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On this episode of Unlocking Us

In this second-to-last episode of the Summer Sister Series on The Gifts of Imperfection, I have a couple of in-real-time revelations: namely that I suck at cultivating quality rest and play (a.k.a. Guidepost #7). Thankfully, on the flip side, I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at cultivating calm and stillness (thank you, 5-mile-long daily walks) and letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle (Guidepost #8). We dig in and ask the existential question: What does your ideal restful vacation look like?

About the guests

Ashley Brown Ruiz headshot

Ashley Brown Ruiz

Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker certified by the State of Texas. She received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Fueling a passion from working over a decade in a Title 1 school in Houston ISD, Ashley pursued a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. As part of her role as Senior Director of The Daring Way, she leads The Daring Way Internship Program with students seeking a master’s degree in Social Work. Ashley works with the interns to run therapy groups at different agencies around the Houston area. Her experience comes from working with women in residential recovery, adolescents in recovery, and middle school girls. Ashley’s ability to model and teach vulnerability and courage allows her to help clients put together all the pieces of their lives in order to help them move toward the life they hope to create. She is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Barrett Guillen headshot

Barrett Guillen

Barrett Guillen is (OFFICIALLY) Chief of Staff for Brené Brown Education and Research Group and (UNOFFICIALLY) the boss of Brené. With her team, Barrett supports both Brené and the organization by helping to prioritize competing demands, managing relationships, and building connective tissue and strategy across all business initiatives. Barrett holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Kinesiology from the University of Houston. After more than a decade in education in the Texas Panhandle, Barrett and her family made the move back to the Houston area to join the BBEARG team in making the world a braver place.  Having the opportunity to work with her sisters everyday has been one of the great joys of her life. Outside the office, you can find Barrett spending time with her family (immediate and extended), enjoying her daughter’s games, eating her husband’s famous burgers, floating in the water (any water!), or on the pickle ball court.

Show notes

The Gifts of Imperfection 10th-anniversary edition in paperback

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

For over a decade, Brené Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveler. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh, and, on occasion, cry with you. And what’s now become a movement all started with The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two million copies in thirty-five different languages across the globe.

What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living. The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way.


Brené Brown: Hi everyone, I’m Brené Brown and this is Unlocking Us.


BB: Yee-haw. We are heading into the hard guidepost for the Brown sisters. I can tell you right now, we are doing guidepost number seven and eight, Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth and Cultivating Rest and Play. And then Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle and Cultivating Calm and Stillness. Do y’all have your inventories out?

Ashley Brown Ruiz: Yes.

Barrett Guillen: Yeah.

BB: My lowest one is letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle.

BG: Mine too.

ABR: Same.

BB: Y’all suck.

BG: Dang it.

ABR: You suck.


BG: Confirmed.

BB: Okay, we’re going to take it head on.

BG: Let’s do it.

BB: That’s all we can do. If you’ve been with us already through some of the sister series, you know that we are keeping it real. All right, we’re glad you’re here, and we’ll figure out how exactly we’re going to cultivate more calm and stillness and more play and rest. It seems like a good challenge.


BB: Welcome to our Sister Strong six-week series, I’m doing this summer with my sisters, Ashley and Barrett on The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s so fun to see all the different ways people are joining us. There are in-real-life book clubs, which is really neat to see after such a long time. There are online book clubs, sisters are getting together to do it, friends are getting together to do it, I even know some couples that are going to do it together. Here’s what I would do if you’re interested in following along, you can use the new 10th anniversary edition of The Gifts of Imperfection or you can use your original book, both of them are perfect. I would start, before you listen to the podcast, I would take The WholeHearted Assessment. You could just go to It’s in The Gifts of Imperfection hub, totally free. It’s really interesting, it gives you kind of a score on all the guideposts, where your strengths are and where your opportunities for improvement are.


BB: Okay, where do y’all want to start?

BG: Let’s start with Ashley.


