Brené Brown's No. 1 Raving Fan

From the day I stumbled upon Brené Brown's TED talk back in 2012, where she was the first person to make me feel like I was enough, I've read every word in every book she's written, watched every video she's ever appeared in, enrolled in every certification she's offered and followed her like her #1 Raving Fan!

daring way 2015 with brene

You can ask my roommate K, I barely slept a wink the night before our The Daring Way™ training. I was so starstruck. I've never been starstruck before, ever. I've sat next to celebrities, even goofed around with them, not knowing who they are.

But this night was different. I was about to meet my all time heroine. I wondered if she was in the same hotel, a floor above me or holy moly right next door?!?

I think that's precisely why Brené insisted on "no photos, please." There was a collective "aww" of disappointment in the room since we all wanted a photo with our heroine, teacher, and inspiration. What made me love and respect her even more was that she pointed out how focus is finite. So instead of focusing on her or our own fandom, focus on the work, the vulnerability, the courage.

courage camp 2016 with brene

Then the following year, at Courage Camp, a gathering of alumni from all previous The Daring Way™ trainings, I excitedly got a souvenir photo with my heroine-teacher!

Just A Girl with a Blog • We loved hearing stories of how she got to the impact and reach that she has today. She told us stories about how a woman at one of her lectures invited her to speak at TEDx. Then the young and hip TEDx organizing committee gave her free range to speak about any topic, so she dared to "go there" with a talk on shame and vulnerability.

We were on the edge of our seats listening to how she called her sisters to help her break in to the TEDx office to steal and destroy the recording of her talk. There's a name for that: a vulnerability hangover, a sensation you get the morning after you've done something outside your comfort zone brave and your mind starts overanalyzing all the parts you shouldn't have done.

Brené then looked over at a dear friend, who used to wait tables with her and is now a director in her company, "Was I happier then, or now?" And she admitted that she missed the days when she was just a girl with a blog.


rising strong 2016

[Link to Courage Camp debrief recording]


Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted

courage camp 2017 manifesto

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don't belong.
You will always find it because you've made that your mission.
Stop scouring people's faces for evidence you're not enough.
You will always find it because you've made that your goal.
True belonging and self-worth are not goods.
We don't negotiate their value with the world.
The truth about who we are lives in our hearts.
Our call to courage is to protect our wild hearts against constant evaluation, especially our own.
No one belongs here more than you.

dare to lead 2018 CDTLF

Live fierce and free,

xo, Ella

(First Published Apr 13, 2016)



Having navigated 131 countries, 87 emotions, 46.5 traumas, and 16 careers, Ellany Lea inspires and guides phoenixes, overachievers, entrepreneurs and wayshowers to live fierce, fulfilled and free.