now!

  32. I discovered Brene Brown a few months ago and I have read her book on shame, gifts of imperfection and now I am reading Daring Greatly. When I read your posts I always wonder whether whether you have read her books. You sound so the same – differently!

  33. I am completely confused by the page from the book I just read. What century is Brene talking about??!! To me this is not at all the reality of life today. I have never felt bound by these rules. I am a working mother and I work with strong high powered women Women who are aggressive and speak their mind and get their ideas out there. I am not going to read a book that’s sole purpose is to play the victim card. Why don’t you join the rest of us in the real world where women push and assert themselves every day and refuse to act as the victim simply because they are women.

    • I agree. I have only felt like a victim when I allow myself to feel sorry for myself (which happens to be recently, unfortunately). But I know that only I will be able to kick my own butt out of this funk and get back to my brilliant self. Wish I knew of a way to speed up the process…I ate a couple bags of popcorn and watched a romance movie. This coming from a triathlete who HATES TV for all of the reasons I watch it during my sorrowful times. Sometimes we just have to try things outside of the box…

    • Karen, I think you’re really lucky to have such a positive work environment! I know that I feel the pressure of “the rules” that Brene talks about, even if I don’t give in to it. For example, I got my hair cut a few days ago and the hairdresser told me I “need” color because I’m too young to have so much gray hair. I should have said “I don’t want to spend too many resources on my appearance!” :)

    • Hi Karen,

      I think she’s just pointing out that what you experience is not the norm. I have also worked in an area with many high powered women and many high powered men, but I still experience cultural rules that are a disservice to who I am.

      If the kids get sick, I’m the one expected to stay home by my peers at work, not my husband. When things go well at work, my boss occasionally touts the work of my male co-workers over mine, even though I manage them. There is proof that women are still paid lower than men in similar positions.

      All Brene is pointing out on this particular page is that, regardless of how much work we have made as women, we’re still not all the way there. Many women are still in positions where they are expected to be “small, sweet, quiet, and modest.” She’s giving those who are still in that position the courage and the voice to speak out: that we are meant for more and that asking for more is ok.

      I’m so excited for you that you are not in a position where you experience this! You are what gives others hope.

    • I think that Karen’s experiences are not necessarily the norm for women over a certain age, but wow, spend some time with the clear-headed, ambitious teenage girls my husband teaches or my 11-y-o daughter and her sparkling friends and you’ll get more hopeful than the book paragraph suggests we should be. Women still don’t earn the same money for the same work as men, there’s draconian childcare support and family leave policy in the US, but there’s a force of positivity coming in the next generation of women. Honestly, it’s young boys I worry about for different reasons…

  34. […] post.   Then I talked with some other mama friends about it.  Then I read this post.  Oh, and this one just this morning over at Momastery.  And then Jason listened to this podcast.   And so the […]

  35. I love you, too. And I needed your “realness.”

  36. Please help!!! I am missing something completely!!!

    Why are being domestic and raising children and keeping sexual intimacy within one relationship and investing in my body so terrible? Why must I break these rules?

    Can you PLEASE explain yourself more?

    • If I am understanding correctly, it is breaking the rules to choose to be MORE than those things. I agree with you, I choose to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my children but it needs to be okay with everyone if I also want to add to the list! Even if my list includes items that are not quiet, feminine or small.

      • Ah! There it is. The missing piece. Thanks for clarifying :)

        That page in the book almost makes it seem like we are doing a disservice for all women when we choose to do those things!


    • Yes, I hear you with with this post….It’s true that sometimes you have to get angry to get out of a hole, and that oftentimes women take on sex roles and gender sterotypes to their detriment. But I guess I’m trying to live a lot of the list, yet don’t feel oppressed it. I don’t necessarily want a “thin body ideal” but I want to be healthy and fit my clothes. I want to be nice and easy to get along with, but not b/c guys say. I want a close, intimate relationship with my sweet guy, but it’s because we love being pair bonded and raising our kids…not because my worth is tied up in it. I realize this is just one page of an entire book and context is everything, but I’m not sure this book would speak to me where I’m at right now.

