I’ve long been a fan of Brene Brown. If there’s a class she teaches, there’s no chance I am not taking it. And this class with Oprah was no exception.
I will admit that during the class, I didn’t do any of the assignments. I did watch to all the videos and attended the live chats and thought about doing the work, but I never did. So, one of the plans I had before the year closed was to sit and do all the assignments and I am glad to say that I did all the ones I intend to do.
Not surprisingly, they were profound.
The first assignment was about setting permissions and then taking a photo of ourselves and writing the names of people to whom we trust our stories. I didn’t do the permission slips because I honestly didn’t have anything that stuck out to me. I reserve the right to do them later if I so choose. And here’s my page with the photo and list (which is on the tab inside the envelope.) On my hand it says “I am imperfect and I am enough.”
David took that photo of me. Isn’t that awesome?
I did the second and third assignments in one spread.
The left side is a photo of me that captures a sense of who I am. I love this photo because I look like I am fully stepped into being who I am. I am wearing boas and hats. I am having fun and i am looking right at the camera. I love that. The right side is a photo of me when I’d like to say some compassionate things to myself. I picked this photo because even though I am pretty young and looking at the camera, I know that I was already feeling vulnerable then. It’s all about how things will work out and how I will find belonging.
I painted the pages with golden paint and then journaled. I tried to then cover with some candle so they wouldn’t stick but I rubbed too soon and some of the ink hadn’t dried, hence the smear on the right side. But I’m okay with that, it’s a class on imperfection after all.
And then the next assignment was about making collages on what makes me numb, how I numb and what I could be doing instead (what brings me joy.) I thought a lot about this one and how to do it, and I finally decided to just make a collage on what brings me joy:
What makes me numb is loneliness, worry, feeling like I’ve disappointed myself, being overtired, frustration, jealousy, sorrow, anger. Unkind people. People lying, cheating, putting others down. Injustice. And how I numb is random surfing (pinterest often), TV, staying up late for no reason, and a lot of chocolate. But then there’s the joy list. Things that work when I do them. My comfort wisdom list:
- doing art
- talking to my parents, my kids talking to my parents
- family time
- eating healthy but enough to feel satiated
- the ocean (or lake or other bodies of water.)
- getting organized
- taking a walk
- going to the woods
- listening to Tara Brach or Brene Brown
- coffee and tea
These are what comfort my soul.
The next week’s assignment was to take photos of everyday ordinary things from our life and make a collage. I decided to just go over all my photos from 2013 and put some of the ones that make me smile on there. I picked many from home so as to keep them ordinary. Love my family so much.
Just looking at that makes me happy.
And then the final week’s assignment was to go back to page one and create a mantra. I thought a lot about mine and finally settled at the one that I’ve stuck with for a long time.
other ones I thought of were:
- give up that there’s something wrong.
- be you.
- choose joy.
but in the end, yes you can is my motto. No one gets to tell me what i can and cannot do. And I can do anything I set my mind to. Anything.
And there we are. If you’re on the fence about this class, I will, of course recommend it. I think Brene’s message is profound and I can never listen to it enough.
I will be taking the next part in March and maybe this time I can do the assignments alongside her.