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BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M

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I attended an unusual event over the weekend. Nic Askew, the educator and filmmaker I had the pleasure of working with on my The Space We Need video (below), invited me to a gathering of about 30 people.

I felt privileged.

Nic is a brilliant and unique artist. His mind and profound comments always catch me a little off guard — and that’s refreshing. I enjoy the jolt to my rutted thinking — even if my reaction sometimes resembles a deer in the headlights.

He’s filmed such noted people as Seth Godin and Mike Dooley as well as murderers and high-profile musicians. If you are not familiar with his work check him out here,

An intriguing facet of Nic’s method and artistry is his ability to get to the essence of his human subject. He doesn’t lead his guests or encourage them to tell their life story but somehow their humanity surfaces in a way that resonates with poignant clarity. He calls this process his inner view method. Perfect.

We love the inner view, yes?

When we don’t have expectations

The purpose of the gathering last weekend was not spelled out. There was no real structure for the event but we all left with a new perspective and appreciation for human witnessing.

I sat in front of the camera again but only for a few minutes and I didn’t talk at all. The rest of the group just looked at my black and white image on a big TV screen. Others did the same non-verbal sitting, but a couple of women sat for longer in front of the camera while sharing personal thoughts.

The camera and focus made everyone seem beautiful in an organic way. Everyone’s eyes gleamed. All the imperfect features: wrinkles, stray hairs, uneven teeth, seemed strikingly natural and attractive.

None of us needed anything from the lens’ subjects. We just noticed them.

No response?

After a turn in front of the camera, each person quietly returned to their seat without any comments or discussion.

There was no comforting, validating or high-fiving anyone about their time in front of the camera. Just witnessing without expectation or judgment.

I recalled my therapist saying that in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings everyone goes around sharing their stories but no one commiserates or empathizes with the speaker while they are speaking or when they are done. It simply becomes the next person’s turn. They don’t even offer a tissue if someone gets upset and cries during their turn. The Kleenex box is in the middle of the room and if needed, the individual gets up and gets one for him or herself.

In my writing group, which I have been a part of for nine years, we also do a lot of intimate sharing without an over-abundance of validating or comforting. There is definitely verbal empathizing and the occasional hand squeeze or hug, but overall we keep it to listening and witnessing.

Giving power not comfort

My writing group is my safest and most trusted environment. I feel the most accepted and empowered in that group.

As a coach, I often feel the need to advise, comfort and validate my clients. To be honest, I do sometimes, but perhaps allowing them to share with me without any judging or expectations is the most valuable service I offer. When I don’t rescue them. I let them find their own power.

Being that present with someone is like water to a dying flower. It’s like love. I know. I’ve felt it myself.

Time magic

One interesting side note about the experience of witnessing, is the way it makes time melt. The three-hour session with Nic Askew flew by. I’ve been in a state of flow before and this definitely felt like flow, but it was astonishing how quickly the time went by. A similar feeling occurs at my writing group meetings. Wild!

Have you had the pleasure of being witnessed without judgment? Have you witnessed someone else? What did that kind of paying attention feel like? 

If you want to help Nic Askew with his latest project, Soul of America, click here to donate.

I did!


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