« Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

On My Mind: RBG, Surge Capacity, and Play as an Energy Source


In this episode, I share my thoughts on the power of dissent, what happens when we max out our surge capacity during a crisis, and how time spent without purpose can refuel and reconnect us.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hi, everyone, I'm Bernay Brown, and this is a mocking ass so if there is one thing that I've learned from twenty plus years of research on how we as humans think and feel and behave it since that is something is on my mind. You're more than likely to be thinking about it too, if something is bothering me, it's probably not just bothering me if I'm worried about something, it's probably a worried shared by many people. If I could, teaching and that one brave student raises their hand and ass a question, and you can see ninety percent of the people in the classroom just melt with relief. You know They don't know the answer to the question either their stuck to, but they don't want to ask the hard. Hard is if we don't raise our hand or share. What's on your mind, it's so easy to convince ourselves that were completely alone and should go back to the data
You know we're almost never alone our experiences so in this beard of sharing what we're thinking about. I thought it be worthwhile to record an occasional, on my mind, episode to check it. And tell you what I'm learning, what I'm holding onto right now for dear life and the things I'm tryin like hell to, let go of now My mind is not a place for the faint of heart fairy strange place, there's a lot of weird stuff go that goes on in there, so I'm just gonna keep it to like my top three things. So and, on my mind, episode. Our eye, so of course, that thing: on the very top of my mind, is the death free space or Ginsburg that has just got psych on my mind in on my heart. I actually have this
so we are to have the small painting of her in my entryway and they I came downstairs this morning. I guess I had temporarily forgotten about her death on Friday So when I saw the painting it was like this sinking, grief and anxiety all over again do you not feeling? I remember this feeling growing up? I remember having like a first boyfriend. And you would break up and you would cry herself to sleep in the mornin you'd wake up and for a split second you'd forget, and everything would be like good morning and then it would just wash ever you that's how I felt when I saw that painting of Justice Ginsburg I'm in its heart. Hard to because the grief I'm, experiencing, can't spread out and take all the same should it needs, because my anxiety about this, what this means for our democracy is the biggest space
hog in my head right now, I'm like, let's just be quiet in contemplative in Firefox and then things I did like. What are you gonna? Do what are you gonna do, so I've got grief, society top of mind around Ruth later Ginsburg. I will tell you that one of my favorite quote: by Justice Ginsburg, is about the past or of descents. So decisions are written by one or more judges expressing the agreement with the majority opinion of a court the decisions are not law, there not case law, I think they're not binding, but they can carry significant weight and their often cited and used to make. Changes and even reversals in the very laws that their written about. And so she has a great quote about to say and she she said: descents speak to a future age.
It's not simply to say my colleague, are wrong and I would do it this way, but the greatest descents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that's the dissenters, hope that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow, Spute Awful- of that quote from the very moment. I first heard it, but today, in this shame and blame environment, it means, So much more to me because it pushes me further into one of my personal prayers, it's a prayer that I've actually shared on social media before and I think the shared it in a book. But I can't remember it's a prayer, that I you know I say it all the time actually- and I say it when frustrated in the bathroom stall. I say it in the morning when I wake up- and I often say to bed at night before I go to sleep
and it's just at the end this day and at the end of my life, I hope I have contributed more than I criticised and thinking about justice, Ginsburg really, I think sometimes descents are the most important contributions that we can make. Just like action. Criticism not like cheap seat shit, criticism, but really thought for criticism and descents can have, will value if there full and intentional and if their future thinking and I think this is important- maybe the most important part they have able to stand on their own. They need to be completely formed, you know a criticism. I can't you saw or you're wrong. That's stupid idea does not contributions,
and they don't speak to the future. I actually think those are mostly like a cheap seats. The cheap seat. Criticism They are fear and emotion fear and emotion it sent a thoughtful criticism that makes a real contribution takes so time and effort, because they're not reactive, their pro actively creating. What's next I think of it to work on this in a couple of ways, one I think I'm gonna be more thoughtful when it to my descents, like. What's behind it. What's the alternative, maybe make it less personal and at work work when there are dissenting opinions, I'm an ass people to push beyond like, I don't think
good idea just bills after me, I got a bad get on that. I want them to flush it out with the future in mind. I mean think about how powerful that could be it we met space for intentional thoughtful Well, planned out dissent that was future thinking Oh it's just so contrary. What would you see in the world today? So thank you. Cute notorious army g. May your memory be a blessing and a revolution. Ok second thing is this article that I came across on medium. It's body, terror Hayley, whose science journalist also a storyteller educator, photographer writer and the name of the article is just take a deep breath right now
like if you're driving, if you're out walking whatever you're doing just take a deep breath. The name of the article is your surge capacity is depleted. It's why you feel awful subtitle. Here's how to put yourself out of despair and live your life. Now I pray I have to say anything else, I'll, send you the link to the article like you get it right by way, the link to the article is in the show notes on Bernay brown dot com. So don't worry, you'll be able to find the article easily. For me, this article is the perfect, follow. Two member, my very first podcast on F, F, Tease, Athens times. First timely, in a pandemic. Don't you know, ever estimate how you get through this reality check your petitions take a deep breath.
