How The Daring Way™ Helped Me & How It Can Help You Too!

How The Daring Way™ Helped Me & How It Can Help You Too! 

Today I'm sharing my most recent episode of The Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast, about how making the decision to attend The Daring Way™ training changed my life. I hope you will find it interesting!

If you haven't heard, bestselling author and thought leader Brené Brown, someone whose work I follow closely, published a new book last week. It's called Rising Strong, and I highly recommend reading it.  For more information on the book from Amazon click here (non-affiliate link). 

If you've read my blog or listened to previous episodes of my podcast, you realize that Brené Brown's books and teachings have been deeply impactful in my life and my work.  In this episode of the podcast, I talk about how I made the decision to become a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (best decision of my professional life! - so far anyway), what it was like to learn The Daring Way™ model experientially and two specific changes in the way I handle my emotions which came about as a direct result of the experience. This work has been transformative in the way I show up in my personal life and in my work with clients.

I happened upon the training by chance as I was seeking ways to dig deeper after watching Brené Brown's TED Talks on vulnerability and shame and reading her books. I recorded this episode to let you know about how working with a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator can take you deeper along the journey to wholehearted living. 

Certified Daring Way™ Facilitators (CDWFs) are around the U.S. and in international locations as well. You can find someone who brings a particular flavor to his/her work using this curriculum that resonates well with you. Look at the list of upcoming groups, workshops and intensive weekends by visiting The Daring Way™ website, and there is also an option to find a CDWF in your area. Here in Maryland, I have two opportunities coming up in the near future. 

I'm offering a One Day Introduction to The Daring Way™ workshop on Friday, September 18, 2015 and I have a weekend intensive retreat for a small group of up to 6 women scheduled for October 2-4, 2015Space is still available in both events and more information is available here. If you're reading this after October, 2015, you can still find information on my website about what's ahead. I'm planning some beautiful retreats in 2016 and all information will be posted on my site. I'm also super excited that the new Rising Strong™ curriculum will invite new inquiry into our stories and ways to apply Brené Brown's teaching to our lives. 

Contact me if you'd like to discuss working together. There are many ways to get in touch with me, including via e-mail at laura@laurareaganlcswc.com; by phone at (443) 510-1048; or through my website: www.laurareaganlcswc.com. You can also follow me on social media using Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook. Please listen, subscribe and post honest reviews of the podcast on iTunes! I'd love to hear from you in the comments as well. 

Wholeheartedly,

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

The Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast
 
Click on the image to listen to the podcast episode! 

Click on the image to listen to the podcast episode! 

Click on the image above to listen to the podcast episode about how The Daring Way™ helped me and how it can help you!

 

Vulnerability Is Courage

I'm a psychotherapist, consultant, clinical supervisor and Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. And a mother, wife, sister and friend. Although it was uncomfortable to do so, I made this video to tell you about my work offering The Daring Way™. As you will see, it's not a fancy, glossy, high production value video. It's just me. Therapists are just people who want to help people. We have specialized training in helping people with emotional pain and we can use our own experiences of struggle to relate to the suffering of others. And we are regular people. 

I want you to know that I offer The Daring Way™, based on the research of Brené Brown, because this model has changed my life. That's a big statement! In fact, before reading Brené Brown's books I probably wouldn't have said that out loud for fear that people would have thought my statement was stupid. That's exactly the point of this article. When I attended The Daring Way™ training, I was able to experience the model myself, and it changed me both personally and professionally. I've written more about how Brené Brown's work has changed me, and you can read it here

If you want to live a life that feels more authentic and build deep, meaningful connections with the important people in your life, The Daring Way™ might be a good fit for you. I'm offering this model in the Baltimore Annapolis area and I invite you to get in touch with me if you want to know more. 

(Click here for information on my upcoming weekend intensive. Early Bird Registration Discount ends June 15th!)

So although it felt vulnerable to make this video, I posted it anyway. It's what Brené Brown calls an "Arena Moment" in her book Daring Greatly. I posted the video even though:

  • I don't look perfect. (You're going to find that out sometime...might as well be now!)
  • I filmed it myself on my iPad - it's not glossy and professional-looking.
  • I don't sound as "smooth" and "cool" as I'd probably like to. 

And I like myself anyway! In fact, I'm an expert in the work I do and anyone who decides to work with me is going to see my imperfections eventually. I could try to present you with some kind of mask to make you like me more...but it would show through because I'd be playing a role instead of being authentic. How safe would you feel in a therapy session with a therapist who is hiding behind a mask of "being the expert" and trying to hide his/her imperfections from you? 

