Saturday 25th June 2022

Women Of Courage Series. Introduction. 49/2019.

Women of Courage Series. Introduction. 49/2019.

Denyse Whelan Blogs.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda



A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid May 2019: Wednesdays: each week.

I am  introducing the series with  examples from (my!) life. That post will go live on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

After that, at certain intervals,  other “women of courage”, will be having their stories shared via a post here.

It is a goal of mine as a blogger to connect us all and to share our stories.

Thank you for your interest as a reader and commenter here.

I look forward to this series as the year proceeds and we all get to read about some different and wonderful:

                                 Women of Courage

 The words of Brene Brown helped inspire me in recent years.

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognise the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” 

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” 

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.” 

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” 

About Brene Brown PhD, LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston, US, and has spent the past 16 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She’s the author of a number of books (and I have them on CD as well) including “Rising Strong” and “Daring Greatly”. Her acclaimed TEC talk on vulnerability is one of the five most watched, with over 30 million views.


Her program, on courage, is on Netflix here:

Looking forward to the next weeks and months as this blog hosts:

Women of Courage. 

This is what I wrote to each woman who agreed to be part of this series. Interestingly I had only “one” knock back. I am so proud of the women who are sharing their stories in the weeks and months to come.


Thank you for agreeing to share your story for my Women of Courage series of posts which will be published from mid May 2019 onwards.

I got this idea from attending the Newcastle Writers Festival and hearing the wonderful Jane Caro speak about her book Accidental Feminists. IF you ever get a chance to listen to or read Jane’s works they are very good.

What I considered after that day and in the days to come is how we women have a tendency to underplay our achievements and whatever else we are doing in our lives. I know this is changing.

Many of you know I have had the experience of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery and I am aware I had to garner a lot of courage to come through much of what has happened. However, when my own courage post is live, you will read something different where I believe I was courageous.

I am excited, interested and curious about these stories from real life…and women of courage!

I hope you are too.

If you would like to share your story of being a woman of courage* please let me know in the comments and I will email you. That would be great!

*there are no men included as I  think we women do not talk or not write about our stories enough which is why I have called the series: Women of Courage.


Joining with Sue and Leanne here for Wednesday’s Midlife Share The Love linky,

With Leanne on Thursday for Lovin Life link up here AND with Alicia on Fridays for Open Slather here.

Thank you all for your link ups.

























  1. Hi Denyse, I have a confession to make that I have never watched or read any Brene Brown, have I told you this before? I had seen her quotes though. Except I finally caved in and watched the latest Netflix show which I did enjoy and I thought of you while watching it. I wondered if your latest series had anything to do with this series and now I know!!! I’m looking forward to reading these posts. #mlstl

    • I understand not all people know of her but yes that Netflix show has more seeing and listening. She is not my guru so to speak but have used some of her words and life examples to go with what I have done and continue to do to make my life one I am more comfortable with. Lengthy sentence there but her words have helped me. I take from people like her (and so many others) what helps me understand me!!

      Yes Brene was one part of the inspiration for the stories but Jane Caro and her talk based on her book Accidental Feminists was moreso. It is a book where she shares hers and others stories and it maybe something you could enjoy too. I had quite a few “yes” and “nods” when she spoke at Newcastle. I am a few years older than her but she and I now know each other via my public education connections too.

      Denyse x

  2. Hi Denyse, what a wonderful series and I’m looking forward to reading the posts. I love my Over 50 & Thriving series because it has brought to my attention Women Over 50 who have such wise and wonderful stories to tell. Good luck with the series, Denyse and can’t wait for it to start. Thanks for sharing your news at #MLSTL and I will share on social media. xx

    • Thank you Sue. I was looking for a means to change some of the messages from my blog as I was becoming ‘sick of myself’ so taking a leaf out of your (and others) book re guests helping with sharing their messages, this came about.

      Always appreciate your support.

      Denyse x

  3. Hi Denyse – Like Debbie, I have neither watched nor read Brene Brown. I’ve heard of her or seen her name and works mentioned in various blogs. I look forward to reading the posts in your new Women of Courage series. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Thanks Natalie. Brene is not everyone’s cup of tea but when I was looking for help myself through major life challenges her words (and many others) helped me see I was no alone.

      This is why I blog! To connect and share our stories.

      Denyse x

  4. I watched Brene Brown’s Netflix show ‘The Call to Courage’ and really enjoyed it. She is smart, funny, and always gets me thinking. She’s definitely inspiring! Bring on your Woman of Courage series … I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • So true about Brene and I am glad she has shared this video with the world via Netflix. I think we “take” what we think is helpful from others’ words and where they resonate and yes, get us thinking!

      Denyse x

  5. Hi Denyse – Brene Brown inspires me too – I’m so glad she’s got you thinking about doing this series and I’m looking forward to reading what each contributor has to share. Learning from each other’s stories is vital and something blogging has offered that was totally unexpected but such a blessing.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • This is the main reason I blog and why my blog says “sharing life’s stories”.

      So much is here on line, via blogs in particular, for us to share, learn and support and I for one am very glad of that.

      Brene did not make as much sense to me some years ago as I was not in a good place to understand as I listened. Over time that has changed. Glad you also enjoy her wisdom and insights as she never pretends to be ‘perfect’ only ‘imperfect and human’.

      Denyse x

  6. I must be the only person who hasn’t watched Brene Brown’s netflix special, but have added it to my list so I can rectify that!

    • It won’t be too long for you and may be good while you are still in ‘getting back to Aussie time mode!

      She is telling her stories based on what she has written and learned but it’s a pretty good insight into her teaching.

      Denyse x

  7. I love Brene Brown and am just finishing Jane Caro’s book. So much that resonates for me in both of their work. Brene’s work on shame particularly hit home for me, as I realised how writing about all the shameful things in my life has helped me to develop shame resilience. And while I’m younger than Jane, I can certainly identify with a lot of what she writes about women of her generation. Having turned 50 last year, I definitely feel invisible and ignored by society, the workplace and the government.

    Also, I’d love to submit a piece for your series, if you’ll have me. Despite being quite an anxious person, I have also found myself to be a courageous one, more than once.

    • Thanks for asking Dorothy, I have emailed you now.

      These two women in particular have helped me a great deal too.

      I am going to be 70 this year and THAT is a bit scary!

      Looking forward to reading your responses and sharing them on the blog here will be great.

      Thank you
      Denyse x

  8. I have read all of Brene Brown’s books but I have not yet seen the Netflix show. People have been raving about it. Your series on courage sounds interesting and I will look forward to it. I have been working on overcoming some of my fears lately and courage does not come easily to me.

    • Thank you for your comment and insight into your work ‘on yourself’ (as they say) Michele.

      My courage does not come easily but each time I do something out of my old comfort zone, then it increases my memory/experience of being courageous- it builds upon itself.

      I hope you get to see Brene soon, I admit I haven’t yet finished it!

      Denyse x