Posted by: Joan Brooks | April 3, 2013

Dr. Brene Brown Video on Shame

Posted by: Joan Brooks | September 25, 2012

How to Reduce the Effects of Shame (Part 2)

This is the second article in a three-part series on reducing the effects of shame. In the first article, I described shame and shared a bit of shame’s effect on me. In this article I will explore how we have come to have so much shame. In the last one, I’ll help you discover ways to reduce shame.

A side note first: This is the first blog I’ve written that I haven’t received several comments. I know that even thinking about shame can be shameful, and as Maggie wrote in her comment, shame can make you want to turn away and distract yourself. That said, I hope you will reflect on what I’ve written in these articles and do what you can to reduce the effects of shame in your life, whether or not you write about it here.

  So, how did we come to have so much shame in our bodies, our lives, and our culture? As they say in the world of psychology, shame is over determined. That means there are numerous sources of shame, pretty much ensuring that none of us go unscathed. Read More…

Posted by: Joan Brooks | August 28, 2012

How to Reduce the Effects of Shame (Part 1)

In this three-part series, I’m going to explain how you can reduce the effects of shame in your life. In this first article, I’ll describe shame and we’ll start exploring some of  its debilitating effects on our lives.

In the next article, we’ll take a look at how we came to have so much shame. In the last article, I’ll help you discover ways to reduce shame that work for you.

Let’s begin.

 Shame. Sometimes just the word is enough to trigger shame, to make your cheeks flush and your eyes look down at the ground.

Shame. It’s what keeps you from speaking up or telling someone trusted about the time you were raped, or even about the time you won an important award.

Shame: It disguises itself as the “inner critic” or “gremlin”, that perfectly reasonable voice that keeps you from making a fool of yourself. Except that voice is really your shame saying, “Don’t be too big” and “You’re not good enough.” Read More…

Posted by: Joan Brooks | July 31, 2012

What is Your Relationship to Vulnerability?

I recently watched a TED Talk by Dr. Brene′ Brown, who has studied human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love – for many years. (Link to TED Talk: She was most interested in the people in her studies who easily experienced connection and intimacy with others. What she discovered is that they have an underlying sense of worthiness based on a strong sense of love and belonging. She found them to be wholehearted and to have the following qualities:

  1. The courage to be imperfect.
  2. The compassion to be kind to themselves first then others.
  3. An authenticity that helped them connect to others.
  4. The vulnerability to say “I love you” first or to do something with no guarantee of success. Read More…
Posted by: Joan Brooks | July 10, 2012

Where is your magnificence?

I recently had the experience in a Rubenfeld Synergy workshop, Embodied Spirit, with Noel Wight and Joe Weldon, of rediscovering my magnificence once again. We were asked what dislodged or buried spirit of being did we want to re-embody. I instantly saw myself as this magnificent, shining being that I know I am, but that has been buried under layers of crap, mine and others. At first my magnificence was a small, glowing light in my solar plexus, partially hidden behind gray smoke. Read More…

Posted by: Joan Brooks | July 3, 2012

Common Ground

My mentor  asked me what it was like to read my first blog to him. His asking helped me to discover what I was experiencing rather than being focused solely on his reaction. On the one hand (my left), I felt squeamish as I worried that he wouldn’t want to hear what I had written. On the other hand (my right) my chest expanded as I realized I liked what I had written. I took a deeper breath as I felt pride at my accomplishment.

Imagine my surprise when he asked me what common ground those two sides had. What?! Common ground? Don’t I just want to get rid of the “bad” feelings and stick with the good? But, as I considered his question I realized that the common ground between these two feelings is actually my heart. I want to write only from my heart what will help and touch the heart of others. This process clarified for me that both what I write and how I touch others with my writing are important to me. Read More…

Posted by: Joan Brooks | June 19, 2012

I Listened to My Heart

This is my first ever blog and I confess to being nervous. My stomach is doing these funny little loop-d-loops as my hands shake a little bit at the nerve of me to think I can actually write a blog people would want to read.

At the same time, there’s a quickening in my heart that says “people need what you have to offer.” As I write this, tears form in my eyes, because it’s true. People need to know that their bodies are their greatest resource. I want you to know that your body is just waiting to help you better navigate your world and live the life you’ve always wanted to live. All you have to do is listen. Read More…