I have been trying to write this blog post for a couple of weeks, and I suppose it is no surprise that I kept finding ways to put off writing about vulnerability. But I as I feel that it is finding its way into every crevice of my life, it seems that vulnerability is asking to be heard.
I am still not exactly sure what to say, so I thought I would share a few personal reflections, and then connect you with someone who has researched and spoken about vulnerability in ways that I have found inspiring, insightful, interesting or just funny! So to start with me… as far as I can see, vulnerability is not graceful or clever, and is possibly even off-putting, and often times sad, or even lonely. This description of vulnerability is precisely why I believe I am finding it difficult to figure out how to write a blog post on my website about it. My website, where I aim to share my truths, but to share them in a way that is inviting and uplifting, and encourages you to engage with me. As a new independent artist, solo entrepreneur, living in a brand new city, I have been committed to sharing the excitement of this new road that I am on! And there is something very alluring about it … like a cowboy of the old wild west, I am pioneering a new life and making up the rules as I go. It is thrilling, inspiring, and engaging. And also like the wild west, it is horribly terrifying. There is doubt lurking at every corner. Embedded in each grant application is the question of whether I am good enough, and stamped across each rejection letter is the confirmation that I am not. Tucked in the folds of every dance project idea, yoga project venture or part-time job application, pulsating questions of my competency, preparedness or just interestingness await.
Will I make any money? Will my work be meaningful to anyone? Did they enjoy tonight’s yoga class? Should I get a real job? Will I get to actualize this huge dance project? Who am I to actualize a huge dance project? And what if I do get what I’m asking for? What then? Am I inspired or delusional?
I am happy and proud to be making my own way, and listening to what I know to be good and true. I can’t imagine living my life any other way. And it is also utterly exposing. And so I run. I run to the ocean. I run to clear my mind. I run into my fears. And running helps me to be here now. It demands that I take the next step. And I have to trust the momentum of my stride. And when I run down hill I am scared I might trip. And when I run up hill, I feel the burning in my thighs. And the vulnerability just comes along for the ride. And then I name my fears, when I can see them clear enough and I call on my resources. I talk with my family, I travel to visit a friend, I cry, look at art, I eat ice cream, and I invite my vulnerability to join me in it all, because it’s here anyway. Like my shadow, it just runs with me. And anyway, that’s where I am today. And tomorrow I suppose I will put one foot in front of the other, and see where I land.
So, here’s lifting my next bowl of ice cream to you, me and the belief that what makes us vulnerable, makes us beautiful. Or at least that’s what Brene Brown says about it! And let me tell you, I love her! I totally recommend that you check out her both of her TED Talks (on vulnerability and shame), and her interview with Jonathan Fields on the Good Life Project! And honestly, anything else she’s doing, is probably A-Mazing! She offers such a sincere, profound, and necessarily comical analysis of vulnerability.