Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation,
creativity, and change.
love celebrating Mother Earth--our sacred planet that gives,
nurtures and sustains our lives. Earth Day was celebrated on
April 22, followed by Arbor Day (in honor of sacred trees),
which falls on the last Friday in April.
Doesn't it seem a little silly to celebrate Earth Day or sacred
trees on only one day a year? Is setting aside one day to
celebrate, appreciate, and respect the natural world enough?
I'm thinking we need more...dedicated time everyday to
disconnect from the chaos and bask in the healing that comes
when we connect with the natural world.
If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you
know that aligning with the rhythms of nature, the
transformational energy of the seasons that nurture personal
growth and well-being, is my passion. Beginning in January with
the centering energy of Silence, we've explored Reflection and
Awakening, each month embracing inner and outer energy
shifts. This is the time for opening to new possibilities by
creating rituals, connecting with nature, and enjoying the
wonderful spring-time energy.
Just like the seeds in the soil, your vision, your dreams, your
intentions for this year are emerging. Right now, your energy is
rising. It's seeking to be expressed in the physical world. Just
like in nature, you have the amazing ability to bring forth new
life, new creations in beautiful and stunning ways. It's important
to honor this inner and outer force of nature that invites you to
be more visible in the world.
Oneness - or maybe a bit off-kilter, scattered, and disconnected
- one thing’s for sure: We’re riding an evolutionary tidal wave
that feels both exhilarating and soul-inspiring... and also may
feel chaotic, confusing, and disorienting. Life-altering shifts are
happening on all levels - personally and collectively. We may
feel energized or want to retreat...
We're all at different points in our evolution of consciousness.
Some of us feel comfortable with expressing ourselves and
allowing ourselves to shine in the world. Others of us feel ready,
but something is holding us back: Old beliefs? Fears?
Resistance? No matter where you are at this point on your
journey toward Oneness--it takes courage to allow your tender
new dreams to burst forth. It takes courage to put yourself out
there where others might judge you. I know this from
experience! But when your heart tells you that it's time to be
more visible in the world, there's little you can do besides
answer the call to show up and be seen.
This is a really meaningful time to ask yourself:
How do I want to grow in the coming weeks & months?
What do I want to harvest this year?
What if the timing for putting yourself, your vision, your
intentions out there doesn't feel right? Doesn't feel safe?
Do you have the courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable?
The Paradox of Vulnerability
Vulnerability. Do you equate it with being naive, gullible and
worst of all, weak? Who wants to get hurt? Who wants to be
exposed to the changes and challenges that are out of our
control? The answer … very few of us!
We are all vulnerable no matter how hard we try not to be or
how much we want to be in control. But resisting vulnerability
(and the feelings that come with it) is not a helpful mindset for
Dr. Brené Brown, a well-known research professor and
consultant, has spent the past two decades studying courage,
vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Since her first TEDeX talk
in 2010, The Power of Vulnerability, she has continued her
research into vulnerability. Her insights include busting the myth
that vulnerability is weakness. Also, understanding the
connection between vulnerability and courage means healing
shame. In order to be seen in the world, we need to accept and
embrace the concept of failure as a natural part of the pathway
to progress and silence the inner critic that wants us to be small
and stay safe. She has so much wisdom to offer about
vulnerability. We're lightly touching the concept in this blog. If
you haven't explored her work, I highly recommend that you do.
Vulnerability is a very puzzling part of our human experience.
We hide it from ourselves; we don’t want it. And, it's vital for our
evolution of consciousness. The truth is, vulnerability does
make us more susceptible to hurt, heartbreak and
disappointment – there’s no denying that! But without allowing
ourselves to be vulnerable we can’t experience the joy of life,
we can’t be our authentic selves.
Opening to Vulnerability
Embracing vulnerability, as I've discovered, opens many doors
of opportunity. For example, without vulnerability, I never would
have been able to listen to my intuition, to co-create mandalas
or write this blog, or learn from what it feels like to be exposed
and feel empathy towards others, or connect with so many
To be vulnerable is to be courageous even in the face of fear.
