We love to share what brings people together and what touches our hearts. Right now, Brene Brown’s latest book: Dare to Lead is near the top of that list… We found this book to be so profound and aligned with our practice that we now include it in our recommended reading for our Art of Circling Practitioner Training.

This month we thought we’d share some of our favorite excerpts with you.  If you have some favorite Brene Brown wisdom you’d like to share with our community, we’d love to hear what it is, and how it impacts you, over on our facebook page.

Dare to Lead

by Brene Brown

We believe this book pierces right to the heart of what we do at the Circling Institute.

Brene teaches about vulnerability, connection & courage in a way that is contemporary, relevant, and the world is able to hear.

Her cutting edge work is reaching leaders in industry, education, the military & even Hollywood. She shares living stories with research-based conclusions that legitimizes the essence of what we do with a wide audience. This is an important body of work – but it focuses mainly on the “what” and the “why” of human connection… We designed The Art of Circling to address the “how”. (See below to find links for information on our trainings.)

TCI’s Favorite Quotes from Dare to Lead

  • We are hardwired for connection. From our mirror neurons to language, we are a social species. In the absence of authentic connection, we suffer. And by authentic I mean the kind of connection that doesn’t require hustling for acceptance and changing who we are to fit in.

  • Setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay, and why. Vulnerability minus boundaries is not vulnerability.

  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, and joy.

  • True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

  • Shame resilience is about moving from shame to empathy – the real antidote to shame….if we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.

  • Empathy is connecting to the feeling under the experience, not the experience itself. If you’ve ever felt grief, disappointment, shame, fear, loneliness, or anger, you’re qualified. Now you just need the courage to practice and build your empathy skills.

  • It’s almost impossible to process emotion when we can’t identify, name, and talk about our experience….In a world of emotional literacy, we would be able to recognize and name between thirty and forty emotions in ourselves and others.

  • When someone feels sorry for us, it magnifies our feelings of being alone. When someone feels with us, it magnifies our feeling of connection and normalcy.

  • Empathy is a choice. And it’s a vulnerable choice, because if I were to choose to connect with you through empathy, I would have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling…Empathy isn’t about fixing, it’s the brave choice to be with someone in their darkness – not to race to turn on the light so we feel better.

  • I’m also not a fan of anything that’s brutal, including honesty. 
  • Honesty is the best policy, but honesty that’s motivated by shame, 
  • anger, fear, or hurt is not “honesty”. It’s shame, anger, fear, or 
  • hurt disguised as honesty.

  • Find the face of God in everyone.
  • Show up for people in pain and don’t look away.
  • Choose courage over comfort.

  • Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them.

And, finally, this one.That we think will really speak to all of you Circlers!

  • Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people – including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time…brave, afraid, and very, very alive.

We hope these inspire you to read Dare to Lead – and to come join us in learning to embody the skills of connection, empathy and vulnerability, so that you can continue living from your truth.

Upcoming Trainings & Workshops

Intro Events
In SF Bay Area

The Explorer – Getting Someone’s World
Sept 28-29 in SF Bay Area
($100 offthrough Sept 14)

Art of Circling Practitioner Training 
$1000 off full tuition through September 30