BB: Nice way to throw it over, Barrett. Okay, so let’s start with the first one, which is Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth, letting go of that and Cultivating Play and Rest. Okay I have some interesting thoughts about myself on this one, but I want y’all to go first. So where did y’all land on the whole-hearted inventory on this one?

BG: I got a half a tank.

ABR: I got right under half a tank.

BB: I got right over half a tank. So I have to be honest with you, exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth, that was my 30s and into my 40s. I really do not have a lot of that right now.

BG: I don’t know that I have a lot of that either, but I also don’t have a great rest and play practice.

BB: That’s…So, okay, let’s just stop right here. This is such an important learning for this book because whole-heartedness is not just the absence of the stuff that gets in the way. It’s the cultivation and building the practices of the things on the other side of that continuum. So when I first took this Wholehearted Inventory before we did the series right now, I was pissed off because I was like, I don’t think I see exhaustion as a status symbol.  When people tell me,  “I haven’t slept in days,” I’m not like, “Oh man, you’re a bad ass.”  I’m like, “Jesus, I hope you’re not driving, because you’re a danger to all of us on the road.” I don’t think that anymore, and I don’t think of productivity as self-worth either, but I have not fully developed.  And I have developed rest. Wait are you looking at me with suspic…?

BG: No, did you say you developed rest?

BB: I have developed rest.

ABR: I think you’ve always had rest.

BB: But is rest the same thing as sleep? I don’t think so, because I sleep eight to nine hours a night, no question. So I’m not good at rest or play. Okay, just for the record, I figured this out in real time. I suck at both. [laughter] Glad you all could watch that, in real time.

ABR: It was really impressive.


BB: Okay, so what about you, Ashley? Have you done a good job letting go of those two or where are you?

ABR: Yeah, I mean I think if I’m using exhaustion as a status symbol, it’s really from resentment or… I think this it’s mostly from resentment, again…

BB: Like proving?

ABR: Not proving, more just like… Maybe less proving and more affirmation. Yeah.

BB: Wanting affirmation or wanting…

ABR: Like, “God, I worked my ass off and no one said shit to me.”

BB: Okay, yeah.

ABR: But, I feel like I’ve been doing that less and less. And I don’t have a great practice at all for rest and play. Are we just doing that one now?

BB: Yeah, let’s just stick to that one right now on this continuum.

ABR: I feel like I’m good at rest because I rest a lot but it’s not good rest. It’s numbing rest.

BB: Yeah.

ABR: Soul-sucking, TV rest.

BB: Yeah. Not the kind that gives back.

ABR: Right.

BB: There’s a great quote in here that says… Let me see if I can find it. Y’all hang on with me while I flip through my book.

BG: Because does self-care come in rest and play?

BB: Yeah.

BG: Oh.

ABR: I suck at that.

BB: I suck at that too. I think it’s Jennifer Louden that says when we’re talking about the difference between comfort, and she said, “Two whole bars of chocolate can be numbing where one bite of delicious chocolate that you love can bring comfort.”  You really have to decide, where do you cross the line between comfort and numbing. What gives back to you? Sometimes I can watch a movie and it gives back so much to me, just like an old rom-com or something that I love. And sometimes I can sit in front of the television for seven hours and feel like shit when I’m done.

ABR: Yeah. Like the other night, I was like, “I’m just going to watch the Friends Reunion” and it brought me so much joy. Probably just because it connected me to a time in my life that I loved that episode. You knew what night it was going to be on. It wasn’t Netflix. It was so fun. So that brought me joy. But I can sit on a couch and watch TV all day on a Saturday, and then be like, “I cannot believe I wasted my whole effin’ day on this.”

BB: Yeah. Oh my God, me too. You too?

BG: Mm-hmm.

BB: You know what I’m learning about you too, Ashley? Just listening to the “Must-See TV,” and I remember how much you love that, and the same concerts and singing at church, you really love… Durkheim called it collective effervescence, you really loved being in a collective connection and joy. Because you remember “Must-See TV” and Friends.

