« Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Brené on Strong Backs, Soft Fronts, and Wild Hearts


In this solo episode recorded on Election Day 2020, I talk directly to our wholehearted community about the practice that helps me when I'm feeling fearful, worried, or wobbly, and why this work is the foundation for true belonging.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hi everyone, I'm Brene Brown, and this is unlocking us. so I'm recording this on Tuesday November third election day and spent the morning thinkin about what I could possibly say to you. Are Amazing whole hearted community of listeners. Is going to drop tonight, or I guess tomorrow morning, at twelve or one on November, four th, and I have no idea what tonight or tomorrow will hold a steel a crystal ball, not even a great, add on how the election will turn out. I'm just Lena swirl of uncertainty. anxiety and tat Lee Alot of stubborn hope as well. Was texting with my daughter, whose twenty one and she is navigating the election. She is navigating
her senior year in college or which looks very different, then I think what she had planned or what she had hoped for. just going through a lot of kind of hard new grown up, and and the only thing I could offer her right now are the words that I often whisper to myself. When I feel wobbly and worried. Those words are strong back soft front. Wild heart. These words breed something into me that make me a kind of straighten up and take a deep breath and keep doing the next right thing: so I thought I'd spend a few minutes with you talking about what strong back saffron and I'll heart really means
and hopefully these words are helpful to you too. Apron has exciting news: you can now choose up to four recipes a week from both the two serving for serving signature menu, save yourself in grocery store ran with a more delicious recipes, delivered right to your door, don't miss out on all the blue. Apron has to offer them Bob see what's on this week's menu and get thirty dollars off across your first to deliveries. When you visit blue apron not come slash unlock, that's blue apron bout come slash unlock. This episode is brought to you honey, not Cheerios, turn your good morning into a good day with honey, not Cheerios, had your local grocery store and pick up a fox Of your favorite curios today. So the first time I heard the term strong back soft fraud. It was
Joan Halifax, we were doing an event together at the Omega Institute in New York. If you like into the podcast with Elizabeth lesser. This is the gathering is that she runs and has operated for many many years in its just incredible. My favorite places so I'll admit that I was very intimidated to meet Joan Halifax daughter Halifax as a buddhist teacher she's in priest she's an apologists, an activist she's, the there are several I'm really important book On engaged, Buddhism We met for the first time during the technical rehearsal for our talk. And she was super down to earth and when I remember most is she was funny. I mean like Texas Level funny, DR funny as hell as we were, leaving this technical rehearsal for the event that we were going to do together. I,
To her inside who I'm wiped, but I guess it's off to the meeting greet and she looked at me and said: I'm not going to the meet and greet I'm going to my room to rest before tonight. Why don't you do the same and. That sounds so great to me and, like you know, if there's one thing that you should, Not sighing me up for its meeting. Greet is an introverted nightmare. Small talk, meaning strangers moving around oh no, I M just not good at it sounds like. That sounds really good, but I feel really bad to say no like I felt bad. So I said yes and I'll. Never get what she said back to me To me- and she said tonight, we will ex hell and teach now it's time to inhale. There is, in breath- and there is the outbreak.
And it's easy to believe that we must exhale all the time without ever inhaling, but the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale who man was just inhale together? Just who is so powerful to me. When I heard her talk about. strong back soft fraud. It chest Resonated so deeply in here's what she writes about it she rides is rose she Joan Halifax, too often our so called strength comes from fear, not love. Instead of having a strong back many of us have a defended front, shielding a week spine and other Words we walk
and brutal and offensive. trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we string Then our backs metaphorically speaking, develop a spine. That's flux. but sturdy Then we can risk having a fraud that soft and open. How can we given except care with back soft front compassion. we passed fear to a play, of genuine tenderness comes when we can beat really transparent. Seeing the world clearly and letting the world see into us just what music This part of this quote again if she was a guest right now what she should be one day for sure if was a guest right now I have her read this part again: too often, our so called strength, comes from fear, not love. Instead of having a strong back, many of us have defended front shielding a week spine. We
walk around brutal and offensive trying to conceal our lack of confidence that just that just cut me to the core so I will be adopted this strong back soft, fraught belief impact. Yes, and then, as I started, writing braving the wilderness, which is a book about belonging, and how did caught belonging S, no fitting in as easy belonging, which requires courage to be yourself and let them we'll see you that That's when I added the wild heart and soul Oh to me, not only to strong back soft front and wild heart get us through hard times. It is the cornerstone of my actual belonging practice. My true belonging practice costs. true belonging is so hard these days, it's not about fitting in or staying
