The 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living (by Brené Brown)

Welp, 2017 has come to its end. And looking back, there was no personal force greater in my life in 2017 than that of author, professor, and social researcher, Brené Brown. I mentioned her work a bit in my Vulnerability blog post, but here's a refresher.

Dr. Brown has spent her 17+ year career researching tough topics like fear, vulnerability, courage, and shame. And in the past year, I've read nearly every published word she's ever written. If you haven't yet, check out one of her TED Talks or pick up one of her books. I promise you won't regret it. 

In her work, Dr. Brown has found key differentiators between people who suffer through shame and those who practice shame resilience. She then cultivated these differentiators into what she calls "Guideposts," setting up guidance for those of us learning about and daily pursuing this tendency for shame resilience.

These ten guideposts follow a basic reciprocal pattern, inviting the reader to "cultivate" this and conversely "let go of" that. They aren't rules or even achievable all at once. They're simply guideposts to what she calls "wholehearted living." They're mile markers on a lifelong journey. Course correctors for the tough times. For when we get bogged down and find it hard to show up, be seen, and love our true selves outwardly. With these ten guideposts, we can tackle our own Shame Gremlins and take small but impactful steps to course correcting our thoughts, words, and behaviors to the path of shame resilience.

The Guideposts show up in a few of Dr. Brown's published works, and I used to keep a cheat sheet of the guideposts inside my sketchbook for easy reference. But this month, I decided to commit to something a little more concrete. Something easier to study and quicker to reference. So I designed a deck of Guideposts cards.

In my art history program, I was a flashcard fiend. I would study them at the dinner table, in the bath, in bed, on the bus to class, and just before exams. So what better format (for me, at least) than a set of cards to keep me fresh and focused on my shame resilience practice? Here's a few images of my cards, as well as a deck box design. I loved creating this project, and the cards are so helpful when I'm feeling dizzy with emotional overload or battling a Shame Gremlin of my own.

2018 will be another year of learning and growing for me, especially in this arena. Dr. Brown's newest book, Braving the Wilderness felt like a personal call to action, and I'm stepping into said Wildnerness with all the tools her work has equipped me with so far — a soft front, a strong back, and a wild heart. (And now, a set of cards to help keep me on track!)

Thanks for following me this year! Here's to bigger and better things in 2018!

Amanda CochranComment