“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.” Brene Brown’s statement came alive in our gathering this week as we shared our stories of what it feels like not to belong and what it means to belong to ourselves. This week Core Group member Garrett Brown and resident Tony Beyer shared with The Open Table some of the work of Brene Brown.    Both come from a very different perspective on Dr. Brown’s work on vulnerability and yet, we find themselves in a very similar position: we find this body of work transformative. The amount of wisdom in Brene’ Brown’s cannon is vast but, for the night we took a snapshot look at “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Walk Alone.”

After exploring what it was like to be in a wilderness and going it alone several people shared their own realizations about those moments when we most felt like an outsider.  Some wondered about those times when they were responsible for making someone feel unwelcome. Other folks highlighted our need for validation and our wish to be free of that. What I found most impactful was the reminder we often have to tell ourselves:  my words matter.

Several people asked for the checklist of tangible ways to develop trust:


  • Boundaries – Am I clear on what is okay and not okay?  Am I willing to say no?
  • Reliability – Did I do what I said I was going to do?  Did I over commit?
  • Accountability – You own mistakes, apologize, and make amends.
  • Vault – You keep information and stories that are not yours to tell in confidence.
  • Integrity – Courage over comfort.  What is right over what is fun, fast, or easy.
  • Non-Judgment – We can talk about what we feel without judgment.  
  • Generosity – Most generous interpretation to the words, intentions, and actions of others.  

Tonight was a jumping off point for the workshop series on Braving the Wilderness.  Each night will take on a specific spiritual practice:

  • People are hard to hate up close.   Move in.
  • Speak truth to BS.  Be civil.
  • Hold hands.  With strangers.
  • Strong back.  Soft front. Wild heart.  

Click here for details on our small group workshop series.  

Click here for more information on Braving the Wilderness

These are video interviews with Dr. Brene Brown:

Chase Jarvis Live 

Marie TV

In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording of this presentation on our podcast!  

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318 E 55th St. KCMO 64113

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