Rising Strong by Brené Brown



If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. Rising Strong is a book about what it takes to get back up and how owning our stories of struggle gives us the power to write daring new endings. – Brene Brown, Rising Strong

BkOhxEqIEAALnwALittle did I know, that less than a month after reading these words and meeting this woman, a hero of mine, that my world would completely change. I’d have moment after moment of being “face down in the arena” wondering if I’d ever have the courage to rise again.

You see…

  • The day after my 37th birthday I lost my job. I dedicated the majority of  my career to one cause and within 15 minutes it was gone.
  • A few weeks later, I got into a ridiculous argument with someone vital to my life and almost lost him.
  • A few weeks after that moment, I faced being evicted from my apartment because money I thought was coming to me never came.

It seemed that just when I was close to rising out of the muck of one mess another one came. I cried and screamed and begged more in 6 weeks than I have since my teen angst years!

Yet, the falling and attempting to rise again meant something… It meant I was fighting to live. I cared enough about a job, about friend, about a place to live that I’d fight until I was on my feet again. And with the help of others, I am rising to my feet again.

What does ANY of this have to do with a book review, you ask?

Well… everything.

Brené Brown changed my life. I’m not sure when or where I became totally and completely in love with her. But, somewhere between her willingness to speak about the power of vulnerability at a TED Talk and me reading Daring Greatly for the third time, I knew this lady was a woman for me.

11264825_10152800418071447_6961692015120287345_nSo, when I saw she would be signing copies of her latest book Rising Strong I waited in line 2 hours to meet the woman who challenged me, and millions of others, to spend our lives pursuing courage and worthiness over shame and self-hate through the power of being vulnerable with ourselves and others.

Rising Strong is the last of a trilogy of sorts for Brown. The book deals with what happens when we’re in the moments of living and being real and we fall down… hard.

Because we’re going to fall. And it’s going to hurt. I’d venture to say it hurts more when we fall being real then when we fall being fake.

The Rising Strong book encourages us to Reckon, or acknowledge, the fall. Rumble with all the ick in the fall. Learn from it. Be in it. Discuss it. Then, rise again with a new vision of what’s possible and practice it. This is the Revolution.

Throughout the book, Brown gives practical tips for how to engage with every moment of life. How to truly gain better perspective while also recognizing that we’re fallible humans. We make mistakes. People around us make mistakes. Are we going to let the falls of our lives define us? Or, will we let the rise define us?

We get to choose. So far, I’m choosing to Rise Strong while remaining vulnerable.

Rising Strong ends with a manifesto for the brave and brokenhearted. It begins (click to hear the rest)
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned to rise

Friends, all I can tell you is life can be so hard, but it can be so sweet. Allow yourself the grace to rise from every fall. Never ever let anyone make you feel less than for being in the arena doing your life with courage and integrity. I did that for too long. May those days be behind me and may you never see them.

May you rise strong.


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