At the very heart of belonging is spirituality—the deeply held belief that we’re inextricably connected to each other by something greater than us—rooted in love and compassion…
Connected to Each Other
Topic: Spiritual Growth & Practice
Well, when I started looking into belonging, and I started really wanting to understand the bones of belonging—what does it mean? How do we, from a researcher’s perspective—and probably my own personal armor, really—is: What are the data here? What exactly is happening here? And I think the first thing that was surprising to me is that at the very heart of belonging is spirituality—not religion, not dogma, but spirituality, and a very important, specific tenet of spirituality, which I believe cuts across faith and denomination and belief system. And by “spirituality” I mean the deeply held belief that we’re inextricably connected to each other by something greater than us. And that thing that is greater than us is rooted in love and compassion—that there’s something bigger than us and that we are connected to each other in a way that cannot be severed.
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Additionally, she serves as a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Brown's academic roles are extensions of her deeper mission to explore the themes of courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Her research is not just data and theories; it's an invitation to engage with the very elements that make us human.
Brown has spent two decades contributing to our understanding of emotional and social dynamics through her research and writing. She is the author of five books that have risen to the top of the New York Times bestseller list: "The Gifts of Imperfection," "Daring Greatly," "Rising Strong," "Braving the Wilderness," and "Dare to Lead." These works offer pragmatic insights into the nature of human connection. They encourage the reader to embrace their own vulnerabilities, pointing out that it's often in these spaces of uncertainty and risk that we discover our capacity for love and belonging.
Beyond the page, Brown expands her reach through various platforms. Her TED talk, "The Power of Vulnerability," has been viewed more than 50 million times worldwide. She also hosts two podcasts, "Unlocking Us" and "Dare to Lead," providing a space for ongoing discussions about the complexities of the human experience. In 2019, she broke new ground with her Netflix special, "The Call to Courage," becoming the first researcher to present a filmed lecture on the streaming service. Through all these avenues, Brown underscores the need for a heart-centered approach to life, one that makes room for both the challenges and the beauty of our shared human journey.
Braving the Wilderness
Brown, Brené. “Dr. Brené Brown - Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.” Edited by Krista Tippett, On Being with Krista Tippett, The On Being Project, On Being Studios, onbeing.org/programs/brene-brown-strong-back-soft-front-wild-heart-feb2018/.
Theme: Spiritual Growth