Posted by: sistermom1 | March 30, 2013

Daring Greatly

I continue to process my learning from last week’s Super Soul Sunday. Dr. Brene Brown was Oprah’s guest and her comments truly changed my perspective on many of the things I am experiencing on this detour. In her latest book Dare Greatly, she writes compellingly about what living a whole-hearted life looks like.

During the interview with Oprah, Dr. Brown spoke about the significance of joy, and that joy is the most terrifying emotion we can feel. This surprised me, because I would never think that I could ever be terrified by any joy that I might feel. She shared that when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes forbidden. She said that right after a moment of joy, many people begin immediately feeling vulnerable and start dress rehearsing tragedy (I can’t be too happy — what if this is taken away?… sound familiar?)

Another observation she made was that in our culture of scarcity, we tend to look for and value only the extraordinary experiences instead of appreciating the ordinary ones — the ones where if we are honest with ourselves, true joy is actually felt. Based on her research, Dr. Brown shared that when the people who dare greatly in life face the terror of joy, instead of succumbing to fear, they lean forward and cultivate gratitude at the exact moment. The universe responds positively to this — there is nothing to fear.

Hearing this made me think of my own reaction to the joy that I feel over something my children or husband have done, or when I feel really happy about something unexpected that has happened. Although I have gotten better about feeling and expressing my appreciation, when something positive happens I do immediately start thinking about ways to manage my happiness — not feel it too deeply, since it may immediately disappear. I had never realized this before!

Thank you so much Dr. Brown for sharing your incredible research. Hearing it has made me re-frame my approach to experiencing this detour that I am on. I have determined to lean into it — appreciate and feel all of the joy that I am blessed to encounter. I also determine not to devalue any joy that I feel — no matter what!

Please check out this research on the web at


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