ABR: Yeah.

BB: You couldn’t wait to watch it with people or call each other afterwards, or watch it together, or talk about it at work the whole next day. There was a lot of connection and collective effervescence in that.

ABR: Yeah, I got a lot of resentment a.k.a. envy with some of these new HBO series, because I’m just really not a fan of the super brutal kind of things. But it was the talk of the office for a long time.

BG: Game of Thrones.

ABR: Lauren and Barrett even had a funny thing about Game of Thrones but not only did I not feel connected, I felt like an outsider because I was like…

BB: Oh me too.

ABR: I don’t want to watch.

BB: Me too.

ABR: Those shows are so violent. I wanted to watch them, but I just couldn’t.

BB: No, I couldn’t watch it either.

BG: Lauren and I came up with our own little fake mini series that we talked about instead.

BB: Was it Game of Drones?

ABR: Yeah. [laughter] Because I mean, seriously, every week it was that whole conversation around the bar.

BB: But that’s a connection builder for people to watch that and have that shared foundation. It’s what we’re doing with the book, hopefully with people listening.

ABR: Oh, totally.

BB: So this is going to be interesting. This is a family of origin shame deep dive. Are you ready?

BG: Bring it.

BB: Ashley’s taking a deep breath, she’s not sure.

ABR: And my permission slip is… No let’s go.

BB: I think for me… I know y’all are going to just react to this, but I have such a shame trigger around being lazy.

ABR: Yeah.

BG: So say more about how that shows up for you.

BB: That was pretty good.

ABR: Yeah that was, I’m impressed.

BG: Thank y’all. That was Barret by the way. [laughter] Not therapist.

BB: I think that… And I write about this a lot, but I think that sometimes I’ll be watching TV when Steve gets home with Charlie and I’ll turn it off real quick and jump up and get productive. And then I’ll be really shitty towards Steve. He’ll be like, “Hey, babe.” I’m like, “Whatever.” he’s like, “What did I do?” I’m like, “Nothing. Just you know”

BG: I have no idea what you’re talking about. [laughter] So that answered that question.

BB: Yeah, and then I’ll say to him now, because I had to do it because my therapist makes me but I’ll be like, “I was watching TV and I was in the middle of this thing, and then you got home, and I jumped up, or pretending like I was… ” He’s like, “Why would you do that?” And I was like, “Because I don’t want you think I’m lazy.” And he’s like, “Oh my God, I want you to go to Workaholics Anonymous. I don’t think you’re lazy.” He’s like, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” And sitting down… And I don’t know if y’all remember this or not.  And just for those listening, this is a normal family pattern we have, where Ashley and Barret will ask me questions like, “Well, what was this like growing up?” Because they don’t remember.

ABR: Yeah, totally.

BB: But in our family growing up, if Mom was ever sitting down doing something when Dad got home, it was problematic.

BG: Geez.

BB: In fact, one of the things that was completely outlawed in our house was reading books. You could not just sit down and read. It was not industrious, it was not productive. And both Mom and Dad, or Dad would have a surgery on Thursday and be back at work on Friday. Our mom would get sick and bring a bag and throw up but still lead the Girl Scout group. There was a lot of the combination of shame, probably, some class shame. You know, now we are in this kind of upper middle class suburban thing, but came from poverty and working class combo. So it was a combination of shame around that and a combination of zero tolerance for weakness. And watching TV or reading a book, or self-care… We didn’t have the word self-care back then, but somebody would have tied it to a target and blown the shit of it with a shotgun, had we had that term. (laughter) Yeah, that would not have been good. So I think that’s the lazy thing for me. Even if I’m writing a book and I’m working, writing 20 hours a day, putting out a book in three or four months. I would not want someone to know I was watching television.

BG: I don’t really have that.

BB:Do y’all have that?

ABR: No, I definitely don’t have that.

BB:I don’t think y’all have that.

BG: I have the jump up and flip the TV off, but that’s more about me feeling like I need to be present when they get home and check in. But I’m not going to jump up and start acting like I’m doing something else.