  37. Putting it on my Wish list and will be reading it hopefully sometime soon. Thank you for always sharing you with all of us. Thank you for shedding your light on your truth – in turn it helps us (me) find our (my) own truth. Love, hugs and happy thanksgiving week

  38. Thanks for turning me on to Brene Brown and TED! Awesome forum!

  39. I saw Brené’s TED talk on vulnerability and the looked around to see where nearby she would be. And now, I am taking 6 of my high school students to the MA Women’s conference to see her (and whatever else is there)!!

  40. Would love to send someone a copy if Glennon or someone else can share an address. It will make it feel like the holidays have begun. :) I’m embarrassed to admit that this world brings me way, way down sometimes. But this blog makes me believe in goodness. And I really, really need that. So thanks to all.

  41. You women, all of you, are lovely… I especially love the women who are willing to buy and send others a copy of this book. Beautiful. Tis the season.

  42. I have it on my nightstand to read next! Cannot wait! Love the library!

  43. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 to you. May your soul continue to heal and your heart continue to expand!

  44. I need it! I know I am not in the top 5, but I just read this…this is a really tough holiday season for us this year. I just wish I felt like that :) Trying to be brave & keep a smile on for the kids…I love this group of women!

  45. Just listened to the TED talk. Fantastic! I love that site for all kinds of inspiration and brain food. Not sure how I missed this one!!!

    Thank you to both Glennon and Brené for paving the way and daring greatly.

  46. You and Brene are two of my favorite people! I pre-ordered her book and the whole time I was reading it I was thinking, “It’s like Momastery put to science!” You might also want to read The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero.

  47. I need it! Late response due to sick kiddo all night :)

  48. I need it! Thanks for sharing.

  49. Just listened to the talk on TED. How many times must I hear it before I get it? Seriously! Thanks for the reminder … again. One of these days it will take hold, right?

  50. I need it!

  51. Yes! Love, love, love! So excited to add this to my books and read it until the binding breaks!

  52. I need it! thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Much Love to you, Glennon <3

  53. That book is amazing. It is one of my soul books. Btw, your last blog on the Eclipse was beautiful!. Just beautiful

  54. I need it!

  55. I would love to read it.

  56. just put it on hold at my library. i’m first in line in the queue. squee!

  57. I need this book!

  58. I need this book!!!

  59. I’d love a copy :)

  60. I really need this book!!!

  61. I need it to reinvigorate my beliefs and goals which here lately seem so far out of reach for one woman to obtain. I would love to share it after I read it too!

  62. Amen! This and the Gifts of Imperfection ROCKED MY WORLD. I’m hoping that the world will just catch fire with this kind of message because how awesome would it be to be able to go about your daily life and only encountered people with a sense of self-worth and self-love? PRETTY DARN awesome methinks.

  63. I WORSHIP this talk. BRILLIANT.

  64. I’m a former student of Dr. Brown’s and can vouch for how amazing she is. Her research, writing, and speaking engagements give words and a voice to so many things that people, mostly women, know on some level, but don’t know how to articulate. I would also STRONGLY recommend, “I Though It Was Just Me, But It Isn’t”. Dr. Brown’s book about shame. To say it changed my life and many of my friends’ lives is an understatement.

    • I just have to say that I think it is super cool that you studied under her. You had first-hand encounters with this stuff! How lucky are you?! So amazing for you and for everyone you come in contact with I would think.

  65. I have Brene’s book and it has changed my life and validated a lot of “stuff” for me. To see Glennon + Brene’ on the same blog = LOVE! These two women have absolutely changed my life and has been the foundation for my personal healing.

    I thank you both! ♥

  66. Oh, I am not surprised that you would love Brene. The two of you share power messages that lift my soul.

  67. I SO need that book.

  68. What do I love about this post? It just proves once again that we (women) are all searching for the same things. I love that feeling, that I don’t have to hide how I feel anymore. I can be real, true to my insecurities and imperfections and use them to better my life and the lives of others! Thanks for showing us that we can speak, act, and just be, freely, greatly!!

