Vulnerability: Finding Your Way in the Dark


Hi there.  Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I started mine with a sweaty, flowy vinyasa class at Sonic Yoga.  For me, there is nothing like yoga to clear my head, push my body physically, and connect with my spirituality.   Building on last week’s post on “embracing the pause,” yoga is my “pause.”  No matter what’s going in my life (or in my  head), yoga helps me take a break and reconnect with WHO I REALLY AM.

Some of you have asked me how I find time for yoga/exercise in my life.  I schedule it in – no exceptions.   I also color code my calendar to allow me to visually see that my life is balanced. “Yoga/exercise” is red.  At the start of every week, I make sure I have enough “red” in my schedule.  Taking care of myself is top on my priority list (even with a 6-month-old son at home).  When I take care of me, I am a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, coach, human being.

What do you do to take care of yourSELF on a regular basis?  If you don’t know, put this on your action item list for the week.   It will be the most important thing you do – guaranteed.

So, back to Friday night’s class …

The theme of the class was exploring your vulnerability.  The teacher asked us to close our eyes for the first half of the class.  Now I’ve been practicing yoga for close to 10 years and have done downward facing dog and the like thousands of times, but closing my eyes brought on a whole new experience: fear, confusion, feeling “lost.”  Instead of being able to externally see where I was and where I was going, I had to see from the inside.  Faith was essential.

I’m not going to lie: it wasn’t easy.  At first, I resisted.  “Why are we doing this,” I thought to myself.  I was scared.  Self-doubt raced through my mind: “What if I fall? What if I look silly?  What if blah, blah, blah?”  I was grasping for security in the dark.

And then a beautiful thing happened: I surrendered. I allowed the present moment to just “be.”  I listened to the cues and guidance from the teacher (and from myself).  I saw with my internal eye (my third eye, the seat of intuition).  I trusted.  I believed.  I wasn’t afraid of falling, being hurt, being embarrassed.  I learned to see in the dark.

Walking home after class, I thought about how this theme of vulnerability plays a role in life.  I went through much of my life holding back in certain areas to avoid getting “hurt.”  Through my years of introspection, I’ve realized that holding back (i.e. doing things “half-ass”) has the opposite effect of what I intended. Yup, it just hurts me in the end.  Ouch.

What do I do now?  Play big.  I’ve embraced this idea of playing the game full-out or not playing at all.  Go big or go home. Now, that’s not to say I don’t do my research at the start of any new venture/relationship (business or personal) to decide whether it seems like a fit.  I collect my data, analyze the findings and then listen to that inner voice guiding me to say yea or nay.  Once I’m in, I’m in.  Once I’m out, I’m out.  I don’t second guess (or at least not anymore … I got tired of running around in circles!).  If the experience, relationship, opportunity that I’m “IN” comes to a natural end, I embrace “what is” and move on. I’ve learned that life is good that way … when one door closes, another is opening.   I certainly take time to grieve a chapter closing.  Honoring beginnings and endings is important.  Don’t skip this part.

So, this week I encourage you to stop resisting.  Surrender.  Accept the vulnerability that comes from being fully engaged in life, and stay open to all that is. The universe is watching what you’re doing to see if you’re ready for what’s next in this story that is your life.  Are you?

–    Think about your default tendencies when it comes to being vulnerable.  What is your typical defense mechanism – running away, shrinking, self-doubt, beating yourself up?  How is that working for you?  How would you like to embrace situations that bring on fear, doubt, anxiety?
–    Do something you’re “good at” with your eyes closed or in the dark.  Notice what feelings, thoughts, emotions come up for you.  See with your inner light.
–    Ponder how you play the game of life: full-out, half-ass or not at all?  Life is a game.  There are only winners and losers if you say so.  What kind of player are you?  On a scale of 1 – 10, how much fun are you having?
–    Take care of your SELF.  What fills your soul?  Paint, draw, write, sing, exercise, connect, give, read, laugh.  Life is meant to be lived.  Live well.  Live free.

A few thoughts on vulnerability …
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.  To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” – M. Scott Peck

Until next week, enjoy the journey.


P.S. The picture in this post was taken as the sun was rising on Mt. Haleakala on Maui.  My husband and I got to the mountain when it was still dark outside.  We watched as the moon disappeared and the sun rose above the clouds.  Coldness turned to warmth.  It was breathtaking.  We then biked down the mountain.  A “must do” if you go to Hawaii, a place I refer to as paradise.

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