quieter, hating, the same people that your family or friends hate, even when dont know them. How I define true belonging, true belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself, so deeply you can share your most authentic south with the world and fines? acres and both being a part of something. An standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are. So I think, if we're gonna make true belonging to daily practice in our lives, we're gonna need the strong back and saw fraught and This wild heart. We're gonna need both courage An vulnerability We abandon the certainty and safety of our ideological bunkers and head off into this wilderness where we say I don't agree, we say I know, I believe this you know,
think once were able once we found the car to stand alone to say We believe and do what we feel is right, despite the criticism and fear We may leave the wilderness, but I believe the wild has marked our hearts. I think this the wild heart piece of true belonging. That doesn't mean the wilderness is no longer difficult. It means that once we ve braved it on our own, you know once you stood up for what you believe in once you ve said. Look. I belong to myself first and betray myself last. That's the mark of the wild heart, and we become painfully aware of when our choices stray from that We can spend our whole life betraying. stop in choosing bidding in overseeing alone, but once we Shut up for ourselves and our beliefs, The bar is so much higher, a wild, hard fight, spitting in and it good
leaves betrayal grieves. When we betray ourselves, I think I'll This has been our entire life, constantly shrinking back softening our front and trying to listen to the whispers of our wild heart, and for some of us, the foe guess of. Our work will be developing that strong back. That will be where we have to concentrate strengthening our back is our particular challenge were often driven by what people think we perfect. We please we prove pretend. these things get in the way of the strong back in our work become to get to the place where we choose honouring ourselves. We're being liked and avoiding criticism. our strong back reaction. We judge ourselves too harshly. I think our allow other people to silence us. I don't think we can and brave the wilderness with a level of self love and self respect. This episode is bracky by Not mercury is a good one.
You can change your whole day and honey. Not Cheerios can help feed the good inside of you made with whole greener and a touch of real golden honey. The whole family loves they're, a great way to start the morning with a smile to last throughout the day, she's a good mood with good food honey others good starts with happy hearts if you're, tired of cooking the same old recipes And you need a menu, remakes, clear, blue apron, help refresh your routine and keep dinner interesting, blue apron offers a to serving and for serving signature. Many with rotating weekly rest, the auctions a variety of cuisine. These meals are designed to please a variety of pilots from Meat levers to vegetarians, as well as those for a balanced meal or to indulge, and your kids are spending more time at home. Why not make cooking a family affair blue apron step by step, easy to follow recipes? Let's kids learn cooking skills and build
connection to wholesome food, don't miss out on all the blue. Apron has to offer this fall, see what's on this week's menu and get thirty dollars off. Crass, your your first two deliveries when you visit apron dotcom com unlock, that's blue apron com, For some of us, the strong back is easier than that soft front. It is so hard to keep the front saw when there's so much mean spiritedness and cruelty in the world. Today, it's hard, you know, I think about over the last few weeks, I've shared opinions with this community I've shared my opinions about politics on social media and I've experience, push back. That really some of it took my breath? way I mean everything from you now: keep your mouth shut and keep writing the same books at your writing and don't talk about politics to kind of graphic and violence
That's against me or my family Am I visceral response to that? I'm to be honest with you all my visceral responses, strong back armoured fraught like. Come and take it. You want to do this know like I get a ton of fight energy when I'm scared. I've talked about this for on this podcast. I can get scary when I'm scared. I really do Sometimes the strong back armoured front, just strong everything, it's no way to live. You know vulnerability is the birthplace of love, joy, trust, intimacy, courage, everything that I want more of my life and an armored from sounds good when I'm hurting break in causing us so much more pain in the end You know when we let people take. our vulnerability or fill us with their hate. We turn over our entire lives to them. It's like I
try to look at some of these comments and I try to say you just can't have my hate, Ike yet give out my soft front for you, because the price is too high. I think many of us armor early as a way to protect ourselves as kids and once we grow into adult. You start to realize. The armor hurts it's heavy hence, as from growing into our guests and I think just like we can strengthen our courage, muscle for a stronger back by examining our need to be perfect and please others at the expense of our own lives. We can her size, the vulnerability muscle. We can build that strength that allows us to soften and stay open. The then to attack and defend. I am definitely someone who the strong back comes easier to me. Then the soft fruit, You know, I think, most of the time when I think about the armored front two reasons
on we're not comfortable with emotions, and we equate vulnerability with weakness or sometimes our experiences of trauma have taught us vulnerability, is actually dangerous and It's not just emotional trauma, that's also violence and oppression, things can make a soft front a liability, so we have struggle to find a place emotionally and physically safe enough to be vulnerable, you now taking you, back to the definition of vulnerability. I mean just always an important kind of pull back to that. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure, but it's not weak spirit our most accurate measure of courage. We literally foreigner thousand pieces of data. We actually the measure we have an instrument that measures your capacity for courage. By evaluating your willingness to be vulnerable,