BB: Yeah, so yours is about just being connected with them when they get home and not distracted.

BG: Yeah, and almost like, I can feel guilty for just wanting my own space and my own time to watch whatever I want to watch. So that’s more for me about what it’s about.

ABR: It’s just us, so my daughter will just jump on the couch and start watching it with me and then four hours later we’ll be like, “We should probably get up.” But then I can sometimes get up and be a complete asshole because all the things that I wanted to do that day have now not gotten done. The things that set me up for success, groceries, laundry, stuff like that.

BB: Meal prep.

BG: I can do that too.

BB: I can do that too. But yeah, I can do that too. Yeah, I definitely have that thing. Do you remember Dad and Mom resting?

BG: No.

BB: Ever?

ABR: I don’t really remember a lot from that time. But I see it now with Dad, and I saw it with Mom when we were older, or not even really, I don’t think she rested.

BB: She worked 80 hours a week.

ABR: She was working, yeah.

BB: Yeah, and that’s a hard shame trigger to get over.

ABR: God! Now thinking about it too, even Dad, he’s either falling asleep in his chair or he’s working.

BB: They’re sleeping or working.

ABR: Yeah.

BB: Those were the two speeds and some of that’s this German-American really industrious. And then I think it’s also waiting tables for… Seriously for seven years, and the motto was, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” [laughter]

ABR: I would just not make it in that industry.

BB: Yes I think that’s a hard one.

ABR: That’s funny.

BB: That’s hard. So rest and play. So interesting story, let’s tell the story about Stuart Brown, because I think we love him.

BG: Mm-hmm.

BB: Let me see if I can find it in the book.

ABR: I’m just curious, what would super intentional rest look like? I’m not clear. [chuckle] Shall we survey people?

BG: That’s a good question.

BB: Let’s poll people.

BG: Let’s poll…

BB: I’ve done it before… I can’t remember what it was like. [laughter]

BG: You know what? When we were at the lake the other day, after graduation, and we were just all on the couch watching pickleball, and it was like filling our cups, we were laughing and talking.

ABR: That’s true. That was fun.

BB: That was amazing.

ABR: That was fun.

BG: Y’all, we didn’t even clean the kitchen right after lunch because the pickleball had already started.

BB: Yeah, there was some serious pickleball on.

ABR: That was fun.

BB: Yeah, that was fun. And that was great. I left restored.

BG: Me too.

BB: But even on vacation, like even on this vacation I just got back from.  I’m like,  “I need to get up.  I need to hike.  I need to be one with the mountain. “  [laughter] I need to… I need to do all these things and like… Literally, I’ll just tell y’all because I mean…

BG: Because nobody else is listening.

BB: No it’s  just the three of us [laughter] and I see Bob and Laura but they’re on our side. [laughter] After that first hike, I was like [laughter], “Fuck this mountain stuff man.”  I was like… First of all, it’s like at 8,000 feet, and then I don’t know how the non-Texans invented hiking. But it was uphill both ways [laughter] and when I was unpacking last night, Steve goes, “Where are your hiking boots?” And I was like, “I threw them away” [laughter] “I’m not bringing them home.”   I was like, “I put them in a little pile that said Goodwill.”  [chuckle] I was literally like, “But I can’t not hike because, you know..”

BG: Okay, here’s a question for both of y’all. What does your absolute restful vacation look like?

BB: I’m alone. [laughter]

BG: Let’s start with, “Wherever I am, I’m by myself.”

BB: I don’t want… I don’t mean to be rude to y’all but… [laughter]

ABR: My feelings are really hurt. [chuckle]

BG: No, not mine. Seriously, when we travel, when we get done with an event, it’ll be like 3 o’clock in the afternoon she’ll be like “Good night.” [laughter] “Okay, night”[laughter]

BB: It’s so different because when we all travel, it’s like, y’all go into each other’s room and y’all order room service together, and then y’all eat together… [laughter] The first time Barrett and I travel for work together Barrett was like…

BG: “I’m going to get my pajamas, I’ll be over in ten.”