When I resist or deny my vulnerability I close myself off to life
and all of its opportunities out of fear, not strength; I miss out on
deep connections with others; I'm not authentic or honest with
Being vulnerable is really scary, something I equate with giving
a speech, naked, in front of a group with the words “laugh at
me” painted on my forehead. In all it's different forms, this fear,
this need to stay small and safe, is the same for almost all of
And, it's comforting to know--we're not alone. It takes courage
to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are
with your whole heart.
vulnerable, it may seem impossible to find our ground. Yet, the
feelings we want to avoid the most can open the way to
fearlessness, our basic goodness, true freedom and Oneness
even in the face of our most difficult inner and outer challenges.
Vulnerability shows us the way back to our wisest and most
heartful selves, to our wholeheartedness. It takes a lot of
courage to consider that uncertainty is not a threat, that in fact
it’s creative and powerful.
Cultivating Courage: Embracing Vulnerability
Like me, you might be still learning how to embrace
vulnerability, and wondering how to align your energy with
courage so that you can be wholehearted in your life. If you are,
you may benefit from what I have learnt so far and continue to
1. Cultivate self-love, self-compassion, and self-acceptance--
even n the face of the inner critic or limiting beliefs. When you're
willing to love and accept all parts of yourself you raise your
vibration, your confidence grows from the inside out, and you
stop relying on how others see you to make you feel good about
yourself. The confidence grows in the knowledge that you will
be there for yourself always, come what may. Trust in your own
2. Find the stillness, silence, and space within your inner storms
so that you can act rather than react. All well-being practices,
including time in the natural world--remind you of the stillness,
the silence within. When we meditate, when we connect with
stillness, with silence, we meet ourselves and we discover our
true self in the presence that is here and now. The more time,
energy, and intention you invest in connecting with your inner
silence the more the silence grows and the more you feel
silence all around you. Many studies show and my
experience reveals that being in nature heals. The smell of
the earth, the sounds of birds or water, the sight of trees
swaying in the wind, the feel of grass under our feet, or waves
crashing on the shore (if you're fortunate enough to live close to
water) make our senses come alive. This connection to the
natural world invites mindfulness and being in the moment--a
sense of experiencing something greater than our self--our
Wholeness from which courage emerges.
3. Feel all your feelings. The feelings that we want to run from
offer us the very fuel we need to grow self-acceptance, self-
love, self-compassion, and empathy. Honoring all of our felt
experiences—positive and negative—is a direct path to
courage. Being curious about vulnerability teaches us authentic
courage. Instead of banishing fear, or making ourselves wrong
for feeling vulnerable--allowing ourselves to go into fear and
deeply feel it is the way to become courageous.
When you learn to smile at your fear, to be with your fear, you become an authentic friend to yourself, and thereby develop confidence.
courage to let others see us when we're at our most vulnerable.
When you need help, remember you're not alone, so take the
risk and ask for it. When life gets turbulent, we tend to close our
eyes and collapse inward and get really quiet (old patterns that
once served to keep us safe, but are no longer useful for our
evolution of consciousness). Look around, open up, put
yourself out there, and ask for help. Trust the goodness of
people. Healing happens when we take the risk of being honest
and authentic with ourselves and people we trust. It occurs to
me that even if it is not always easy to love ourselves, we are
good at loving others. Isn’t it usually true that we are often better
at caring for others than we are at caring for ourselves? That's a
gift we can give to ourselves, too. When we en-courage others,
we also build our own "courage muscles".
How often do you tell yourself – “I just need a little courage” or “I
wish I had more courage”, then you move whatever it is that you
were dreaming of doing to the back burner? Ever wonder how to
shift your energy when you need a boost to your courage? You
can shift and access energy that will support your dreams,
desires and give you access to resources and people who can
help you move into the unknown.
When we take good care of our energy field, we learn to restore
flow where there's constriction. It's like being held in loving,
protective arms where it's harder to hang on to any old
habitual feelings of fear.
