What I've Been Reading: The Gifts of Imperfection

Play Brene Brown.jpg

I'm not sure why I'd never heard of Brene Brown till about a month ago.It seems that, ever since a friend recommended her work to me, I've seen her name everywhere. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, or maybe her work came to my attention at the time when I was most receptive to reading it.

Whatever the reason, I have just finished reading (and drinking in!) a second of her books. This time it was The Gifts of Imperfection, subtitled Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. The subtitle says it all, really. The message of the book is that people who live whole heartedly do so by embracing who they are.

There are so many wonderful take-aways from the book, but I think my favourite one is the importance of play. According to Brown, taking time to play is "as essential to our health and functioning as rest" (p. 100). 

I think I loved this reminder so much because, although I think I'm pretty good at taking time out to do fun stuff, I do sometimes feel that I need to justify heading off to the beach, or playing a bit of Scrabble, or having a splash about in the pool, because, afterwards, I have nothing to show for it. There's nothing I can cross off my to-do list, or outcome I can measure, or even share with anyone.  But, as Brene points out, that's the point.  Play reduces stress, allows our body and mind the chance to reset, and builds creativity. It isn't just good for us,  it is vital.

No more guilt at taking time out! Thanks Brene Brown. And thanks for reminding me that it's okay to dance, wherever I am.