BG: Yeah, she’s like “I’m going to put my pajamas on, I’ll come over in just a couple of minutes and then we can look at the room service menu.”  I was like, “Why?” And she’s like, “Do you want to hang out together?” I’m like, “Uh-huh. No, I don’t” [laughter] And she’s like, “So I’m not going to see you until tomorrow morning?” And I was like, “Yeah, good night. Good-bye.”

BG: There is that often, at like 8:30 or 9:00, “Hey, do you feel like ironing?”[laughter]

BB: I don’t even own an iron. Who irons? Nobody but Barrett.

ABR: We were running around the other day, she’s like “We have to stop and buy an iron. You think Barrett’s busy?” [laughter]

BG: Hey look, I do like to iron.

BB: That’s some of your compulsive stuff, right?

BG: And I like to chop. Chop and iron.

BB: Chop… Yeah, it’s perfect.

BG: What’s that say about me therapist?

ABR: So I don’t know what my ideal vacation would be.  But even when we go to Disney, I want to get up, hit the parks, come back, lay around, have some lunch, get back up, go to the parks. I like to rest when I’m on vacation.

BG: But what is a restful vacation, like if you’re just trying to get away to fill your own cup up, what would that be?

BB: I would have to say this, I’m going to have alone time.  But probably not go alone.  But I’m going to have a lot of alone time. I’m going to have no pressure to do things and I am going to be at my house.

BG: Staycation?

BB: Yeah, it’s a staycation because I’m going to have access to all my stuff. And then what happens is, that’s probably Steve’s too.  But I’m going to feel pressure that we go do everything and we see everything, and I have my spreadsheet and I’m going to have my list… Oh my God, Laura Mayes, I’m looking at you, through this booth… Oh my God, Laura Mayes has a 24-page spreadsheet for vacationing. Yes, she does.  But she has to meet a lot of people’s needs.  And I would not have to meet anybody’s needs, but my own. [chuckle]

BG: Ashley?

ABR: I don’t know, I’m stuck. Barrett?

BB: Yeah Barrett, asker of the question.

BG: I think it was when we first started the podcast and all the crew had gone to Austin to quarantine, and we were doing some podcast recordings in our brand new studio that we never got to use yet. And Brené and I had this real conversation because I think y’all had been there for a couple days, and I was like, “Okay, go pack. I’m ready to get to Austin.” She’s like, “No, we should go tomorrow.” Do you remember this?

BB: Mm-hmm.

BG: And I was like, “You can come tomorrow, I’m going to go today.” But she was like, I figured out that what actually fills me up is being with everyone, I love to be in the chaos and the mess and the… A lot of things happening and a lot of people, I love that, it fills me up, and most of the time I can come back feeling rested, so I would say… I like the big family vacations.

ABR: Yeah, I like the lake.

BG: Oh, me too.

ABR: I mean, I love the lake because everybody can do their own thing, you can go walking, you can go swimming, you can go on the boat when you want to go on the boat, you don’t have to join the boat rides, but you can… The cooking is always fun together, because we’re either grilling or making food, so I do, I love the lake. It fills me up, I would say that wherever I go on this vacation, I’ll think about it. Does not include a flight [laughter]

BB: Are you that anxious of a flyer?

ABR: I just, I don’t like airports, I don’t like people that close to me.

BB: Yeah, I get it.

ABR: I could do it at a concert, but not on a flight.

BB: Yeah, maybe you could just sing your way through the airport with people.

ABR: I bet they wouldn’t sit by me.

BG: “The hills are alive”

BB: You know what’s funny?  I’m just having this terrible realization, but I’ll share it since it’s just the three of us [chuckle] I think two of my hardest things are… Asking for what I need, and kind of just… I’m really bad at asking for what I need.

BG: Me too.

