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Shame Resilience

Shame ResilienceShame is an intensely painful experience that impacts our sense of self and our relationships. Shame is the experience that there is something deeply wrong with me and there is no way to fix it.

When triggered, we feel exposed and experience painful emotional and physical symptoms:

  • Increased body temperature – a warm flush or even a “hot flash”
  • Nausea
  • Heaviness in the chest – perhaps to the point of feeling anxious and panicky
  • Poor eye-contact and hesitant speech patterns
  • Body minimizing posture – trying to hide shape of body or look invisible
  • Low energy levels – work hard to excel and feel exhausted most of the time

Shame Resilience researcher, Brené Brown, has studied the impact of shame for more than a decade. In her TED Talks, “The Power of Vulnerability” and “Listening to Shame,” she shares how to create resilience that move us through the experience of shame toward deeper connection and “whole-hearted” living.

In the clip below from “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” Brown says people who have “high levels of shame resilience” — meaning they can acknowledge and move through shame — have a few things in common. We can follow their lead by taking these three steps:

  • Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love. “I would say to myself, ‘God, you’re so stupid, Brene,’” Brown says. “I would never talk to my kids that way.”
  • Reach out to someone you trust.
  • Tell your story. “Shame cannot survive being spoken,” Brown says.

Check out Brené Brown’s TED Talks by clicking here: Brené Brown’s TED talks

Twilight Epiphany

The following photos are part of the gallery, “Healing Spaces,” contributed by fellow Houstonians. Each photo represents natural spots around Houston that draw us outside and calm our spirits. Tamara Thompson contributed these pictures of the James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany skyspace located on the campus of Rice University. Thank you, Tamara, for sharing your beautiful photos with us.

“James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany skyspace. The pyramidal structure accommodates 120 people between two levels. Twilight Epiphany is acoustically engineered to host musical performances and to act as a laboratory for music school students on select days after Sunset. Constructed of grass, concrete, stone and composite steel, the structure is equipped with an LED light sequence that projects onto the ceiling and through an aperture in the 72-foot square knife-edge roof just before sunrise and at sunset. Turrell’s composition of light compliments the natural light present at twilight, and transforms the skyspace into a locale for experiencing beauty and reflective interactions with the surrounding campus and the natural world.” – See more at: http://skyspace.rice.edu/about-skyspace/

I would love to know of more natural spots around Houston that draw us out and calm our spirits. If you are interested in contributing to the “Houston Healing Spaces” gallery, email photograph for consideration to info@jenniferchristiancounseling.com and include

  • Subject line: Houston healing spaces
  • Name (optional)
  • Details about what this particular spot means to you