The Power of Vulnerability

Personal Growth

(Oct. 4, 2013) I just finished watching Brene Brown's TED talk on the power of vulnerability. She will be the guest on next week's Super Soul Sunday on OWN. Watching it gave me the relief I've been looking for the last few days. I've been in this pattern where I slow down and connect spiritually each Sunday when life slows down. I feel good and connected for a couple of days, until I begin to feel off track around Wednesday. I can describe "off track" by saying that I get ahead of myself, I feel distracted and disconnected from my true nature, and begin forcing solutions. In reality, I am disconnected from my source, and when I become aware of it, I say a prayer for spiritual guidance, but it typically takes me until Sunday to truly reconnect again. This Sunday, I didn't know if I could get back to my connected place despite my efforts to read/watch inspirational messages from my favorite spiritual teachers.

As I began to become aware of my disconnectedness and the pattern that is emerging each week, I started to deconstruct it to see what is happening. One thing I notice is that I feel very out of balance and distracted and like no matter where I place my efforts (home, work, etc...), I'm not very effective. I feel like I'm rushing around, yet "spinning my wheels." For example, when I left work Friday, it was in the middle of a meeting that I wanted to be there for, then I needed to pick up my son and drop him off somewhere, on my way to my therapy appointment. I ended up getting to my appointment only five minutes late this week, but with a horrible stressful feeling that comes from desperately rushing to get somewhere. Luckily, I had a few minutes to decompress in the waiting room, and made a conscious effort to release the madness of the last few days prior to going into my therapist's office. Unfortunately, the many things that were on my mind from it running rampant, made it difficult for us to get down to business with the "emotion releasing exercise" we've been doing (more on that later), and we spent the appointment (once again) talking about management of daily life instead. At any rate, while my appointment led to momentary relief, soon after I was determined to find the "answer" to why I get in this state so frequently.

When I feel this way, I start believing it's life that needs to change, not me. Now, after two more days, I've realized it was me who needed to slow down, not life. *Exhale* I also noticed that I was doing an immense amount of self-criticizing to get myself out of this state. "Why aren't you eating a vegan diet?" "Why are you spending money?" "Why aren't you meditating?" and a million other questions/criticisms started circling in my head telling me that because I'm not doing x, y, and z, I am getting off track, not feeling connected, not going to be happy, and never going to figure it out. The voices became so desperate that they began telling me I might as well give up this spiritual path because I am never going to figure anything out. "Wouldn't it be nice to just live life instead of having to figure everything out?" I thought. At this point, too many messages were flooding my head, making me feel overwhelmed. Thoughts like, "I just need to cut out dairy," "Once I focus on one creative outlet, things will make sense," or "Daily yoga practice is the answer." When in reality the answer for me lies within (see post #1).

Of course those obsessive voices in my head that are making me wrong and telling me I'm not good enough are just my ego. I need to recognize that, and release it. I notice caffeine and sugar can make those head tripping voices and my distractability worse, so maybe limiting both can help. Other things that will help are 1. Connecting back to myself and my higher power through prayer and meditation, and 2. being vulnerable, admittedly imperfect and real. Connecting back to myself lets me accept that I was off track and asking for help from God will give me the guidance I need to re-connect. And being vulnerable is like an exhale for the soul, giving me the opportunity I need to stop trying so hard to fit the square peg into the round hole.

So as I embark on another week, I hope I will remember to slow down, take each day as it comes and stay present and connected. If I get off track, I hope I will recognize it soon and take steps to re-connect. This video above is a great reminder of the power of vulnerability, how it grounds us, stops self-criticism, and allows us to discover and express our true nature.

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