During that pod CAS. I said that we were not going to be able to get through the pandemic or few ourselves on adrenaline for a law time. Is it just wasn't not there's just not enough by definition, adrenaline is for a short period of time and like all wobbly vulnerable first times I this pandemic good requires to name what were feeling gather some perspective in reality check your expectations. Then I launched in two of this pod cast with talking about day to dad. You know I was just like ago. It feels like you know where we had a very Digital Wall now that worth six month mark and we can't turn back and we're not her, how we're gonna move forward- and it was so far may the other day. I was at work and a chest. It was just cluster after class it was a complete should show, and one of my colleagues That means yes, I'm having an f, F T wrapped up
a day to like. Oh yes, MA am ass, exactly right and f have tea wrapped up in it. He too, but like we're now, six or seven months into this pandemic and were hitting a wall that is inevitable its normal go like this, the wall. If you talk to disaster relief people, if you talk to people that you know work in war zones or trauma zones. This is Month, while the Good NEWS we're gonna get through it. The bad news is it sucks. I know Deep inside me that we're gonna get through, but when I read article. I was like. Storage capacity is depleted and that's why it really does feel awful like some days. It's like my feet each way, forty lb, I can't get him over the side of the bed to get out. I can't get it back. I just can't move it's just
terrible so highly interviews several exports. With, in your view, with professor an master whose a psychologist and professor child development at the University of Minnesota Superman for information. Can I read the article two, because that would be weird, but I'm gonna tell you. I was sticking to me, said You can go, read it and figure out what sticky, but it was helpful. So asked who studies, resilience and surviving trauma war, Disasters explains that surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems, mental and physical, that humans, Draw on for short term survival in it at least stressful situations such as natural disasters, the problem, so this The problem that we're facing all is there. A pandemic, in my opinion, is both an acutely. Dreadful situation like a disaster?
and a slow unravelling of every one of the systems and rhythms that keeps us tethered to our lives into each other. Family gather means faith communities. School work like it is. It is like, as someone who in their lives on the Gulf Coast and has been through my share of hurricanes, like the wind is break the windows and were inclined at the same time, is too much Ass Sundays oh, our search capacities maxed out, and we need to find a new source of energy. So the first thing we have, do not listen to this. As I've said this a million different ways and everybody I've interviewed who, as bad expertise everything from grief to mental health has also said this, the first, They do to find a new source of energy. Is to ignore courage that. The anxiety and weariness is normal. If we spend too much time thinking there.
Thing wrong with us and thank you that were the only ones that are feeling overwhelmed worthy. That's about it The nature of energy at the first thing we have to do is say yes, mister capacity is depleted. I met a six month wall. This is normal. And it's really interesting, Hayley actually rights in here, it's different from a hurricane or tornado. Where you can look outside and see the damage the destruction is for most people invisible and ongoing, who, I don't think I've ever whistle podcast before What do you think I can make my sound effects? Let me read it again: if our interviewing her I'd say, hey, wait, stop say that again, it's different from a hurricane or for NATO, where you can look outside and see the damage. The destruction
as for most people, invisible and ongoing task, even with all the current uncertainty, the importance of having the right people on your team is paramount. Linked in its impact Community of professionals, with more than six hundred and ninety million members worldwide, that makes it the perfect place to find qualified candidates when your small business is ready to make that next time. Linked in jobs, allows and players to set precise targeting to attract the best candidates by placing your job posts in front of qualified members every day you can quickly Phelan open position, then you can filter sort and rape. Your best applicants, when your business is ready to make that next higher find the right person with linked in jobs. You can pay what you want and get the first fifty dollars.
