"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
~ Anaïs Nin
I've known Brené since she was a relatively unknown professor of social work here in Houston -- we met right as her first book, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't) was released, right before I began working on The Beauty of Different. We met during a creative retreat on the Oregon coast, and quickly became friends. I often joke that we do similar work, except I do mine playing around with a camera, and she does hers with, you know, actual research and academic study, but still -- the purpose of our work is very aligned.
Since that time, as she's continued to delve into her work on shame, vulnerability and courage, I've watched Brené's meteoric rise to prominence, including her viral TED talk, and working closely with Oprah Winfrey. She's written three more books, developed an ecourse, and created a certification program for facilitators so that other social workers, therapists, coaches and even clergy could work with their clients in fidelity to her work. Also since that time, I've developed a pretty robust public speaking business on self-empowerment and leadership. So about a month ago, Brené asked me to lunch, and invited me to join her final certification workshop, so that I could incorporate her work into my own, since there's so much synergy between the two.
Let me tell you, friends, I'm no fool -- I immediately said yes.
The workshop was, unsurprisingly, fantastic -- the content was nothing that I wasn't already familiar with, since I've read all of my friend's books, but the information provided incredible inspiration on how her work could be interwoven with my own. Everyone of the folks I met, from the facilitators to the participants, was smart and generous. And while the workshop was only the first step in getting certified in Brené's work, in addition to being committed to completing my certification, I'm also looking to get certified as an executive and leadership coach, so that I can expand my work to not just public speaking and workshops, but also provide one-on-one professional coaching, especially for lawyers and creative entrepreneurs.
All this to say, that you're probably going to start seeing some new offerings and tweaks and changes around here -- changes that I think are for the better. And of course, for those of you who come here just for the blog and pretty pictures, that's never going to change. These plans are going to be about my ability to offer even more.
Get ready, friends.
Soundtrack: Ray of light by Madonna. Part of Brené's workshop included the finding of a musical anthem. This one felt right.