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Archive for the ‘Vulnerability’ Category

Willing to Be Vulnerable

Monday, March 4th, 2013

You are not alone. I am not alone. I may need reminding of this. We are in this together. That’s how we journey – hand in hand.

Last week I posted a blog about my recent health struggles and how I relied on so many people for support, comfort, and connection. After the post, I experienced a lot of vulnerability – that felt both a relief and also very scary. For me, vulnerability is about being seen, being whole, and being real with complete acceptance. I was willing to weigh the risk of sharing a private matter because I knew how much it has influenced my life and business. I knew by opening up about a deeper part of my life, I was giving permission for other people to do the same. I decided that exposing my heart was more important than what others might think about me.

What I had not expected after publishing the post was the outpouring of love and support from friends and complete strangers who not only thanked me for sharing about my personal experiences, but took time to send me their vulnerable stories as well. People from various countries revealed their personal struggles going on in their life. This connection gave me the opportunity to have a real dialog about what scares us, frees us, and what gives us hope. Even the word “struggle” began to turn into something a bit more kinder and gentler.

As I continue to embrace uncertainty (with open arms), I have learned that many of my friends and readers of my blog are embracing uncertainty as well. I have discovered that many folks are dealing with their own personal journeys and have been inspired to reach out and ask for help.

As we reach out, we invite others to do the same. When we extend a hand, we show that support is always available.

I invite anyone who is holding in a difficult issue to reach out. Ask. Receive. Allow yourself to be embraced by unconditional support and love. I know how difficult vulnerability is. What I have realized is that vulnerability, however scary, is less terrifying than invisibility.

Thank you to all who have extended their hand to me. I continue to be touched by all the tremendous generosity of support and kindness.

We really are on this road together – hand in hand.

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Hand in Hand We Go

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

In a letter to my wife while on a retreat, I wrote, “Hand in hand we go.” This expression came because I had been diagnosed with Mild Multiple Sclerosis. I was overcome with grief and overwhelmed with many medical tests. After more than five months of doctor appointments, blood-work, tests, and MRI’s, I was relieved to find out that I do not have Multiple Sclerosis. Although I do not have a clear diagnosis yet, I have learned that more medical follow-up is required. My next step is to see a doctor that will review possible autoimmune coagulopathy (blood clots). The whole process has been exhausting, and at times, very frustrating. I have had the full support of my wife every step of the way.

I am not sharing about my health condition because I want advice or pity. I am sharing because there are many people who live with illnesses in their own life and/or in their families and it helps to know we are not alone. I also wanted to share my experiences of vulnerability and how it has provided me with a deeper spiritual connection.  My health struggles have only strengthened my spiritual work, both personally and professionally.  When I write meditations, inspiring thoughts, and positive stories they are for my own well-being as well as to be of service to others. My writing and practices come from direct experiences and I am still on a journey of learning and listening.

You are not alone. I am not alone. I may need reminding of this. We are in this together. That’s how we journey – hand in hand.

Hand in hand we go.

This is dedicated to my wife whose love and support has made my life much more peaceful. I love you.

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The Power of Vulnerability

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Brené Brown has taught me a lot about vulnerability – my ability to show up and know I am good enough just the way I am. Through her book, Daring Greatly, I have come to undertand vulnerability on a whole new level. I have come to accept that vulnerability and uncertainty are pathways to possibilities. And for that I am grateful.

If you haven’t yet seen or heard of Brené Brown, do yourself a favor and watch her TED Talk on Vulnerability.


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Lead with Heart

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Lead your wildest dream. 

Lead with vulnerability.

Lead with generosity. 

Lead with service.

Lead with your growing edge. 

Lead with a smile. 

Lead with expansiveness.

Lead with kindness. 

Lead beyond your reach.

Lead with your heart.

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Harrowing Haircuts

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Get out of the chair. Get out of the chair. That was what the voice in my head was saying as I was sitting getting a haircut. I had already asked the hairdresser more than once to be gentle with my head. She had jerked my head from side to side as she was cutting it. Finally, as she started blow-drying my hair, I saw she had not listened to me about the style of cut I had stated I wanted. After taking a deep breath, I said, “Stop.” I stood up with the towel around my neck draped in the robe and said I wanted the assistant manager to fix my haircut. The hairdresser looked at me and said, “What’s your problem?” I walked away and sat in the waiting area and asked for the assistant manager and explained that I was unhappy and needed her to fix the haircut.

My voice was shaking, my hands were shaking, and I just wanted to run out of the salon. I knew I needed to speak up. I knew I needed to get out of the chair. I knew I needed to have someone more gentle and aware of what they were doing and how they were treating a client.

In general, I hate getting my haircut. I usually dread getting it. I feel so vulnerable in the chair while someone with scissors ultimately decides how long or short or how straight or wavy they make my hair. There is something unnerving about getting haircuts.

As I have declared 2013 my year of Daring Deeply, it took all my courage to get out of the chair and advocate for myself. I am learning to trust that inner voice more and more and take action. Life is about opening our hearts and listening to the calling of wisdom that beckons us forward.

Here is what that experience taught me: Get out of the chair. Speak up. Take peaceful actions.

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What Is Your Heart Saying to You?

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

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Tears of the Heart

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

When the phone rang last week at my office, I looked down to see that the call was from a colleague and friend. While a part of me wanted to pick up the phone and connect, there was another part of me that was feeling very vulnerable and the sound of her kind voice would probably make me cry. In a conversation we had recently I said to my friend, “I knew all you had to do was ask me how I was feeling and I would start crying.” My friend responded, “Crying is the sweat of the heart.” She completely understood the choice to let the call go to voicemail and wait to speak. We had a wonderful conversation about self-care and how sometimes that means reaching out and connecting, while other times it means going inside ourselves and being quiet.

My friend shared that what helps her when she is feeling quiet is reading Louise L. Hay affirmations. When I hung up, I picked up my box of Louise L. Hay affirmations and chose a card to read and meditate on. The card I picked up read:

You are an artist of the spirit.

Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly.

Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with love, your dream becomes a masterpiece of art.

My heart sweated and tears came. Thank you Jude.  

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In Every Heart…

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

In every heart there is peace.

In every heart there is compassion.

In every heart there is joy.

In every heart there is bliss.

In every heart there is adventure.

In every heart there is hope.

It’s possible…in every heart…

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Daring Deeply on a Path of the Heart

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I came across this poem by Carlos Castaneda that reminded me of living a path of vulnerability with heart.

You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
Each path is only one of a million paths.
If you feel that you must now follow it,
you need not stay with it under any circumstances.
Any path is only a path.
There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path
if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it
must be free of fear and ambition.
I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question.
Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same. They lead nowhere.
They are paths going through the brush or into the brush
or under the brush of the Universe.
The only question is: Does this path have a heart?
If it does, then it is a good path.
If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.

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