I’ve recently been reading Brené Brown’s book where she outlines the research she’s gathered on vulnerability and shame. In the book, “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,” Dr. Brown talks about shame resilience as a way to counter the naturally occurring emotion of shame.
“Shame resilience is a strategy for protecting connection–our connection with ourselves and our connections with the people we care about. But resilience requires cognition, or thinking, and that’s where shame has a huge advantage. When shame descends, we almost always are hijacked by the limbic system…Shame thrives on secret keeping…Since his early work on the effects of secret keeping, James Pennebaker has focused much of his research on the healing power of expressive writing. In his book “Writing to Heal,” Pennebaker writes, ‘Since the mid-1980s an increasing number of studies have focused on the value of expressive writing as a way to bring about healing. The evidence is mounting that the act of writing about traumatic experience for as little as fifteen or twenty minutes a day for three or four days can produce measurable changes in physical and mental health. Emotional writing can also affect people’s sleep habits, work efficiency, and how they connect with others.’ Shame resilience is a practice and like Pennebaker, I think writing about our shame experiences is an incredibly powerful component of practice. It takes time to cultivate that practice and courage to reach out and talk about hard things.”
Today’s guest has a lot of experience in the realm of writing to heal. She has just published a poem in the book “Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life.” Sue Berlie (Lightning Heart) has a BSc in Pharmacy and has been a personal trainer, water fitness instructor and an emotional kinesiology therapist. She is now a shamanic coach and practitioner. While Sue began writing poetry as a young child, she stopped for many years, eventually returning to it after she began reading Dr. Seuss books to her children.
To find out more about Sue and the work she does, please visit www.sueberlie.com
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