So when our barrier to a strong backs off right, while heart practice is our boat, leave about vulnerability. We really have to challenge ourselves, you, the question, becomes: are we willing to show up and be seen when we can control the outcome? That's the vulnerability, work and when the buried vulnerability is real safety. The question because are we willing to create courageous spaces, so weak be fully scene and bring people ended. Those has to be seen the wild heart man. I've written before that. Just wish. There was a secret handshake for the wild heart club. You know, I love that. I love you. like Mr Entry, we would have a special song or a handshake and I love that kind of pale for being brave and braving the wilderness, some kind of ritual or symbol that says hey, I'm part of this wild heart club. I've got
the stretch marks and bruises. And scars to prove it, I know what it means to stand alone and brave criticism in fear and hurt. I know the fur a belonging everywhere, but nowhere at all referencing a my Angelo quote near that says. We long everywhere and nowhere she talks about that, real belonging and the prices aye. But the reward is great and she's not kidding when she said the prices high, when you decide that you're gonna carry belonging in your heart. And not look externally for it, the prices high, and the reward is great. She was right on both accounts per usual. but, alas, the wilderness does not issue membership cards. A wild heart is not something you can always see The mark of a wild heart is living out. The paradox of love in our lives, its ability
it happened. Tender excited and scared, brave and afraid for me tonight wobbly and fullest stubborn hope to be all these things. In the same moment, it should We now have in our vulnerability and our courage being both fierce and kind. And I think this is so important for tonight and tomorrow and this week and then this hard Twenty twenty year. A wild heart can straddle the tension. stay awake to the struggle in the world for fighting for justice and peace, while also cultivating its own moments of joy. I know a lot of people, myself included, who feel guilt and sometimes even shame about experience in moments of joy or deep connection and here's the thing I've been in The best since I was twenty
so three decades of activism and when We're out there, you know whether you're a full time activists a volunteer and Activists in old activists. We're showing out to make sure that people's basic human needs and civil rights. Indignities are upheld, but we're So fighting to make sure that everyone gets experience what brings meaning to life love belonging enjoy. These are reducible means for all of us, and we can't give people what we don't have we can't fight for? What's not in our hearts are experiences. So a wild heart is a weight to the pain in the world, but isn't diminish its own, paying a while heart can beat with gratitude and lean into joy, which we know there is no joy without gratitude, a wild heart can really beat with that gratitude. In practice, gratitude and
joy with denying the. Struggle in the world We hold that tension with the Spirit of the wilderness. It's not always easier comfortable and sometimes We struggle with the weight of the pool, but what makes it possible. Is that front made of love and that back built of courage. The mark of a wild heart may be earned in the wilderness, but there's a daily practice that I have learned. That is critical. I think to this quest for true belonging, and it's something that I have really tried to teach my kids talk about it, a lot in my work- and this is it- we ve got to stop walking through the world. Looking for confirmation that we don't belong Will always find it because we ve made it our mission. We ve got stop scouring people spaces for evidence that were not enough will always find because we ve made it our goal.
true, belonging and self worth are not goods. We don't go state, their value with a world the truth about who we are lives in our hearts and our called courage right now. now the day after election next week next month, next year, next decade are called a courage, is to protect our wild heart, and constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than us. I know the breaking. The wilderness is not easy right now. I know that standing alone, when it look like and feels like. Everyone else is protected in these ideological bunkers with people that they don't oh, but they feel close to because they hate the same people. I call it common enemy intimacy
I don't really know that much about you, but we hate the same people, so we must be connected. It's just counterfeit connection. At best it so hard it so hard. To brave the wilderness right now to stand on our own and there are going to be times when standing alone feels too hard to scary and will doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty, because someone somewhere will say: don't do it, We have what it takes to survive. The wilderness, and I Think that's when we reach deep into our wild hearts you Deep into your while heart at that when someone says dont do it, you don't have what it takes. And remind yourself. I am the wilderness we're going to get through with ahead of us
And it's going to require us to protect our while hearts. to love each other again. To stay awkward, brave and kind. I will see you next week deep breath. we deserve. The inhale strong back suffered wild heart. I'm lucky a Spotify original from Parkhurst its. You buy me Bernay Brown produced by MAX Cutler Christian US of eight o clock. imagine by weirdly productions and by Keynes thirteen sounds is by Christian Acevedo and the music by carry enjoying a job as well.
Transcript generated on 2020-11-16.