Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable?
How often do you open yourself up to opportunities, with every fiber of your being, knowing there is a possibility of hurt? Do you spend more time protecting yourself from or opening up to your dreams, goals, or “ideal lifestyle”?
According to dictionary.com one definition of vulnerable is: open to moral attack, criticism, temptation
Who wants that?
I remember the first time I consciously allowed myself to be vulnerable. I was nominated for a leadership position in a networking group, and lost the election. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt a little but the truth is I learned more than I imagined including:
- Even if I “lose” I’m ok. And really, what did I lose? My life didn’t change
- Timing is everything. A year later I was nominated again, and this time elected.
- I am stronger when I allow myself these opportunities. Now I know what it’s like to “fail” and I no longer have to be afraid of it.
As I taught a yoga class yesterday morning, I focused on heart opening poses or backbends. Backbends are energizing and perfect for a morning practice. Here in the northeast we are experiencing more driving rains, and I thought backbends might be just what we all needed.
The students in my class are relatively new to yoga, so I haven’t brought too much of the non-physical in to practice until today. During savasana, or the final relaxation, I guided them into stillness and words just flowed out of my mouth.
Allow yourself these next few minutes to be in complete stillness. To let your body soften and your thoughts rest. Continue to breathe deeply into your heart and feel it expand. Connect in to your heart. To who you are. Allow yourself to feel that vulnerability.
Have you ever considered how much you are missing if you fail to be vulnerable? For years, I lived in a constant state of self-protection. I used exercise to create a “hard” surface that no one could penetrate through, keeping me safe. Or so I thought. Deep down I hurt more and more because I failed to let people or opportunity in. I didn’t want to be vulnerable and get hurt again. My body was healthy, my mind and soul (which I define as the place where your passion and purpose can be found) not so much. In order to open up I needed to relax more, let go of outcomes and expectations, build my confidence and self trust and connect to supportive people and environments.
These days when I feel “stuck” or scared, I think back to that lost election and remember that win or lose great things happen when I open up and become a little vulnerable. Doors open and possibilities present themselves. You build strength and get to know yourself better. Don’t get me wrong, protection is good, risk assessor is my middle name. There is power in knowing when the reigns are pulled too tight and when it might be time to loosen up.
What about you? Do you open yourself up to be vulnerable or do you spend more time in protection mode?