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What would it be like if you could view your struggles with curiosity instead of hurt, criticism, and judgment?

How would your relationship with yourself and others be different if you could discover how your perceptions and reactions to difficulties impact your feelings and behavior (towards yourself and others)?

Can you imagine what it would be like to create a new direction for yourself—with more self-confidence, self-compassion, and self-assurance than you ever thought possible?

These are the goals of the Rising Strong™ Intensive… and below, I’ll share with you exactly how we’ll accomplish these goals using Brené Brown’s groundbreaking research on shame-resilience, vulnerability, courage, and connection.

What is the agenda of the Rising Strong™ Intensive?

The short answer is that you’ll learn to reckon with:

  • both personal and professional difficulties and setbacks,
  • work through what’s really going on,
  • and dare to move forward again.

During the three days you will:

  • RECKON with your emotions and get curious about what you’re feeling.
  • RUMBLE with your story until you get to a place of truth.
  • Practice these learnings every day and create a REVOLUTION in your life.

The long answer, is that we will be doing a deep and courageous dive into the topics below:

How Values Light the Way 

  • Identify the personal values that are the most important in your life 
    • Often, we are so busy and task-driven that we aren’t intentionally choosing anything; our calendars and to-do lists are choosing how we spend our time, and thus how we live our life.  
  • Begin to understand how values clarification is essential to the development of resiliency 
    • The Rising Strong Intensive is designed to help you become resilient to shame and other difficult emotions.  Identifying your values is the foundation of resiliency.
  • Identify specific behaviors that align with your values 
    • If you were living a life aligned with your values, what would you be doing differently?
  • Identify specific people who support your efforts to practice your aspirational values 
    • Who can support you as you begin to shift towards a values-led life?
  • Explore the gaps between your aspirational values and your practiced values 
    • How are you currently living your life?  Does the way you spend your time reflect what your values are?  
  • Identify what specific values are out of alignment with your aspirational values
    • What needs to shift so that you are living out your values instead of just professing them?

Trust & The Marble Jar

  • Understand how and why trust is built incrementally and over time
    • Have you trusted others too much and gotten hurt?  Or are you withholding being vulnerable with someone who you truly do trust?  
  • Identify trusting relationships and the specific behaviors that you view as trust-building
    • This model will help you identify who you can and can’t truly trust, and why.  
    • Armed with this information, you can start confidently holding boundaries that lead to more connection, as well as work on your own behaviors and actions that will nurture trust with those you love.
  • Discuss trust using a powerful acronym (BRAVING) and how the tenets of trust impact your current and future relationships
    • You’ll gain clarity into why you trust who you do, and you’ll gain language and understanding about why you may not trust those you feel you should trust.  

The Myths of Vulnerability

  • Dispel the myths of vulnerability 
    • Hint, you can’t opt out of it!
  • Understand the relationship between vulnerability and courage 
    • Since it takes courage to be vulnerable—and it takes being vulnerable to gain the connection that we all crave—it’s essential to understand the connection between vulnerability and courage.
  • Identify the major vulnerability paradoxes that prevent us from practicing vulnerability 
    • Putting language to why we appreciate vulnerability in others but wouldn’t dare be vulnerable ourselves can be a profound shift in our relationships.
  • Differentiate over-disclosing from mutual vulnerability
    • Have you ever shared something too personal, too soon, or too intensely in an attempt to jump start a stronger relationship with someone?  We’re going to dive in to this pattern and learn how and when to be vulnerable.
  • Begin to understand the importance of connection in the human experience (from neurobiological hardwiring to spiritual needs)
    • This is why we’re here—we all crave connection and belonging.  
  • Identify the myths and ideals that we were taught as children about vulnerability 
    • Growing up, we soak up messages from our families and communities about what it means to share our emotions.  We will dive into those messages to discover our own truth about what we want from our relationships.
  • Define vulnerability based on your own personal experience and identify your physiological experience of vulnerability 
    • How do you experience vulnerability?  What has your experience been?

Empathy & Self-Compassion

  • We’re going to take a deep-dive into empathy so that we can:
    • Understand the relationship between empathy and trust
    • Identify and explore the five attributes of empathy
    • Differentiate empathy from sympathy
    • Differentiate the roles that experience and emotion play in practicing empathy
  • We’re going to take a deep-dive into self-compassion so that we can:
    • Explore self-compassion:  what it means, its application, and assess your own level of self-compassion
  • Understand why commitment to practicing empathy and self-compassion includes making mistakes and making multiple attempts at connection