Just visit linked in duck hum slash baby again, that's Linkedin Dotcom, Slash baby to get fifty dollars off your first job post terms and conditions apply So I don't think I've given myself permission to experience covert as a terrible, long term disaster, but it is- and I think we're doing being a lot of us, myself included where we're looking for disaster relief, while the hurricane still blowing the shutters off the house, we just how to do it- brings me to the second export that Hayley interviewed Pauline boss, Doktor boss the family therapist in Professor Amerika S of Social Sciences at the University of Minnesota and specializes in ambiguous loss, Hayley, also talk Michael MAD, as whose an empty and a professor of surgery, also it diversity of Minnesota. I'll say I know a lot about ambiguous loss because while I've experienced it I'm experience
in it now and again. Have experienced in the past and have also studied at an ambiguous, laws are ambiguous grief. This really tough because it can be a little crazy making, because there is not the kind of evidence that we need to show ourselves or show other people, because we think we have to justify agree. If it's like. The loss- that's hard to name- and you know. Again, I let you dig into the article cause, there's a lot more. The warm sharing with you on the podcast, but a tight. What came up? For me, around ambiguous loss I wish you could see me right now. I'm clenching my fists as I don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to share you in case. Anyone else needs to hear it. Ah problem, solver air,
That go get her. And also on recovery. I try not to know, and Le Monde says that help is the sunny side of control, so I try not to or straight people's lives, especially my kids, but I do help them when I see them struggling and I do try to. Problem solved. And we have this kind of rule in our house, where it's not our job, to do we're dream or set your goal job, is to encourage you to set your own dream, set your own goal and then will use our experience and perspective to let you know how we think you could achieve it. And you can act on that. Are you don't have to act on that? But that's that's our job as apparent not to set the goal not to dream the dream but say if your goal is to make this team,
or get the scholarship or get this job here, something you should think about that will be helpful. And then you can choose to do them and shoe or choose not to do them. Oh my god then when you choose not to do them- and I know that you're setting yourself out for a real disappointment, it so high but I really try to step back but ambiguous loss and am experiencing right. Now that just hit me like a ton of works, I was reading nesses. I feel helpless. Around being able to protect my children right now, and that's a really tough thing, because it's not, I feel somewhat hapless from being able to prevent them from getting sick, but us I feel equally helpless in you know
facing the perils of not living their lives right now, like free decision is fraught. Every decision fell scary. Every precaution felt like it comes with a huge price. Around social connection, Especial because we are so much more conservative than the parents of their friends, and I I don't know it's we ve come with our values and our kids believe in our values. But its doesn't mean it's sucks crushing, and so the fact that I can't- Make my daughter senior year in college what she hoped it would be, or that you know I just can't help them. I can't change there I can't control the environment. I guess I could never control the environment, but I could problem solved. And in this article doktor boss, the ambiguous Greece from me.
This loss expert even says that it's really hard for those of us who are problem offers and really are used to getting shit done. So I guess I'm really struggling there, so if you're struggling to hide The best thing we can do is just name it and normalize it and reality check our expectations. Like I say that so much it starting to feel like cliche or something, but the actual work of doing it is hard. One of the things there's a lot of advice offered by the experts interviewed in the article on a lot of it makes a, listen to me a lot of its familiar- we ve actually talked about some of these ideas on this podcast, but one excellent Should that really helped me understand my project, absurd,
she's right now. I've got a lotta big projects going on now. In addition to that, books and research in this podcast, so doktor man as explained this is the professor of drastic surgery. Again a deal she Minnesota where they got some resilience. That's going on so a tremendous explained why building things and creating is bringing some of us joy and real. Feelings of restoration and recharge. He explains that two ways: the brain deals with the world the future, including light things we need to go after and get done, and the here and now seeing things and touching things, he explain. Rather than being at the mercy of what's going on in the world right now, we can use elements of this natural reward system that we have and construct things to do that are good, no matter what oh, he says these kinds of activities have. A planning element
here and now experience element for matters gave the example. He said it was simply replacing all the shower heads and light bulbs in the House, He said it's a silly thing, but it made him feel really good so like the millisecond I get finnish recording this podcast, I'm going go back to my massive at I mean massive dyke. Texas, size, thorough project where I'm actually scanning and organizing all of our family photos hidden by family. I dont mean just like me, Steve Ellen Charlie. I mean like generations of family and Maybe I'll get Steve to change out all the light bulbs and showerheads examples good to completely altruistic. On my part, I've also actually, since reading this article talk to Charlie and Ellen about projects like this that we be meaning- for them and I have to say they were both like you stop it.
Little bit about it. They were excited. So this idea do things that are good, no matter what like do things that are good, no matter how that's crazy things are right now that deals important right to me. All right. The third thing on my mind, I told ya: it's it's. It's the wild west up here in my head, but you let me now you let me know if you like, if you want an occasion, all on my mind, episode or if you like, just stick to the facts MA am Ok, third thing on my mind, a new source of energy. So in my life I have found that one of the greatest antidotes to despair and depression and a great source of energy is play now, I'm gonna do a whole episode on play. I'm adieu!