  69. Glennon~ I’m new to your site. I had it in my favorites from way back…yet another blog that I wanted to read that got pushed to the side for awhile…kiddos & life do that. : ) I listened to a couple of Brene Brown’s talks on TED…she’s wonderful! I’ll have to check out this book too!

    I just wanted to share a couple thoughts for what it’s worth. I’ve watched Oprah’s super soul sunday shows recently…and they have really hit me…deeper. Maybe because I’m 40! : ) Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Singer, Caroline Myss are so interesting…so much to learn from them! I bought Michael Singer’s book “The Untethered Soul”…Oprah said to. : ) It’s a much easier read for me than Eckhart & I just love it! Living in the present, letting go of that constant chatter in our minds…that neurotic chatter…it takes time, practice & patience. Ahh… I wish you’d read the book. I do think it might help you…all of us.

    It’s about letting go, being aware of those feelings & letting go. They are only objects of the mind. Think of them as objects that you can let pass on through. All our experiences, good & bad, are there to teach us something. And as Michael Singer said in his book, remember that we are spinning on a planet in empty space. It is so huge…the Universe/God is so huge. You can get through this.

    Deepak Chopra said on the show that he was a spark of the Divine…that we all are. I love that. Take care.

    • Ha! So neat to see your comment because I emailed G a few days ago to tell her about Super Soul Sunday, and specifically about The Unteathered Soul, and Deepak Chopra’s recent episode about meditation.

      One of the things Deepak talks about (in relation to Twitter, social media, etc) is how people today are changing the world through “self-organizing dynamic networks of karmicly connected souls” — Isn’t that an awesome way to describe Momastery? Maybe you and I are karmicly connected too :)

      Carry on, Monkees!

      • So nice to see your comment Emily! I hope G reads it. : )
        I watched/heard Deepak say that…kind of amazing, huh? Yes, I’d say we’re karmicly connected! : )

        Take care!

  70. I need it please! Will pass on to as many as I can!

  71. Definitely need it!!

  72. Did you even SEE that Brene Brown tweeted the link to your post this morning? And that she’s ‘such a fan’ — G, there are these amazing Monkees everywhere, just waiting to be connected! Love. It.

  73. I ADORE Brene Brown…I think I emailed you once offering to send you her “Gifts of Imperfection” book- it’s amazing TOO! I knew you would love her. That same page is in the GOI too and I also found it validating to read. No longer will I live in those moulds. I was given a voice and I intend to use it, I was made to be curvy and a healthy size 8-10 (canadian) I no longer use my resources to invest in my appearances so much- Instead I use just a little because I love my body that much- but the rest of my resources are for my mind and soul.
    As for being domestic- I will be as much as I naturally am but I don’t cook for many reasons and my husband does. My children are taken care of but I am a better nurturer of their minds and teaching them instead of simply mothering. I get other women who are naturally gifted in mothering (like my mother) to take on aspects of myself that are not in my gifts.
    I believe we are a community of women who rise up to give our gifts. Some of us ARE gifted in the 1950 housewife stereotype and if we are we should be happy with that and give our gifts well, but some are not and we should not feel guilt or competition. Instead we should balance each other out and care for our children in a community so they experience the varied aspects of womanhood and celebrate it for all that it is ( sorry- very passionate subject!:)
    Thanks for sharing!

    • After reading Glennon’s post, I was thinking about the idea of “not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” You touched on that here, Audrey, and appreciate your words. I’m thinking a lot of the attributes Brene listed aren’t necessarily “bad” in and of themselves (some are, though), but that how we limit ourselves because of those ideas is what binds us.

      I’m definitely gift-centered with myself and how I raise my children. And I talk all the time about how we need each other’s gifts. Like you said, Audrey, we can help each other…where your gifts with nurturing your children come in you embrace and grow, and where you are not so much, you develop while unabashedly using the gifts of others in your circle. LOVE THAT.

