Practices Make P(erfect)rogression

September 28, 2015 at 4:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“New information won’t transform our thinking, much less our lives, if it simply lands at our feet. For experiences and information to be integrated into our lives as true awareness, they have to be received with open hands, inquisitive minds, and wondering hearts.” – Brené Brown, ‘Rising Strong’ pg. 53

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who hasn’t heard the saying, ‘practice makes perfect’. Having played a lot of sport throughout my life it was definitely one of those favourite maxims that coaches would throw out there often. As I’ve got older though, and dug deeper into my passion of our journeys of potential, growth and development, I have definitely found myself wanting to play with this common phrase a bit. As the title of this post suggests, I like to put an ‘s’ on the end of practice, and slide in ‘progression’ for ‘perfect’.

“Choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty.” – Brené Brown, ‘Rising Strong’ pg. 52

Being on holidays this past week has meant that I’ve been able to throw myself back into some books on my nightstand. On top of that pile was ‘Rising Strong’, the latest work from American researcher/storyteller Brené Brown. Her body of work, including her previous books ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ and ‘Daring Greatly’, has really opened up, grown awareness around and supported a conversation that we have to have about the limiting and courageous ways that we are navigating our individual and shared journeys of potential. So many people (including myself), both personally and professionally, have been positively influenced through her ability to engage her audiences, language compassionately some challenging themes, and empower through stories of lived wisdom and values aligning practices.

“As we’ve discovered, we’re wired for story and in the absence of data we will rely on confabulations and conspiracies.” – Brené Brown, ‘Rising Strong’ pg. 262

While working with groups in our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program and I’m Choosing Kind™: Stage 2 Connection and Mindfulness Program I get to hear, witness and open up discussions around the stories that influence particular daily thoughts, words and actions. The experiential learning process is not only playing out for the participants though, but myself as the facilitator and the teachers who are present are also being impacted by the choices, connections and real world applications of the students engaging with the experience (plus how this ripples out into the participants spheres of influence). Rather than judgements of not being ‘ready’ yet stopping us from ‘being the change we wish to see in the world’ (as Brené talks about in her work as ‘not __________ enough’ e.g. good, smart. popular, etc.), we offer an opportunity for participants to explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically within our program days and ongoing communication. I am consistently telling groups that I work with how inspiring it is to be able to look into the future each day as I am again and again moved by the thoughts, words and actions of members of each cohort.

“There is so much wisdom in our bodies. We just need to learn how to listen and trust what we’re hearing.” – Brené Brown, ‘Rising Strong’ pg. 65

So in our 21st Century global village, with busyness, technology and unrealistic pressures and expectations shouting loudest in many corners of the developed world, are we prepared to take the time to listen and trust the wisdom that lies in our bodies? What practices have you developed in your journey of potential or are fostering that allow you to stay aligned to your values within your daily thoughts, words and actions? How are you compassionately meeting the inevitable successes and challenges that allow you to continue ‘Rising Strong’ (as the front cover of Brené’s book explains, ‘If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This book is about getting back up.’)? What communities are you apart of or are fostering that remind you of your true worth and support you through the ups and downs of the journey?

“We don’t have to do it all alone. We were never meant to.” – Brené Brown, ‘Rising Strong’ pg. 177

If you haven’t seen Brené’s work before I strongly recommend that you watch one of her very popular TED Talks, grab one of her books and start reading or explore her work further online. If you have been enjoying her work over the years and are currently reading ‘Rising Strong’, I hope you are loving (and being challenged by) as much as I am the journey of reckoning and rumbling, while discovering and experimenting with new practices such as the SFD.


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