BB: I’m really good at being resentful towards people for not getting it.  But I’m not good at asking for what I need. But I think the other thing is, and y’all know this probably, and it was probably just because of birth order and how we were raised. But I have that deep kind of crucible wound around not belonging in our family.  And so when everyone’s at the lake and everyone’s going to go tubing or everyone’s going to go skiing. I don’t want to. I want to sit back and read in a rocking chair, but that triggers all my belonging stuff. And then so I force myself to go out with y’all, and then I’m resentful. So it’s really hard. I don’t want to be the person… Can you imagine in our family growing up, being the person that’s not going to go tubing or doing something death-defying…

ABR: No.

BB: But who’s going to stay back and read…

ABR: No.

BB: Or take a nap?

BG: Nuh-huh.

ABR: Your book would have probably been in the lake.

BB: Yeah. That would just not have been acceptable. So I think that’s where I really struggle. I think it all goes back to that… I mean, everything we’re talking about in this whole episode, this whole series goes back to the wholeheartedness, being worthy of love and belonging, no matter what your choices are. But I think that’s where I get really stuck because everybody’s like, “Let’s go tubing.” Then what I’ll do is, “Y’all go. I’ll clean up the kitchen.” Because I don’t really want to go. Sometimes I want to go, but I don’t want to go very often.

BG: Yeah.

ABR: Yeah.


BB: There was the trauma y’all grew up and there was the level of trauma I grew up with the stuff like the boating and stuff. Where not only was I trying to protect myself, I was trying to protect y’all from those kind of things. And so, I do think it’s really hard to ask for what you need and hear yourself in that noise.

BG: Shit.

BB: Do you know what I mean?

BG: Yes.

BB: Because really and truly, for me, I’m an introvert. We were not allowed to be introverted growing up. You know that? Like I remember the first time I remember being younger than Gabby. For sure, I was probably five when dad said, “You’ll look at the waiter and order your own food, or you won’t eat.”

BG: Damn.

BB: It was just like this, assert yourself, be… And so I think introversion was not allowed. And I even struggled with it as a parent. I even find myself reacting how they reacted when Charlie or Ellen put alone time on their Christmas lists. [chuckle] “What do you want?” “I want PlayStation 3 and alone time.” [laughter] And they’re not unrelated probably. [laughter] But, you know, I think that stuff is hard.

BG: So can I ask a question? What would support look like in that moment when our crew’s going out on the boat and you’re like, “I want to read?”

BB: I don’t know. I think probably just saying it out loud right now with y’all will be different, because now I’ve said it and it’s like that unsaid thing. So now y’all will probably go, “Does that”  What you better not do is drill me on it. But if you say like, “Does that sound fun?” And I say, “You know it does sound fun.” Just stop there. Don’t be like, “Does it really sound fun? Because we know when we recorded that podcast… ” [laughter] I’ll be like, “Fuck you.” [laughter] But I think, if you just check in with me, I think that’s good. But I think Steve and I have to really worry. Because Steve just wants to be on the boat, on the boat, on the boat, on the boat.

ABR: And so do the kids.

BB: Yeah.

ABR: Well, so there are times that I don’t want to go on the boat.

BG: Oh, me too.

ABR: But I go because I feel I’m going to be judged as a bad mom, not out there watching her kid. Because Steve’s there watching Charlie. Barrett’s there watching Gabby and I’m handing Amaya off on someone. So I make up stories too that I’m like, “Oh, I’m just going to pass Amaya on to someone else.”

BG: Oh, I’m on safety patrol. I’m like, I better fucking go, because I’m the ski wire, the tuber watcher while Steve’s driving and Frankie does it too. But I always feel like I have to be on safety patrol.

BB: But do you ever not want to go but you go because you want to keep everybody safe?

BG: Yes.

BB: That’s going to be an empty boat moving forward. [laughter] If we keep doing our work, we’ll be like…

BG: We should just be like, “We need to go to H-E-B. Y’all go head on out.”


