To Lay Herself Bare

Whether we're writing or shooting, we are always telling our stories. There is so much we are trying to capture--how it is, but also the feeling or the experience of the moment. With all of our digital tricks and tools, I can't help but wonder if our idealism isn't sneaking in to tinker a bit, much like a writer using her words to defend herself, her point-of-view or position rather than lay herself bare.
Shutter SistersThe Courage to Tell it Like it Is

"Courage Gives Us a Voice"

Fire Time, originally uploaded by jenleedotnet. It isn't easy being a story teller. People don't always receive our words as enthusiastically as a toddler at bedtime. Sometimes, when we tell our own stories, the people they involve don't agree with the telling, or the sharing. The stories we make up can be even more revealing than the ones that have really happened, whether we know it or not when they appear on our imagination's stage. Reading this passage was a great encouragement to me, and I gladly take all the encouragement I can get:
When we tell our stories, we change the world. I know that sounds dramatic, but I believe it. We'll never know how our stories might change someone's life--our children's, our friends', our parents', our partner's or maybe that of a stranger who hears the story down the line or reads it in a book. --Brené Brown, Ph. D., L.M.S.W in I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't)
Books of Wonder Madeleine L'Engle
Stories require voices to speak them and ears to hear them. Stories only foster connection when there is both someone to speak and someone to listen. . . . Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. . . . But courage, especially the ordinary courage we need to speak out, is not simple or easily obtained. So often, we hear people say, "Just tell your story!" or "Speak your mind!" It's much more complicated than that. Sometimes we face real threats and consequences when we speak our minds or tell our stories. . . Sometimes compassion is listening to someone's story and other times it's sitting with her in her fear about not being ready to share.
Traceycommunity of courageyou

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting

"We can NOT give our children what we don't have. If we want our children to have courage, compassion, and connection, we must practice these things in our daily lives. If we want them to love and accept who they are, our job is to love and accept who we are."The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion and ConnectionOrdinary Couragean expert on shame, empathy and vulnerability 10 guideposts for engaged parenting
Practice loving-kindness Embrace imperfection Understand shame and practice resilience Make space for rest, creativity and gratitude Hold spirit sacred Make mistakes, make amends Learn hope Practice forgiveness and self-compassion Lean into discomfort and pain Practice courage by setting limits and respecting boundaries This list stirs hope in my heart and resonates with the desires my husband and I share about raising our girls. Shame is on my radar lately, particularly the way we've been conditioned to use shame to get compliance and the high price we pay for that, knowingly or unknowingly. Anyone interested in having this kind of conversation has my attention, but having Brené Brown generate this conversation makes me feel like I've hit the jackpot. I have a feeling that her book will be on my reading list soon. On Monday (6/9), she will also launch a blog series on The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting that I will be reading religiously, and I invite you to join me there for an incredible discussion.