Brene Brown Quotes

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Dr. Kristin Neff is a researcher and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She runs the Self-Compassion Research Lab, where she studies how we develop and practice self-compassion. According to Neff, self-compassion has three elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Here are abbreviated definitions for each of these: Self-kindness: Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Common humanity: Common humanity recognizes that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience-something we all go through rather than something that happens to 'me' alone. Mindfulness: Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not 'over-identify' with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.

-Brene Brown


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Fear of the Dark I've always been prone to worry and anxiety, but after I became a mother, negotiating joy, gratitude, and scarcity felt like a full-time job. For years, my fear of something terrible happening to my children actually prevented me from fully embracing joy and gratitude. Every time I came too close to softening into sheer joyfulness about my children and how much I love them, I'd picture something terrible happening; I'd picture losing everything in a flash. At first I thought I was crazy. Was I the only person in the world who did this? As my therapist and I started working on it, I realized that 'my too good to be true' was totally related to fear, scarcity, and vulnerability. Knowing that those are pretty universal emotions, I gathered up the courage to talk about my experiences with a group of five hundred parents who had come to one of my parenting lectures. I gave an example of standing over my daughter watching her sleep, feeling totally engulfed in gratitude, then being ripped out of that joy and gratitude by images of something bad happening to her. You could have heard a pin drop. I thought, Oh, God. I'm crazy and now they're all sitting there like, 'She's a nut. How do we get out of here?' Then all of the sudden I heard the sound of a woman toward the back starting to cry. Not sniffle cry, but sob cry. That sound was followed by someone from the front shouting out, 'Oh my God! Why do we do that? What does it mean?' The auditorium erupted in some kind of crazy parent revival. As I had suspected, I was not alone.

Brene Brown
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