A bit of a change from my normal book reviews today. Instead of fiction, I have interjected some non-fiction into my reading list.
I find alternating fiction and non-fiction helps keep my mind ticking over and my passion for reading going.
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone was January’s pick from Reece Witherspoon’s Book Club. I haven’t read any of Brene’s other two novels. This one stood out to me though, the title alone pricked my interest. Standing alone in a world overrun with others following trends and wanting to be like “insert the newest celeb”. Very appealing.
I listened to this book on audible, I tend to when it is a non-fiction book. I find I can concentrate on the content more when I hear it. The structure of the book becomes more apparent than when I see the text.
What is the book about?
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives–experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy.
In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.
She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”
Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.
Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
I found this book very relevant, especially with the way Brene brings in personal stories, real-life experiences and interesting facts and interviews. Many books like this tend to stick to the facts and figures from the research but not this one.
Through using real-life examples such as the US Election, Brene was able to put across her point in a way that was accessible.
One part that I really found useful was her section on dehumanisation. There are so many examples through history and in the present day where we dehumanise others so that we can justify why we act, think or believe something.
From a writers point of view, the layout of the book worked really well. The seven parts were easy to listen to either a chapter at a time or through dipping in and out.
My favourite quote from the book was this one;
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Vermilion; 01 edition (12 Sept. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1785041754
- ISBN-13: 978-1785041754
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