Brooke Burke's Blog

Brooke Burke: The Mind Is Like A Parachute

Do you ever wonder if our children are really listening, and if the lessons we try to instill in them are actually sinking in? Do our words make an impression? This week my daughter surprised me, touched me and made me look closely at my own behavior. After a massive fight with her sister and some major disappointment in her consequences (I took their phones away for one month!) she came to me with a 1,430 word letter.  Yes, that’s three typed pages that she spit out in less than 30 minutes.  Oh how I wish she would apply that same conviction to her schoolwork!Amazing what a kid can do when they are driven by passion.  The letter began with some words of wisdom that I shared with her many years ago.  I never knew she was listening…"Dear Mommy," she wrote, "The mind is like parachute, it works much better when it is open, so please read this with an open mind and open heart…"I won’t share the details of the letter but what was so meaningful was learning that she took my words to heart and later used them to reach out to me.  I wonder how it really works - will the lessons that my grandmother taught my mother, that she then taught me and I passed on to my own children, continue to be an ethical value system that we share in our family?  How much of what we share with our children every day do they really take in?I was so impressed with my daughter’s ability to express her feelings and do so in a constructive way to help me understand why she does what she does. I realized how much she is growing up and I am so happy that she is able to communicate with enough confidence to be vulnerable with me. We sat together on my closet floor and I listened quietly and attentively as she read her letter to me.  It  was a bit of a role reversal, almost as if she was teaching me some things - really, she was teaching me about herself.  Midway though her letter, I had already changed my point of view and she helped me realize what I might do differently in the future to help both of my daughters through their too-often conflicts.  She shared what she could do differently too, what she could do to get along better with her sibling and also what she hoped for in return. Our discussion segued into a family meeting, and she said something to me, which was NOT a manipulation to get her phone back.  Honestly.  She said, “No matter what you take away from us, it won’t change the way we feel or what we do.  In fact, we will probably just act better to get back whatever you take away.  What we really need to do is try to figure out why we're doing what we do and how we can feel differently about each other.  Then every day we should try to work a little at making our relationship better."What a concept!  I could have paid my therapist $200 for that 12-year-old lesson ;)I’m not embarrassed to say that I gave both of my girls' phones back by night's end.  SUCKER! Truthfully, I agreed with her point and desperately needed to find more effective way to stop the sibling war.What I asked them to do was be accountable for their own behavior and take a look inside to see what’s triggering it.  I asked them to try to work every day to be kinder and closer.  I asked that they be open to forgiving and changing.It was a powerful evening and one I will remember.  I've always said that my children educate me every day but the lessons my 12-year-old taught me that night were ones she had once learned from me.I do not believe that parenting is ever perfect.  I often ask my kids to change and I am equally open to finding better ways to problem solve.Corky Ballas once told his son Mark, “The mind is like a parachute, it works much better when it is open.”Mark shared his dad’s words of wisdom with me and I shared them over the years with my own kids.  Last night, my daughter reminded me of that very important lesson.              

Brooke Burke-Charvet: Dancing Out Of The Ballroom - DWTS

"One reason people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, rather than what they have to gain."A recent article on the Huffington Post titled You’re Doing It Right, Brooke Burke-Charvet, written by the lovely David Kessler, really hit home for me.  I’m certain many people across our country faced with job security fears will appreciate his words. Unexpected change is challenging, but the way in which we choose to deal with it is most important and character-defining.My not-returning-to Dancing with the Stars has made quite a splash in the press over the past week.  The only shocking thing about it, for me, was the way in which it all went down.  Finding out that I would not be returning to the ballroom just weeks before the premiere was quite a shake up.  I would have appreciated a heads-up and the courtesy of communication, but we are not always privileged to get that in the work place. My kids were in the car when I got the call and my son shouted, “You got fired Mommy?!”  I tried to explain the difference between being fired and being let go. Then he yelled, “You quit!”  I laughed at the fine line in it all.  Then I did my very best to describe to my children the reality of change and the need to maneuver through it with grace. In the bigger picture, this is a positive change for me and I honestly believe this is the optimum time for me to dance out of the ballroom.I had eight (NOT seven, as written everywhere) fabulous seasons co-hosting the show.  It was a blast! I made many friends, which I will keep and support in every way.  I had the honor to work beside Tom Bergeron, whom I adore and have great respect for. I learned many valuable life lessons and TV skills in the chaos of live television.  I am very grateful for my time at DWTS and I’m never greedy - eight seasons was the perfect run.  I will always celebrate my coveted Mirrorball trophy and all that it parlayed me into.  I’ll never forget dancing in the arms of the brilliant Derek Hough and how he helped me to find the rhythm in my own world. Today I’m buried in new possibilities.  I have no hard feeling and no regrets. I sincerely have to thank all my faithful, funny and crazy fans.  You made me laugh and warmed me during a transitional time and I adore you guys! Thank you, thank you.I can't exactly say I know  “how to handle change like a champ” as David Kessler wrote, but what I do know is this…. The way in which you walk out is equally as important as the way you stroll in.  That goes for life, love, and everything in between.

My "Aha" Mommy Moment

Just in, holy moly, my girlfriend's daughter got an "A" on her math test and I had to share this and re-evaluate my recent blog. A couple of things crossed my mind: do we stress our kids out so much that they're destined to fail? Do we not have as much confidence in them as they do in themselves? Do we totally underestimate our kids? Do we project negative feelings on our kids?  Are we more consumed with the worst case scenario than they are? ... probably, I mean that’s part of the mommy make-up.Or was it simply knowing that an "F" wasn't the end all - life would go on - and then letting go of that worry that freed up an opportunity to conquer?I had to know what the turning point was and how a potential failing grade became a mark of excellence.  "What the heck happened?," I asked my Malibu mama. “Who knew?!?"She said, "Just telling her to do her best and know that whatever grade she received - it was going to be ok, lifted so much pressure off of both of us that she went in there and kicked ass."The opportunity to grow from a challenge and to learn how to deal with failure was both crucial in her development and amazing. But even more so, the lesson of knowing how to let go of stress, to value the importance of hard work and to have faith that your best is good enough was a huge growth spurt for both mother and child.  It could possibly free up anyone to achieve the impossible.Best news of the day was my friend’s daughter’s A. As my little Rainbow would say, "she turned that frown upside down."I remember when Derek Hough and I won Season 7 of Dancing with the Stars. We stood in the ballroom wings, before we stepped onto the dance floor to perform our freestyle – which by the way we had never run beginning to end because of a couple injuries and some very risky tricks – and we were scared out of our minds! We gave each other that "we’re-already-winners" kind of look. Not the competition, but the experience. We knew that getting that far was good enough and that we had already done the impossible. We felt like winners regardless of the impossible chance that we'd be hoisting the Mirror Ball above our heads that night.I remember that feeling. I remember the moments we let go of the pressure that too many people put on themselves.  That freedom allowed us to get out there and kill it and win it. Kind of crazy, but think about it: don't dwell on the negative, let go of the stress it’s toxic. Always, every day do your best and know that it's good enough. You never know, you just might surprise yourself.

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