As Brené Brown says, "I am imperfect and I am enough." I am, and so are you. So even though I've said a lot about myself, this isn't really about me. It's about you. 

Do you want to show up and be seen as your true self? Are you ready to take off your mask and see what happens when you connect with other people from a place of authenticity? The Daring Women Weekend Intensive takes place July 17, 18 and 19, 2015. You can save $50 on the cost if you register by June 15th! The group is limited to six women and participants will be screened to ensure a good fit with the group. You can find all the details on this special intensive, the only one I'm planning for this year, at this link.  And if you're not ready to try a group setting, I use the model in my work with individuals and couples as well. To get started, give me a call at (443) 510-1048 or send me an e-mail at laurareaganlcswc@gmail.com to talk about how we can work together using The Daring Way™. 

If you want to read more of what I share, you can follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and sign up for my e-mail newsletter (I won't spam you). 

Wholeheartedly,

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Vulnerability Is Courage - Brené Brown
 

What If You Could Show Up and Be Seen As You Really Are?

Today's post explores the first of Brené Brown's "Guideposts for Wholehearted Living" from her book The Gifts of Imperfection. If you're reading the book title and thinking, "How could imperfection possibly be a gift?!!" then this is a great book for you to read. I thought the same thing at first, and I absolutely love this book. I frequently recommend it to my clients. So if you're interested in understanding how the Guideposts can help you live your life more wholeheartedly, then read on! 

What If You Could Show Up For Who You Really Are?

In my last post of this series on living an authentic life, I listed the Guideposts and how I (and many other people) have used them to help me live my life in a more fulfilling and joyful way.  The first Guidepost is: Cultivating Authenticity - Letting Go of What People Think. That can be a tough one. What does it mean to you? 

Here in the greater Annapolis area, where I live and work with clients, it can be really hard to let go of worrying about what other people think. Conformity is prized in our community, and fitting in feels better than being excluded. I think that is true no matter where you live. But what if you aren't the same as everyone else? I'm kidding. None of us is the same as everyone else! We're all unique, and our differences are what make us who we are. For some reason, though, we tend to hide what makes us unique in order to fit in with the group. 

If you want to dig deeper into Brené Brown's work, join me July 17-19 when 6 women will use The Daring Way™ model to discover how connecting with their most authentic selves can help them build meaningful relationships and live wholeheartedly. Click here for details.

When you don't like who you really are it can be tempting to hide, pretending to be someone you're not. You might find yourself trying on different personas until you find one that people respond to in a positive manner. This often starts in childhood, and some of us are so skilled at it that we don't even realize we're doing it anymore. It becomes automatic, like a chameleon changing color to fit its surroundings. Eventually you may wonder, "Who am I, really?"

There are many common strategies that are used by people to get by. One of these strategies is going along with things that you don't really want to do. You may hate playing golf, but you do it to fit in with your work friends because it seems to be expected. Another strategy that many people use is participating in social gatherings with people who don't talk about meaningful subjects, instead limiting conversation to surface matters. There is a time and place for this, but if these interactions are your only social relationships, it can feel lonely and hollow to feel as if you have no one to talk to who understands what you're going through.  It's isolating, and you may even think that you are the only one who wants to talk about anything more than the weather, what home improvements your neighbors have done recently, and which Kindergarten teacher you want your child to have next year. 

Many women compensate for such feelings by anticipating other people's needs and trying to meet them before the person asks. Our society emphasizes women's role as caregivers, and sometimes this helps us avoid thinking about our own needs. It's usually met with a positive reaction from others, too. Are you the woman who always brings the perfect dish to the neighborhood gathering and the first one to start cleaning up for the hostess when the evening comes to an end?  Do you have a hostess gift every time you show up for an informal happy hour at your neighbor's house and send a thank you note as soon as you get home that evening? Are you the one who is always doing favors for everyone else in the community? There's no doubt that you have impeccable manners and others probably appreciate everything you do for them. But are you doing this because you want to, or because you want to be liked? Don't get me wrong, I want to be liked too - we all do - but I would prefer to be liked for who I really am, rather than how good I can make the other person feel about themselves. What about you? Would you rather be liked for your true, authentic self (even if you don't always have time to send a thank you note right away) or for your ability to change your behavior to suit the other person? People pleasing and hiding our true selves can create a prison with us trapped inside. How can you ask for help when you need it (and we all need it at times) if you are too busy taking care of everyone else?