BB: I don’t think that counts as doing our work if we’re lying…

ABR: And then we can play Sequence and cards.

BG: Yeah. By yourselves, because I’ll be in my room reading.

ABR: I’ll play with Barrett. Do you want to play cards?

BB: So let’s just make a pact that we’ll just ask for exactly what we need.

 BG: Yeah

ABR: Isn’t that crazy?

BB: Yeah. It’s a weird…

ABR: That we haven’t talked about that…

BB: Y’all may hear this out in the public and you may not. We don’t know. I’m just going to have to decide whether this is ready for primetime.


BG: I will have to say that one thing that if we’re just going to talk so openly about the boat, I’m going to say…

BB: Shit, man.

BG: I’m so grateful that Frank and Steve are so safe and it’s not like we felt like when we were growing up on the boat. So I do want to just stop and share some gratitude because our kids have had very different boating experiences than we have. And I just want to say, I’m grateful for that too.

ABR: Oh yeah. Our boating experiences did not look like our kid’s.

BB: No, I’m really grateful. And Steve doesn’t think the war stories are funny. We don’t really tell them as war stories any…

ABR: No.

BB: We don’t. But even when Dad tells them, he doesn’t think they’re funny because he’s just like, “I’m living with the oldest of this trauma survivors thing.” But I still see it all the time. I still see families and people that do it all the time. Just the other day when I was somewhere out in public for the first time, a kid was doing something and a parent jumped behind him and scared the shit out of him. The kid started crying and all the parents were laughing. And I was just like, “Let me fast forward this to you, for you.”


BG: Where are they in birth order? I’m going to tell you exactly how much…

BB: Yeah. I can tell you exactly how much therapy is going to cost and how long it’s going to take.

ABR: God, Amaya’s games, I feel like sometimes I should take my business cards…


BB: At any sporting event.

ABR: Ashley, therapist.

BB: You can see me now and then you can send your kids to me when they quit sports. Because, you know…

BG: Just being a six on the Enneagram, I do appreciate the level of pushing outside of their comfort zone too. I love that too. Because sometimes I just have to sit back with my mouth shut and let them push, especially my daughter, a little bit. And I’m grateful for that.

BB: Yeah. I think it’s healthy pushing.

BG: Yeah, healthy.

BB: I don’t think anyone ever has to do anything that they’re scared of?

ABR: Yeah, it’s choice.

BB: If they’re uncomfortable, they have to push past some of their comfort sometimes, but they’re never afraid.

BG: I wish, maybe we could put this video on the episode page, but remember that little kid that was up on the top of the ski slope?

BB: Yeah. We’ll put this video.

ABR: I hate that video.

BG: Oh, I love that video.

BB: Oh, I show that video when I do trainings.

BG: I know.

ABR: Yeah, we used to too.

BG: It’s so good, because it was the kid’s choice.

ABR: Well, y’all should put it out there. I mean, people will watch it if they’re interested.


BB: Good boundary there, Ash…

ABR: I’ll fast forward.

BG: Should we put a trigger warning on this little video?

BB: Yes.


BB: All right. Last session of our super sister summer sing-along therapy work will be next week. Let me sign off in my appropriate way. So our final episode is next week. Really appreciate you joining us. This has been good and hard and fun and important, I think. Last episode, next week. Stay awkward, brave, and kind.


BB: Unlocking Us is a Spotify original from Parcast. It’s hosted by me, Brené Brown. It’s produced by Max Cutler, Kristen Acevedo, Carleigh Madden, and Tristan McNeil, and by Weird Lucy Productions. Sound design by Tristan McNeil and Andy Waits, and music is by the amazing Carrie Rodriguez and the amazing Gina Chavez.


© 2021 Brené Brown Education and Research Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Brown, B. (Host). (2021, July 21). Part 5 of 6: Brené with Ashley and Barrett for the Summer Sister Series on The Gifts of Imperfection. [Audio podcast episode]. In Unlocking Us with Brené Brown. Parcast Network.

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