A few New Reasons Why I Love Brené Brown

breneSomeone I know a little bit went to hear Brené Brown speak at a conference in Chicago the other day. I’m so glad someone went and then shared a few choice quotes from the event. Here they are:

  1. “Creativity is the ultimate integration tool. We are born makers – we have an inherent need to create.”
  2. “If you’re a creative, you *live* in vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame,”
  3. “When you deny your stories of failure and heartbreak … they define you. When you own your stories… you get to write the ending”
  4. “Those most willing to lean into discomfort rise the fastest.”
  5. “When we don’t know the full story, causing conflict, our brains reward us chemically with dopamine for creating a story, generally from our shame, to explain the fear we are feeling, whether the story is accurate or not.”


I have to say all of that totally resonates with me.

  1. I have felt this was true for me since I was big enough to hold a crayon.
  2. This one feels true for me as well. Being creative to me has always been a ride along all of those elements. Some days feeling awesomely courageous and then uncertainty can lead to a recognition. “Oh shit! Feeling Very Vulnerable!” Am I even worthy to do this work (writing, photography, teaching and coaching? Maybe not. I’m imperfect. There’s things I’ve done and been of which I’m ashamed. And then looping around again and again.
  3. I don’t like to go to those dark places where I’ve failed or been brokenhearted. And I have resisted them. And of course, when I do, I define myself narrowly. In that moment I allow myself to be run by the stories as others tell them, or as a scared self tells them but when I seize my courage and worthiness I can write the ending as I see it.
  4. Just like the requirement to drive into the slide of the car on ice in order to survive, Dr. Brown knows the truth. Any time I allow myself to lean into the difficulty really hard, I get better, feel better and swim in the feeling of worthiness, love, self-acceptance. That is the only way.
  5. When I’m not mindful, all is lost. I become mired in story, drowning in dopamine and spiral down. When I meditate regularly, I know those stories make feel real but are not true.


Today, let’s all work on this together. I sat for an hour this morning and it was divine. Seriously. All that noise and self doubt feel away leaving me feeling grounded and good. Best of all, none of those good feelings depended on any external reality. It was all a matter of stopping. Pausing if you will for a time and just noticing what was moment by moment. Feeling the fizz of existence in every cell in my body. Coming and going. Coming and going.

So, I invite you to join me in mindfulness today. You don’t have to take a whole hour. Even a few breaths is good. Five, ten minutes is fine. Take what pause feels okay for you right here and now and just see what’s true for you right here and now without judging anything.

I send you all love and wish that all may find peace.



Oh, I nearly forgot. She has a brand new book coming out this summer. Can not wait!



Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

6 thoughts on “A few New Reasons Why I Love Brené Brown”

      1. 814 W 18th St. She’s at the back of that little Mexican food store behind the Polish sausage place. She uses a lot of organic stuff like kale and eggplant in her tamales. She is the lady that sold her tamales at the Pilsen farmer’s market; she’s opened her own little restaurant now.


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