Vulnerability. Say that to yourself a few times. How do you feel? Does it make you uncomfortable? Uneasy? Fearful? Do you cringe a little bit? I do. A little voice within, goes "Eeeek!!! No, go away!" Then I realize, whatever situation, is bringing this up in me, is something, I should probably lean into. First, what does it mean, to be vulnerable? It is defined as "being capable or susceptible, to being wounded or hurt". Yikes! Why the hec would we want to go there right?
I am quite familiar with avoiding it. We all usually have an area or two, in life, where we just don't go there. We build walls, we put on our mask for the day, we clench our fists, ready for battle right? We avoid any and all situations, or conversations, which might make us a little too uncomfortable, or bring up the root feeling we do not like to admit we all have sometimes: Fear. Fear of being judged, disappointed, or hurt. So, we stay quiet, when we should speak up, or we use anger to protect ourselves, we don't ask for that raise, we don't express how we truly feel to a loved one, we don't go for that opportunity, we don't take that class, we don't book that trip, we don't try something new, we don't look in the mirror at our own faults, we don't go on that date, we simply... Stay. Safe.
What happens even further, unconsciously, we don't forgive, we don't let go, we don't grow, and we don't expand to our highest potential. This is the real tragedy of avoidance. What I have learned, is, that vulnerability, is much like Yoga, a practice. It takes commitment, and dedication, to lean into those uncomfortable moments in our lives, the same way, we show up on our mats, willing to go for that pose we have not tried, knowing, we may fall...so what? We get back up. We practice again, until one day, yay...we got this!!
We build strength, awareness, and confidence on our mats. It's the same with vulnerability. The more, we choose to go there, to dive in, to those uncomfortable feelings, what we find, is, it is the only path, that ultimately, leads us to experiencing true joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Yes, we may get hurt. We may be judged. We may be disappointed. We must be willing to experience all of life, the good and the bad.
When we are willing, there is so much to gain. We awaken gifts we didn't even know we had. We build new relationships. We accomplish our goals. We achieve a lifelong dream. We cultivate confidence. We strengthen our Faith. We shine our light. And the more we shine, the more we encourage others to do the same. We are all worthy, to live a life, of our highest potential, and the only way, is to look vulnerability right in the eye, and say "I got this. I can do this." So, let's all, one uncomfortable moment at a time, lean in....and keep practicing.
For many years, I have remained committed, to a daily Sadhana. “Sadhana” is a Sanskrit word, meaning “daily spiritual practice”. Now, I know, life these days, moves super fast, and we are all super busy. Between work, family, quality time with our partners, our kids, emails and texts, projects around the house, scheduling appointments, fitting in a Yoga class (yes..make time for one!! Wink) or workout, grocery shopping, studying, maybe finding a few hours to catch up with friends, leaves barely any time left for me right?! Whew! We are exhausted. I get it.
Which is why, it is even more important, to begin a practice or ritual, just for you. Where you make the time, to pause, to disconnect from the outside world, and connect inward. The best part is, it is yours. It is whatever your soul is asking for. Maybe it is a run on the beach in the morning, or a morning walk. Maybe it is a 5 minute meditation by yourself- even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom! Maybe it is saying a prayer. Maybe it is starting a gratitude journal, or reading from your favorite book, or spiritual guide. Maybe it is your Yoga practice, or your workout. Maybe it is lighting a candle, and sitting in silence. Maybe it is staring at the ocean, the sky, the moon, or anything in nature that moves your spirit. Maybe it is a enjoying a cup of tea or coffee by yourself in complete silence.
It doesn’t matter what it is, it only matters that it is..Every. Single. Day. Having this practice, will benefit your well being, in many ways. You will increase your energy, yet, find yourself being able to Slow...Down. Instead of reacting, or moving from one task to another, with tightly clenched fists, and shoulders, you will find yourself with the ability to pause. Breathe. You will bring an increased sense of awareness into every moment of your day, allowing yourself to be fully present, where you are, when you are there. You will be able to Be Here Now.
Things that instantly upset you, or put you into "fight" mode, will no longer have that effect. Your nervous system will calm down. Your immune system will get a boost, with lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that is released when something triggers us into that "fight" mode. And when we realize we truly hold the power, to connect to the Peace found within, throughout our entire day, all of our relationships improve. We are simply happier. We smile more. We are grateful. We are compassionate. We have Faith. And we are able to handle all of life, both the celebrations, the challenges, and everything in between, ...with fluidity and grace. Try it. Share what your experience is. And whatever your practice is, may it nourish you- mind, body and spirit always. Peace and Blessings be with you. Lisa