from which happy is made

I am happy.

For me, this simple-sounding understanding was very hard won.

I routinely endured violence growing up. I managed to endure it by separating my mind from my body. As I saw indicators violence was imminent, I’d drift away from my bodily harsh reality and into daydreams, a drifting away I did so often that I eventually stopped knowing how to come back to my body at all.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been doing the hard work of learning to come back to my body. Most the time, the work feels like running a marathon having only run a mile or two in preparation; I so want to quit, but I want the satisfaction of finishing the run even more. So I keep stepping through the pain, and taking heart in the fortitude I’m showing in doing so. Continue reading “from which happy is made”

Dragoning Greatly: An Introduction

I wrote my first blog post in June 1995. From the very first email response I received, I was hooked. I’d been heard! That could actually happen: I could be heard.

Online, I could be appear more than the broken teenager I was offline.

That was so powerful. Unfortunately, it was also setup for a lot of unhealthy behaviors.

A couple months ago, I fully and finally saw just how unhealthy my relationship with blogging had become. I deleted my existing blogs and began learning how to simply sit with myself, my thoughts, and my feelings. This, too, was powerful.

At first, it was only painful. It might have remained that way, but for one thing: In this quiet place, I found the works of vulnerability and shame researcher Brené Brown.

A friend had recommended Brown’s Daring Greatly several years ago. I’d bought a copy, read the preface, and … didn’t relate at all. As far as I was then concerned, I was already daring greatly.

About a month ago, my primary care provider recommended Brown’s Netflix special. I said I’d consider checking it out. I thought, Yeah, I already tried Brown. Not my thing. In fact, I just sold back my copy of her book a couple weeks ago!

On a whim, I did end up starting Brown’s special. Within moments, I was transfixed–laughing, choking back tears, and celebrating the fact Brown’s out there doing what she’s doing.

I wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing that was so foreign and new, but that was okay. I was just glad she was doing it.

Since then, I’ve discovered Daring Greatly was only one of Brown’s books. I’ve read all save one of them, and am halfway through the last–her latest, Dare to Lead.

I didn’t intend to ever again have any kind of personal site, but I’m inspired by Brown. What I do today doesn’t have to be like what I did yesterday. In fact, it couldn’t be, with all I’ve recently learned from Brown and my many other teachers, both global and local. Continue reading “Dragoning Greatly: An Introduction”