If you had told me a year ago that I would, in a year, be spending a day with Dr. Brené Brown in her Houston, Texas home I would have told you to shut the front door. And then I would’ve impatiently spend the next year crossing each day off the calendar like a kid waiting for Christmas.
If you don’t know who Brené Brown is check out her TED talk on vulnerability – take 20 minutes to watch it right now and then come back. It changed my life – along with the lives of over 9 million other viewers. I was already a fan of Brené when I went to Mighty Summit and received a signed copy of Daring Greatly. After reading Daring Greatly I was preaching Brené’s rallying cry to get in the arena, show up and be seen. I did a review of Daring Greatly on the Braid blog and tweeted it – Brené saw the tweet, read the review, and replied on Twitter that she loved it. It made my day.
A couple months later I became breathless when I saw an email from Brené in my inbox. She had been following our work ever since our tweet exchange and needed a brand overhaul before going on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday in a couple of months. She wanted to hire us for the job. There was lots of back and forth – she needed design work and didn’t necessarily have the time to commit to going through the entire collaborative Braid Method (the way Tara and I insist on working with our clients – every. single. time.) The dream of working with a hero felt like a slippery fish in my hands. But eventually she said “Hired!” She knew we were the ones who could take her brand where it needed to go. I knew it too. Writing her name on our client chalkboard felt like a surreal dream.
The next few months involved lots of Skyping between Brené, Tara, and myself. I’ll never forget the time Oprah herself called Brené while we were in a Skype session together. Tara and I couldn’t wait to tell our mom and dad. (Though… now my dad thinks we actually work with Oprah.) And then there was the time Brené was video conferencing with us in her pajamas from a hotel room before a huge speaking gig – it was at that point that she felt almost like family.
And then just a couple weeks ago Tara and I were working, shoes off and side-by-side, with in her comfy living room knocking out a web project. Not only was Brené giving us enthusiastic approval on the designs we were creating for her, but she was bringing me plates of sugar cookies and strawberries. It would have been easy to get caught up in the stress or fear that comes with being a creative working for A Big Deal but instead I chose to take in the moment with all of my senses and radiate gratitude from every cell of my being. And when we needed little breaks from work we talked about life – and Brené felt like an aunt I’ve known my whole life. The whole thing felt like a dream.
After a long day of really hard work I asked Brené if she would mind giving me just a little bit of advice for bloggers who might be a little hesitant to show up and be seen. What she said was simple but golden. Read these gifts of wisdom straight from Brené Brown, for you, over at the Braid Blog.