What would it take for you to believe that your own combination of unique qualities is what makes you special? Think about it. What do people like about you? Is it your outrageous sense of humor? Your joyful laugh? Your artistic ability? Do you have a great singing voice? Maybe you make the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Do you have a family recipe that you have mastered but you never cook it for your friends because it represents your family's cultural heritage which is embarrassing to you? It might be hard to imagine showing your neighbors, friends and co-workers your true self. Are you afraid they wouldn't like the real you? Or worse, do you feel like you don't even know the real you anymore?

For many of us it can be difficult to imagine being accepted as we are, with the pretense stripped away. It might be easier if you imagine a child. Whether you have children of your own, or you have children in your family - nieces, nephews, cousins - or your neighborhood. What would you tell a child about being the same as everyone else? Can we agree that each child is unique and special exactly as he or she is? Sometimes it's easier to believe that when thinking about children than ourselves. But let's remember that we all started out as children too, and our special qualities didn't stop being valuable just because we have grown up. 

It's important for your own well-being and that of your children, if you have them, that you understand that you are just right, right now, exactly as you are.  If you have trouble believing that, and want to work on connecting with your authentic self so you can feel confident showing up as you really are, get in touch with me! I would love to work with you on this. I am certified to use The Daring Way™ method, based on the research of Brené Brown, to build shame resiliency and help you remember what you loved about yourself when you were a child.  You deserve to love yourself for who you are, and to stop hiding your true self from the important people in your life! To work with me see below for contact info.

If you want to dig deeper into Brené Brown's work, join me July 17-19 when 6 women will use The Daring Way™ model to discover how connecting with their most authentic selves can help them build meaningful relationships and live wholeheartedly. Click here for details.

Brené Brown's Guideposts to Wholehearted Living

Thanks for reading this installment of the blog series on living authentically. If you like what I've written here, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more. You can also sign up for my e-mail newsletter, which is sent every so often with updates on new offerings including workshops, groups and intensives, as well as recent blog posts and news about the practice.

Have you ever wondered whether you'd still be accepted if people knew the real you? If you're afraid of the answer, but brave enough to want to find out anyway, then get in touch with me! You can call me at (443) 510-1048, send me an e-mail at laurareaganlcswc@gmail.com, or visit my website for more information and to schedule an appointment

Source:

Brown, B. (2010). The gifts of imperfection: Let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Are Some People More Authentic Than Others?

This blog was originally published in April, 2015 but I have updated it to include some new information as well as the link to the episode of the Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast released in September, 2015 related to the Guideposts and an upcoming workshop. You can always find up to date information on events I'm hosting on my website: www.laurareaganlcswc.com

Welcome to the second post in the blog series on creating a life that feels authentic, using Brené Brown's "Guideposts to Wholehearted Living," which she describes in detail in her book The Gifts of Imperfection (one of my very favorites!), her last bestseller, Daring Greatly and her newest bestseller Rising Strong.  This blog was originally published in April, 2015 but I have updated it to include some new information as well as the link to the podcast episode released in September, 2015 on this subject.

If you're interested in going deeper with Brené Brown's work, join me for an intensive weekend in Severna Park where 6 women will use the Daring Way™ to build deep connection so they can show up authentically in relationships and live more wholeheartedly.

I won't pretend that this blog series will achieve the level of detail included in Dr. Brown's books - which I highly recommend you read - but I hope it can serve as an introduction to help you think about how you can move toward a more authentic and wholehearted lifeAt the end of this post I will tell you about how you can work with me using The Daring Way™, based on the research of Brené Brown, to develop authentic connection with yourself and others. 

I often talk about living authentically and wholeheartedly. I aspire to live my life in a way that makes me feel as if my soul purpose and my actions are aligned. That's not an easy task in a world that tells us to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted. Sometimes it feels like there is little space for showing up as our true selves. Of course, I'm a unique individual, just like you are, and what makes us who we are is what's special about us. There is no one else like you or me. So why is it so tempting to hide our true selves so we can fit in

For me, hiding how I feel inside is a skill I've practiced for 43 years so far (though for the past 10 years I've been working on changing that habit). I got to be good enough at doing it that I didn't even notice when it was happening. In fact, there was a time when I didn't even know how I felt inside. It was all just kind of jumbled up, leaving me with a general sense of malaise that I didn't really understand. How did I perfect the ability to block out my feelings? It helped that I was frequently counseled not to be "so sensitive" as a child, and I picked up our societal message that it's not a good idea to cry in public when I was quite young. Even when the message wasn't directed toward me, I saw the horror and disgust on others' faces when someone would cry in school. I vowed at an early age that would not be me! How sad. Crying is a normal response to feeling sad, mad, confused, scared, or overwhelmed. Or all of the above!