      Maybe this whole topic is why I’ve always felt different. My mother always (accusingly) told me, “You always do what you want; no one is going to stop you.” She was right. Her accusation is the limits she tried to place on me as a woman, but my naturally bold spirit rejected it. Yet, I love being a woman and the attributes that come with it. I’ve always forged bravely forward, but not without my own doubts and fears and worries to overcome. I guess that’s what courage is. My drive is to be an authentic woman versus the confines the world wants to bind upon me.

      I love what your message proclaims, Glennon! Thanks for your voice out there for authenticity, without rejecting the good attributes of being a woman.

    • Audrey – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you have said in your response. I am a mom of 4 and feel so overwhelmed most days. You said, “Instead we should balance each other out and care for our children in a community so they experience the varied aspects of womanhood and celebrate it for all that it is” should be the norm. I am not a good cook. I am not so many things that my children need. It takes a community to raise a child; I wish I could send my children over to a neighbor’s house for a nutritionally sound meal. I wish I could send them to another’s house to experience the strengths that others possess. And I wish that I could share my strengths with all my neighbors’ children. It takes a village to raise a child – I want to live in that village!

      • I am glad you both were touched by the words. I can not make meals either- i am lucky that my grandmother and mother live close by and can…in fact the kiddos are there today eating yummy sound meals:) And I am thankful they are domestic. But I am also thankful I am not and I see the gifts I give my children- understanding and learning about themselves is the main one…hang in there- the early years are the toughest! I had post partum depression and children very young- the years I began to see the light happened after my eldest turned seven and my youngest turned three- then I started to see myself clearly and get out of the haze…It will come…until then let your needs be known and make your gifts known also- people will come out of the woodwork eventually:)

  74. I just watched the TED talk, too. I am thinking I will buy the book.

    My head has been swimming on this stuff lately, too (coincidence? I don’t think so. Your stuff always lands in my newsfeed pretty serendipitously).

    The swirling thoughts in my mind right now revolve between Brene’s research, the Buddhist teachings of everything existing “in relation” to something else, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. All connected. All are attempts to explain the same mysteries of life. I think of Mr. Einstein’s quote: “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree,” and Thich Nhat Hahn’s essays that explain how everything…EVERYTHING exists in relationship with something else (i.e. you can’t eat an ice cream cone without there having been sunshine to grow the grass that the cow who produced the milk ate, etc. etc. So try to see the sunshine in the ice cream). And then I listen to the TED talk by Brene explaining how when she asked people about love, they told her about their heartbreaks, when she asked about connection, they told tales of disconnection, etc.

    This is all swimming in my head after a trip I just took to New Orleans (that I really want to write about incidentally, but haven’t been able to organize my thoughts, as is quite apparent in this comment). During the trip, I wanted so badly to be open and free and embrace the music and dancing in the streets – there was a part of that ongoing party that was so beautiful, and yet there is this undercurrent of desperation there, too. There were literal masks of “we’re having fun” when underneath people are suffering. It made me afraid, because if I smiled that genuine smile that offers a little piece of my soul to everyone I passed like I wanted to, I was going to be hustled out of my money, or legitimately fearing for my physical safety. But part of me wants to go back with a pocket full of $20 bills and just look deeply into the eyes of the men who approached my husband saying “I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes…” (the answer BTW was “you got yo’ shoes on the bottom of your feet” therefore winning said bet ;)…I want to go back to those folks and ask them not to trick me for my money, but if they need it, just ask me. Honestly. I want to be open and vulnerable in the world to all, but man is that hard and scary. This trip seemed a really concrete metaphor for the way I try to make sense of my personal life. I am never exactly sure where to draw the lines. Sometimes the world leaves me feeling pretty raw for that reason, because I tend to want to not have lines at all.

