4 In life

September Book Club: Rising Strong


I super love this back-to-school time of year, don’t you? It doesn’t feel like fall at all in San Diego yet, but now is usually the time of year when I start watching You’ve Got Mail and dreaming of bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

The fact that school is back in session makes book club seem even more significant to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’m not in school anymore and reading is a very academic thing. Whatever it is, I”m eager to be more intentional about my reading—so much so I might even make that one of my upcoming Live Well challenges.

An-y-way…our book this month is one I’m excited about because of my obsession with it’s author. For September we’ll be reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those life-changing sort of books that sticks with us for a while. Here’s a little snapshot from Amazon:

When we deny our stories, they define us. 
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending. 

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

What do you think? Who’s in?



  • Reply
    August 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Hi, Natalie!

    Great choice! What do your book clubs entail? I started Rising Strong yesterday and am loving it.

    Wishing you well,

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      August 26, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Basically we just all read the book together and sometimes discuss on the blog or on Instagram—I’m still sort of figuring out how to make it more fun and interactive. A recent idea was to have discussions on Periscope!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Natalie!

    I’m finishing up Overwhelmed and plan to keep up with the book club on a monthly basis (so far so good!). I love Brene Brown and can’t wait to read her latest book – great choice! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on both books and think Periscope could be a fun tool for discussions. Happy reading! :)

  • Reply
    Alys | A Girl Who Reads
    September 2, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I have such a girl crush on Brene! Cannot wait to read this

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