Whole episode on play because it was this whole story- is crazy how this came to be in it's all in the gifts of imperfection, so but I actually got about play into a cup months ago, but it just six weeks ago when I was narrating the tenth anniversary edition of the gifts of imperfections audio book, because was the first time we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the gifts by getting folks, the audio button area by me before it was near by some one else, and people like were used to your voice. Can you do it? So I was narrating in obviously reading through it, and I came across this quote by Stuart Brown. The opposite of play is not work, the opposite, a plays depression Stewart Brown MD play researcher them most remarkable story again, I'm gonna do an episode on play, so bad explains how respecting our biologically programmed need for play, can transform us,
and renew our sense of excitement in life. So I wrote to you of imperfection in the midst of my midlife spiritual breakdown, awakening and play with. Ray and new concept for me and again another long story, but I was like what is this strange thing that these whole hearted people do? We the ways that Stuart Brown defines play is time spent without purpose, so back then if, I'm being honest still little bit today, I call time without purpose and anxiety attack, but I started thinking that time spent without purpose. So ten years ago, I really made a commitment to to incorporate play into my life, and let me tell you it changed everything, a change me and my family and were the better. We even made a family playlist. So what we did is we all picked for five activities that met
Browns definitions of play. Time spent without purpose cavities where you lose track of time activities where you feel free to be yourself like uninhibited interest freedom liberated so we wrote down things and obviously we all had different things, but I was looking for a kind of the Van diagram. Ok, I get it. The irony is that Lhasa me those creative and diagram of play, but whenever I for the Van Diagram, like what do we have? What is play? What what playthings do we sharing common? So Steve, Ellen Charlie Nigh were so surprised that we shared a lot in common sense. In outdoor time cards movies alone time piddling answered, It time and hiking will. Let me tell you up until this experience We did not plan a single activity that included Messer. Those things like we, we did other things for vocational and weed
other things for time away and so from that for we started building vacations around these things in it. What a difference it made. We came home from trade completely restored and not exhausted Ike from having seen every landmark museum people we come back from somewhere if you like, God did you see this, or did you go to this museum or like no? No, we spent the day. Hiking then went to the pool, but you can hide and go to the pool anywhere like we don't, so we did it there and it was like a maze so given that we're out of adrenalin in our search capacities depleted, I thought about turning to play as a new source of energy. I ask myself These questions again like these three things, time spent without purpose time we're out things. I'm doing re lose track of time things it made me feel liberated and in an uninhabited
And just wow, let me tell you my list. Surprise me, so. My photography project pick ball, tennis riding my bicycle: international films tv and music. Not hard crying documentaries but like fun, tv and music The family overlap happens to be I came with me in turn We and Steve Ellen's off at school, so poverty biking out for her, but for thus pick a ball tennis, music and fund tv, and we have had such a blast, it is again been very restorative, no, the energy you get from play is not like sugary as adrenaline, where it like it's hard, coronet spikes, its constant and predictable,
less of a donut sugar spike in more like a green smoothie feeling, which I think is good so make a playlist for yourself. You and your partner, your family, even a good friend, plays this incredible source of energy. That's easy to forget about, and let me hear something with you. It's really important for me and we can have different opinion, on this we can dispute there can be set as long as its future thinking and painful Some people might say right now. This is no time for play our democracies on the line. The word is falling apart. We ve got work to do Hale. Yes, I agree on all accounts, but. I read about this embracing the wilderness, but our hearts Span, save and big, and as the point contain multitudes. We can't fight on no energy,
can't fight for love unless were experiencing that we can't fight for joy, We now joy and I'm not saying back away from the revolution of the fight, because I don't plan to do that, but I do need an energy source not only for the fight budgeting, leave you my day me and loving relationship with the people I care about, so This is a laughing on my mind and I know said three things, but really. This is like three be TAT: lasso to show you it's on apple and I love it so much it's a family show for us in its definitely play stars, Jason Sedateness, who help create and produce an right. It any place this week Goofy American College Football, coach, hired a coach, a premium league Socrates in the UK, which is the fish out of water story? But it's just so funny because he's hired by this woman who got custody of
primarily team after this bitter divorce, cheating husband story and she wants to run the team into the ground. So she hires this really just nutty coach from the from the. U S and its unapologetically fan and just artist in them: asked ways and it just you know we ordered dinner and we snug love and we laugh and we watch it and we made a pact not watch it without each other in its good, and I just have to that I'm sure my favorite quote and he's got. Is tat so, of course like it feels like him to maybe he's like, I feel I just fell out of the lucky tree hit we branch on the way down and ended up in a pool of cash and sour patch kids, honey. Look, that's fine ok friends. These are the things on my mind. I hope you'll have a great weak. I hope you find a way to keep contributing, even if it's an intentional descent.
Make sure if you're in the United States that you are registered to vote, let justice bergs name, be a blessing Anna Revolution get to the pole. Cut yourself, some slack around your search capacity play more and I personally hope like hell that you find yourself falling out of a lucky jury into a pool of cash and sour patch kids, because that would just be the best all right I'll say awkward, brave and kind I'll see you next time.
Transcript generated on 2020-09-23.