    Hope you don’t mind that I am just thinking out loud on your blog. Wishing I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee and discuss the mysteries of the world. Again, if my comment is somehow a little “over the lines” of what is or isn’t “appropriate” in a comment, keep in mind that this is my attempt to be vulnerable and just put it out there. Ignoring the “lines” so to speak without worrying too much (although maybe a little) about whether it makes me appear “weird.” 😉

    I agree that vulnerability is the answer. I am wondering though if maybe vulnerability can’t exist without occasionally employing the shield, either – you know, everything in relationship with everything else? Embracing imperfection means we will never understand it all perfectly….hmmmm…wheels turning, turning.

    Love to you, G.

    • Well done. :)

      • Wow, Lisa, I think we share a brain. ; ) I was in NYC two weekends ago and walked over to a man who was collecting donations for what appeared to be a newspaper. I asked, “What am I helping?” and he said, “You’re helping the homeless people of New York like me.” I said something like, “Awesome” and put my money in the plexiglass collection container, and you’d think that the story would be done.

        But — and I know, this reeks of Crazy Privileged White Lady, but I’ll say it anyway — we had our whole conversation, brief though it was, while looking at one another. Eye contact. Smiles. Pauses to listen and respond. It was a brief connection, and maybe I imagined it, but I don’t think so — that man’s face changed while we were speaking, and I think it’s because we treated each other like actual people. We *saw* each other, even if it was just for two minutes.

        My husband, who is TERRIFIC, is nonetheless skeptical about things like giving money to strangers on the street (even Holiday Hands is a little out of his comfort zone, though I try to explain the philosophy — and the wrath of 50,000 Monkees that would land like a hammer on the fool who used it for ill). His vulnerability fault lines, if you will, lie in different places than mine. He doesn’t get any rush out of connecting with people outside of his circle; the older I get, the more important it becomes to me. Most of the time, we strike a balance.

        It *is* hard sometimes to move through this world with an open heart and a smile and not immediately be dismissed as gullible or misguided. But I have found, over and over, that for every painful & raw experience that I have, my vulnerability and willingness to reach out into the I-don’t-know brings me beautiful things.

        Yeah, kinda rambly, but you inspired me.

        • Right back atcha, Gabrielle…thank you.
          Feeling a little less “weird” thanks to a little validation from the outside from both of you…keep shining your lights, ladies, and I will shine mine :)
          I love this blog.

          • I think the key word in your reply, too, Gabrielle, is “balance.” Everything in relation to everything else. Always striving for balance. Makes me want to strike a “tree pose” right now 😉

        • My husband was the same. How do we know it’s not a scam? (The askers, not Holiday Hands itself). We don’t. We are trusting. Hmmmm, but he ultimately said go for it. He has to consciously let go of the shield for a minute. I have to remember I have one or I get hurt too often.

          • I agree, Shelly – you don’t always know if it’s a true need or not – but you give for the right reasons from your heart. Sometimes it’s just a “gut” feeling. And I love to do that – when I have that feeling, I will pay for someone’s groceries, or hand them a $20 bill. Just because I think they could really use it. Just to spread the love. Give them a big smile and say, “I just needed to do this today! ENJOY!”

        • Wow. You nailed me. “the older I get the more important it is to me (to connect to people outside of my circle).” I didn’t know that about myself until now.
          Thanks fellow monkees.
          CARRY ON!

    • I second the Well done!! Wheels turning over here too. Heart learning, breaking… open, in a good way :)

    • Lisa,
      I loved that you commented. I am reading Daring Greatly right now and in that light… my sister who is an addict and currently using and “not there” as whatever she is using is darkening her Being, came to visit this weekend. I didn’t stay open hearted to her. I didn’t remain in a state of love but instead went to a place of judgement: “How can you do this in front of your kids? In front of MY kids? To Yourself?…let’s be honest….To ME?” I feel bad. I feel bad that I was not present to just be the Love. The reason I am sharing this is because your feelings of needing to self protect remind me of my own. Thanks for sharing. I understand. “I see you.”

