My Practice of Wholehearted Living

My Practice of Wholehearted Living

May 25, 2021

All of us should be our authentic selves. Recently, I hired some workers to install a heat pump, air handler, and a new thermostat. As I showed them my project (a new oven), one worker commented on how nice the stove is going to be. He stated how he would never be able to install something like that since his wife wouldn’t let him. While this may seem like normal banter, what I saw reflected back to me was a man who did ot have his voice. He reminded me of...me.

I know what it is like not to have a voice.That’s the way I was in all of my married life before my last divorce. I knew my role was “don’t show any weakness, get on your white horse, provide for the family, don’t have any feelings.” I played that role very well.

I am now a recovering perfectionist, and I strive to practice each of the ten steps of wholehearted living from Brene Brown on a daily basis. One practice is you have to learn how to be shame resilient. When you realize that you have perfectionism in you, it is easy for others to shame you or you to shame yourself.

  1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think.
  2. Cultivating self compassion: letting of perfectionism.
  3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
  5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty
  6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison
  7. Cultivation play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as lifestyle
  9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self doubt and “supposed to”
  10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and always in control

Source: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown © 2012

Many people are raised in that language of shame. The language of shame vs. guilt is -”I am a mistake rather than I made a mistake.” “I am a mess rather than I made a mess.” It can become so easy to be controlled by others if you do not feel worthy.

When you become shame resilient, you can become vulnerable, be your authentic self. You can’t even find love if you don’t learn to take off your armour and be vulnerable. When you do, you open yourself to new possibilities.

I am still learning how to find my voice. Some days I am “2 out of 10” in practicing Brene’s ten steps. My voice is messy and off key, but I express myself without armor, asking questions along the way. I practice living my life wholeheartedly with a focus on being my authentic self and cultivating my creativity without judgment or comparison.