The Arena

  • Understand and begin to utilize Brené Brown’s metaphor of the arena to examine the challenges associated with feeling vulnerable or with engaging in behaviors that lead to uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure 
    • Uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure are the elements of our lives that can scare us the most, closing us off to the one thing we all crave: connection.
  • Begin to understand the relationships among vulnerability, scarcity, shame, and comparison
    • How does shame impact your ability to be vulnerable with others?  How often are you comparing yourself with others, and how does that interfere with connection?
  • Begin to understand the relationship between vulnerability and the messages, expectations, and stereotypes involving race, class, orientation, and otherness.
    • How does feeling like you’re in the minority in some way in a group impact your ability to make connections and be vulnerable?
  • Begin to understand the relationships among vulnerability, self-compassion, and empathy
    • While self-compassion and empathy feel easy to understand and implement at first glance, we’ll explore why these concepts are challenging, and how we can overcome them.
  • Recognize how criticism and cynicism impede your willingness to be vulnerable 
    • Naming and understanding your own fear of being criticized is critical to being able to be in true connection with others.
  • Identify your own key stakeholders in your life and the messages and expectations of these stakeholders
    • Perhaps it’s your parents, in-laws, bosses, society or your own internal messages—we’ll examine their messages and expectations of you to illuminate how you’re being held back, and how to begin to change that. 

Shame and The Arena Door

  • Understand the relationship between shame and vulnerability
    • We’re going to explore why we are the most susceptible to shame when we are practicing vulnerability and courage
  • Begin to define shame 
    • While shame is a universal human affect, it can be hard to put into words—which is why we must do it (shame hates being spoken—speaking shame is the first step to overcoming shame)

Understanding Shame

  • Recognize shame as a universal human affect
    • Shame is our most primitive human affect—we all experience shame.  We all don’t want to talk about it.  The less we talk about it, the more we have it.  Only in breaking that cycle can we begin to heal from shame. 
  • Begin to differentiate shame, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment
    • They’re all different—and understanding these differences can impact how you experience them.
  • Understand the relationship between shame and addiction, depression, violence, aggression, and behavioral health outcomes 
    • We’ll explore how shame can be a far-reaching affect that can cause countless problems in our lives.
  • Identify childhood, school, employment, current relationship, and self-talk messages that trigger shame 
    • We’re going to figure out where your shame triggers originated so we can be more mindful of our automatic shame responses.

The Armory

  • Identify your physiological responses to shame
    • Our bodies hold so much information—tuning in to how your body responds to shame is the first step to being able to recover from shame.
  • Begin to identify the defensive strategies you use to protect yourself against feelings of shame and vulnerability 
    • We all defend ourselves from feeling shame and feeling too exposed … we will explore the impact of our defensive strategies on the relationships we most crave.
  • Differentiate perfectionism from healthy-striving, and understand the relationship between shame and perfectionism
    • We will explore how what at first glance may seem a valiant effort to be your best self, perfectionism is actually a force that keeps us from being our best self.  
  • Comprehend the concept of foreboding joy and the relationship between joy and vulnerability 
    • As much as we all want to be happy, we are constantly imagining what we’d do if the worst happened in an attempt to prepare ourselves for tragedy.  This constant dress rehearsal of tragedy steals the joy from our lives.  We’ll dive in to why we do this, and how to ditch the habit and actually experience joy.
  • Differentiate numbing from comforting 
    • What might be thought of just comforting—be it the wine, hours spent online shopping, or anything else that distracts from the pain—can actually be a dangerous numbing behavior that exacerbates the pain.

Shame Shields

  • Understand the concept of shame shields and recognize that it is based on the concept of “strategies of disconnection”  
    • We so badly want to avoid feeling shame that we show up for others with shame shields that instead of serving to protect us from shame, lead to disconnection, and thus more shame.
  • Identify the specific shame shields you use and the contexts in which they use them 

Identities and Triggers

  • Identify shame triggers by recognizing both wanted and unwanted identities and your origins 
    • We’re going to look at the mask you may wear that portrays the identity of your choice:  smart, accomplished, effortlessly perfect, etc.  … and explore why we cling to these masks so tightly 
  • Explore the messages, expectations, and stereotypes that fuel your ideal and unwanted perceptions
    • where did you learn that you must always be perceived as having it all together?  
  • Recognize how you try to manage perceptions and why it is not possible
    • … and in doing so, take steps towards putting down that exhausting mask!

Cultivating Shame Resilience

  • Understand how to be resilient to shame using the four steps of shame resilience 
    • … and by doing so, dramatically change your life
  • Practice asking for what you need and talking about how you feel 
    • by this point in the group, you’ll feel the safety and trust to practice asking what you need and stating how you feel 
  • Create a written manifesto to help remind you who you are and how you want to make a difference 
    • If I could tape all you learned to your forehead as you leave I would, but that would be weird.  Instead you’ll write a manifesto to take with you to summarize all you’ve learned about yourself and how you want to show up in relationship to yourself and others.

Ready to create a revolution in your life?  The next Rising Strong™ Intensive is December 6-8, 2019 and there are only 3 spots left.  Contact me to learn more!