The day Leeana Tankersley’s book Brazen first arrived in my mailbox, I could hardly wait to dive in. Beyond the aesthetically appealing fuchsia cover, the subtitle tugged at me:
“The courage to find the you that’s been hiding.”
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Brazen seemed shallow at first
I’m not going to lie. The first few chapters felt shallow and grasping. Perhaps they felt like this because I was also reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly at the same time, which is heavy on research. (It’s what she does, after all.)
Yet, here came Leeana, talking about pink flowers and candles and sitting on her patio for soul time. I shook my head and kept reading, because I’d committed to this review as part of the launch team. And I’m so, so glad I did.
In a completely unorthodox fashion, Brazen conveys a message that every woman I know needs to spend time hearing.
Leeana breaks the message of Brazen into three distinct parts: receive your identity, reclaim your voice, and recover your soul. She invites us to slow down and take time to reassess our lives—both internal and external—thoughtfully. Is this the life we expected or wanted?
Wow. As a perfectionist, just wow.
Throughout the entire book, Leeana invites us to gently confront our self-talk. What are we saying to ourselves that is unhelpful, unhealthy, or just plain unpleasant? She speaks of “learning to walk with [herself] like a companion instead of a critic.” In essence, to view ourselves as a friend rather than someone to be fixed and tamed.
Brazen is filled with hope
Hope is my absolute favorite word in the English language. (And, considering my limited comprehension of other languages, I guess in all the world.) So it’s no surprise to me that every time Leeana spoke of hope, it resonated with me.
But the passage on pages 112-113 felt like they were written specifically to me, even though she was speaking of herself. She writes,
“Hope is a part of your wonder. You are not a cynic. You are a believer. You believe people can heal. You believe beauty matters. You believe creating matters. You believe things could change.”
She follows this passage up by saying,
“The world is full of cynics and critics and naysayers and not-gonna-happeners. Negativity is tired, if you ask me. It’s way too easy to stand back and poke holes in everything. There are gifts for the participant in life, while the only gift the critic holds is his own opinions and his own well-crafted image.
“Sure, hope opens you up to disappointment. But I think I’m fairly convinced I’d rather be hopeful than hidden.”
Brazen calls us to mull over the message with creativity
One thing I initially found highly…stupid? Ambitious? Leeana suggests creating a “Brazen board” as you journey through the book. At the end of each chapter, she offers up a simple question to help us think about what that chapter meant for us. Then she gives a suggestion for something to add to your Brazen board: color, text, art, photos. Anything to help the message sink in and to keep it in front of you.
And I found this just weird. Yes, me. Someone who loves to create.
However, after spending time letting the message work its way into my soul, I see the brilliance in this creative activity. How else am I going to remember my thoughts on hope, being “that girl,” shaking like an impala (the animal, not the cop car), and more?
The Brazen board is an invitation to practice art as meditation, to create a memorial of what you’ve learned along the journey. It also forces us to slow down rather than race through the book.
Brazen is the perfect book for a club or group study
As I became more and more aware of how much I needed to go back through Brazen and let its message sink in, I knew the best way to do so would be in a group. And what better group to invite than my Sister Chat? Without hesitation, I shot off a text asking the girls if they were in.
That was three days ago. The last sister’s book arrives today. 🙂
I’m a firm believer in the Socratic method. For me, discussion cements learning. I have high hopes that at the end of this Sister-Chat-book-club-journey, I’ll be more connected with the real me, more boldly living out my purpose.
One of the sisters couldn’t wait to begin and texted last night: “I started reading already and it really hits home. Like a lot.” And that’s how the entire book feels—like Leeana wrote it for me and to me.
Who needs to read Brazen?
…you’re tired and overwhelmed by life;
…you find yourself called to take some risks;
…you feel life has lost its color;
…you’ve suffered trauma;
…you’re unsure of your purpose;
…you know your purpose but have lost your voice…
Basically, if you’re female and breathing (which, I believe, most of my readers are), Brazen is for you.
I’d so enjoy to be able to discuss the lessons of this book with each one of you. Grab your copy on Amazon or through your favorite bookstore and let me know what you think, either here or on the Facebook page. I know it will be a worthwhile conversation.