      • You are welcome, V. The good news is that tomorrow is a new day, right? We get to try to be open again…and again…and again :) And (as the wise Mama G has pointed out) we will screw up. Just like everybody does. If you are interested, you can click on my name and you will go to an essay about forgiveness. My head swims on all of this stuff. But I do get frustrated when it all makes sense in my head, and then I do something like take a trip to a city where I land in the “real world” and have to actually put my awesome-40-year-old-woman-wisdom into action…it’s HARD. And I think it’s even harder when it’s in situations with people you love. It’s almost easier to be forgiving of strangers. Because you can more easily be empathetic and objective when something does not directly impact your own life. Same process, though. Not easy. Clearly you are the LOVE. You are also the Mama Bear. The lines are hard. I “see” you, too. :)

  75. you can also listen to brene read the book on her blog:

    but, you should buy it if you can and support her!

  76. Hi. My name is Brene and I’m a monk! I’m a huge fan of your blog and your being! I’m so honored! I’d love to match your five copies with five more from me!

    xo, BB

  77. Brene is my new Oprah. I finished Daring Greatly and I too, felt FREEDOM. Her book The Gifts of Imperfection is also amazing, and so are her TED talks!

  78. Just ordered it for my kindle. I respect you so much and am learning from you constantly. Don’t listen to the negative stuff, please keep living out loud… we need you to be you.

  79. I could use this! And so could so many other wonderful ladies I know. Thanks for what looks like an amazing resource!

  80. There are so many “I need its”. I want to help five Monkees get this book. Email me directly ([email protected]) and I will mail a copy to you. I cannot look at 100+ “I need it” and decide who to send it to.

  81. I need it! So badly….

  82. YES!! Even as a 42 year old woman, speaking out has often made me feel like I’m “out of control” or I notice other moms sometimes slowly back away, but I’m lucky in that i feel I CAN NOT be surpressed (is that the word?). I realized about 10 years ago that hiding under my “expected” self is suffocating and truly drives you crazy. My sister is the exact opposite, and the toll that it takes shows. She is so worried about what people think that her entire life seems devoted to pleasing vs living. Thank you, dearest warrior Glennon for advocating for all woman that living a true life is the goal.

    You are so brave to bare your life, scars, “news” and all. I love, love, love you and have never forgotten when you told me three years ago in an email (that I have kept because it means so much) that we started our church, just now, you and me.

  83. Did you know she had podcasts on her website going along with the book? I love all of her work. I am thankful that her voice is out there in the world.

  84. I NEEED this book! :)

  85. I need it, please!!! Oh yes, I do. Thank you for being, Glennon and Brene. I’m grateful for you both beyond what words can express!

  86. I so need this book!

  87. Was just out to eat the other night with a group of friends and one of them broke down another friend of mine as not being ‘good enough’ for the circle in her community. She qualified “good enough” with, she wasn’t dressed right because she hadn’t lost her pregnancy wait yet, she said that her make up was tacky… you get the ugly picture of how this other friend of mine just wouldn’t be a good fit. I started to question how I fit in with her at all and who were these crazy stick skinny “beautiful” judgy people and where did they live? I want to avoid that zip code.

    Now I know this friend well enough to know that when she’s not feeling her best, she makes other people not feel their best too. Misery loves company.

    We do need to heed Brene’s message. Her story is our story and it is The Story. We’re all getting it. Whether it is by feeling or by science of it all. Any way you look at it, we’re changing for the better by breaking these stinkin’ rules.

    [Of course I lashed back with a nasty comment because I have a vicious tongue when provoked and can stoop down to really low levels when I slip up… ]

    As such, I’ll be ordering two copies of Brene’s book. One for me and one for my girlfriend.

    Thanks, G!

    • Oh and if I could, I would love to order 5 other copies for other monkees, please let me know. You can send me addresses to chimmymunthali(at)yahoo(dot)com.

      Viva la revolution!!

  88. I need it . . . so I can teach my daughters to “dare greatly”!

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