As I continued on the journey of my life. the various disappointments and tragedies I experienced (as we all do, inevitably) caused me pain that I didn't want to feel. Do you like pain? No, neither do I. Even joyful experiences can bring pain. Having children is wonderful, but once you allow your heart to feel that much love, you have so much more to lose if anything were to happen to them! And when something causes them pain and you can't do anything to make it better? Ouch! 

Later, as a social worker/counselor in training during college and grad school, I felt it was very important to avoid showing how upsetting the stories of abuse, oppression and injustice were for me because I wanted to prove I was tough (not weak!). While it's true that one must maintain professionalism in the role of a social worker or counselor, there is a time and place for letting those feelings out in supervision, consultation and personal psychotherapy. Pretending something doesn't bother us is not an effective way to avoid feeling the pain.   I associated vulnerability (letting my guard down) with weakness. Have you ever felt this way?

So what's the deal? Are some people just simply more authentic than others? Why can some people show the world who they really are, in every situation?  And are these people happier than the rest of us? These are some of the questions Brené Brown's research was able to answer and her answers are summarized in the 10 Guideposts. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brown defines authenticity as "the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we really are." The Guideposts explain what people who live wholeheartedly do differently from the rest of us.

Brené Brown's Guideposts to Wholehearted Living from the Gifts of Imperfection:

1. Cultivating Authenticity - Letting Go of What People Think

2. Cultivating Self-Compassion - Letting Go of Perfectionism

3. Cultivating A Resilient Spirit - Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness

4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy - Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

6.  Cultivating Creativity - Letting Go of Comparison

7. Cultivating Play and Rest - Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth

8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness - Letting Go of Anxiety As a Lifestyle

9. Cultivating Meaningful Work Letting Go of Self-Doubt and "Supposed To"

10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance - Letting Go of Being Cool and "Always In Control"

This blog series will discuss each of the Guideposts in more detail with future posts. As you read the list, what feelings come up for you? Does this resonate? It certainly did with me when I read it for the first time. Do you follow the Guideposts in your life? Do you want to find a way to incorporate them?

I've shared with you some of the challenges which have interfered with living my life as authentically as I'd like, in hopes that you will see that I'm not here to tell you what you "should" do to live wholeheartedly - I'm on this journey too.  The Daring Way™ training, which I attended in September 2014, changed me and I want to share it with as many people as possible.

I am a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator and I'm excited to be able to offer this model in individual therapy, with groups and in workshops. I also use the model in Clinical Supervision for Maryland social workersIf you want to dig deeper with this work, click here to find out about the Daring Women Weekend Intensive for a small group of women. Discounts are available for two people who register together.  I am offering an introductory 1 Day Workshop and I plan to offer the Rising Strong™ method in the near future. You can also read about the special intensive Couple's Workshop opportunity. And for a more in-depth discussion of perfectionism and the Guideposts

What did you think of this podcast episode? I'd love to hear your comments! You can also rate and review the podcast on iTunes by clicking here. And if you'd like to hear more from me you can sign up for my occasional newsletter! I don’t send them out unless I have something I want you to know, and you can unsubscribe any time you want. You can also follow me  on TwitterFacebookPinterestInstagram and Google+. To listen to my podcast, search the Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and (coming soon) Google Play. Or click here to listen via my website. 

Cheers!

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

 

Click on the image below to listen to the podcast episode on the Guideposts.

Click on the image below to listen to all the podcast episodes released thus far. If you like it, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an honest review!

Click on this image to listen to the podcast.

Click on this image to listen to the podcast.

To find out more give me a call at (443) 510-1048e-mail me at laura@laurareaganlcswc.com; follow me on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest, and sign up for my e-mail newsletter for updates.  You can hear more from me by listening to The Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy PodcastIf you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and consider leaving an honest review.

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, CDWF     Psychotherapist, Consultant, Clinical Supervisor, Blogger, Podcaster

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, CDWF

Psychotherapist, Consultant, Clinical Supervisor, Blogger, Podcaster

Connect with Your Authentic Self!