She started with the quote above and talked to us about how important it was to be uncool. She ended with "the most uncool thing" she could think of: having us all join in a rousing rendition of "Don't Stop Believing"--the Glee version (she invited the first row to join her on stage singing). In between she talked about the vulnerability and being a creative person (her area of expertise is vulnerability and shame) saying, among other wonderful things, "Unused creativity is not benign. It turns into grief, judgement and shame." Isn't that a fascinating insight? Here's another: "Who you are will always trump who people want you to be." Ain't that the truth. However hard we may try, who we are trumps our facade.
In the afternoon, I attended "A Conversation with Brene Brown," where she took questions and again blew us away with her humor and insight. For example, she clarified the difference among vulnerability, intimacy, and TMI.
Here's what she said: oversharing, she notes, is actually a protection against vulnerability. She calls it "floodlighting." What happens when someone shines a floodlight in your face? You back away. Vulnerability, on the other hand, is like little twinkle lights. And intimacy is to be shared with those who have earned the right to hear it. So fabulous.
She had so much more to say about shame, vulnerability, joy, and creativity. Really, I hope the video is available soon so that I can make you sit there and watch it. But if there's one take-away from the whole weekend, it was the question she asked us at the end of the hour: What's worth doing even if you fuck it up? Like, for example, asking 1,000 people sing "Don't Stop Believing" even if they think you're a complete nutjob for doing it. Or maybe they'll join in with gusto and joy and tears.
photos from the WDS Flickr stream, copyright Armosa Studios, used by permission.