Here's a simple, powerful practice to bring your energy into
Put one hand on your chest, on your sternum, and spread out
your fingers. Bring the other hand up to rest with your palm on
the top of the other hand, and lightly hold your thumb with all
five fingers. Pause and breathe. Continuing to hold this position,
let your attention wander to anything you have been worrying
about. You are not trying to fix anything. You are just creating a
spaciousness around your worries, a landing place. Stay here
for a while. Notice how you feel inside.
The natural world is blooming & growing, and life is thriving.
Right now, we can use this powerful growth energy to allow our
intentions to emerge and grow. This is a time of pure potential.
Anything is possible in your life right now. This Co-Creative
Mandala, "Courage", from a photograph of Iris (symbols
of courage) reminds us to embrace vulnerability. Your work
right now is to trust your goodness, trust the goodness of others,
and remember that the Universe wants you to thrive.
Embrace the unknown; welcome the uncertainty.
Feel your deep connection to the natural world.
Realize your greatest potential.
In this simple, yet powerful exercise, I invite you to celebrate
"Courage" and feel supported by your inner and outer
resources. Honor this powerful time of uncertainty.
This is a special opportunity to reflect on the powerful energy,
within you and as it's reflected in nature.
Give yourself plenty of time without interruptions to dive
deeply into this exercise. Meditate, journal, create and bless
your sacred space.
Make this exercise your own. Invest your time and attention.
As you sit quietly in your space, light a candle that welcomes
In a moment, when you are done reading through the
instructions, write everything that the Co-Creative
Mandala-'Courage' makes you think of. Write how you feel
when you look at it. Write about what the associated chakras
represent (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, third eye and crown)
and how that might be applicable to your journey toward
Oneness this year.
Close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your breath; just be
with your breath. Take a deep breath in. Breathe out. Take
another deep breath in. Breathe out. Notice the sensations as
you exhale—without judgement. Feel the body breathing. Bring
your body into stillness.
Open your eyes and bring your attention to the 'Courage'
mandala; allow the mandala energy to fill your heart; be with
whatever is there.
Invest a few minutes toward allowing the 'Courage' energy to
flow to and through your body. Imagine that energy bursting
through your crown chakra and extending far into the heavens.
Imagine the 'Courage' energy flowing through you and down
deep into the earth. Imagine it radiating from your heart and
extending out in front of you and behind you. Imagine the
'Courage' energy is a radiant ball that encircles you.
Now, sit with this energy for a few minutes.
What about the 'Courage' mandala captures your attention?
Notice and Wonder--Something in me is feeling...
I wonder what it wants me to know?
Relax into your body and its quietness. Be with the energy, be
Here's the ritual:
Grab your journal & spend some time in self-reflection at this
powerful seasonal time.
Here are some wonderful questions to ask yourself at this time
of year …
1. Begin by reflecting on the following questions:
- What is bringing you great joy right now?
- What currently lights up your spirit? What do you feel inspired to devote your spring energy toward?
- What parts of yourself do you feel most confident about?
- Where do you need to boost your self-confidence?
2. Read what you've written:
Read out loud what you wrote in response to the questions
3. Ask for support:
In whatever words come to you, ask for support from the
Universe/God/Goddess/Guides–whatever Higher Power calls to
you in this moment.
Think of people you trust to share your wholehearted truth with.
4. Give thanks:
Thank whatever Higher Power you call on, for bringing your
dreams to life. Say thanks as though your dream has already
come true. (Because it HAS, you’re simply calling it into your
Don’t worry about getting the words perfect, or saying the exact
right thing. Just say whatever comes to your mind & your heart.
It’s okay if it feels awkward & clunky. (Remember: Having the
Courage to be vulnerable is messy and takes practice!)
5. Reread your words often:
As often as possible, read your words. Continue to do this
ritual as often as you are called to during the spring months.
Allow your vision, your intentions evolve and change. Allow
yourself to "dare greatly".
I invite you to celebrate new life and your emerging dreams!
Enjoy riding the current of life birthing, awakening, and opening
to the new possibilities that are here to be felt and experienced!
Peace and joy to your seeking heart,