Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Brene Brown
Last night I went to see Jen Cloher play a show with her band. Standing, encased in my lover’s arms, my head resting against his shoulder, I was relishing in the moment, in the music. As Jen played her achingly beautiful song ‘Hold My Hand,’ I realised that here I stood with the man I love, listening to Jen sing the very same song, that only weeks before I had been singing in my car whilst thinking of how much I missed having this man in my life. Yearning for him.
And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing, a local habitation and a name. William Shakespeare
And now he is in my life. It was a little surreal. To see the shift that can happen in a matter of weeks. To see what happens when we open ourselves up to new possibilities.
Intentions have power, but only when we set ourselves free. Only when we can unplug ourselves from the tangled web of energetic cords that bind us to our fears, resentments, and regrets.
I have spent more of my life than I care to admit, imagining glorious things for myself, and then scolding myself for thinking such things could ever happen to me. I would never have dreamed of actually telling anyone about my flights of fancy, they’d just laugh. They’d call me silly. Who did I think I was? Someone special? Pul-ease.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Dr. Seuss
In my last post, I wrote that when low self-esteem causes us to seek validation and approval from others, it depletes our solar plexus chakra. As this chakra is the centre of our ‘life force energy,’ we need to consciously use this energy for our own needs: metabolism, power, and will. Only then can we be a force in the world.
In theory, I have known this for a while, but as the saying goes, the longest distance is between the head and the heart, or in this case the head and the gut.
Last week though, I finally ‘got’ it. I saw in neon technicolour my tendency to try to please others, investing my energy in their perception of me. I saw how this drains me, and even the little hits of approval I receive, do nothing to stem this haemorrhaging power.
And I saw clearly that when I am consciously in my power, when I accept myself unconditionally, and express myself uncensored, without needing the approval of others, oh, put sunglasses on baby, because that’s when I shine.
How ironic that when we try to impress others we lose the very power that makes us impressive in the first place.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings
And this takes a great deal of vulnerability. Unplugging from what other people think, from what our ‘tribe’ says is the way to achieve, unplugging from the quest for approval, and praise, and accolades, and money, and validation, and recognition, that’s not an easy ask.
Writing this blog is an act of courage for me, I see that now. Courage comes in many forms, and no, I won’t be nominating myself for a medal of valour, but that’s not to say courage can only be exhibited in the face of external combat.
I used to think I was alone in my doubts and fearful thoughts, but I’m not. Music has always reassured me of that. It’s okay to be vulnerable in music. I really loved a line from Jen Cloher’s new song about the “sushi train” of thoughts riding around and around in her head. It’s a powerful image. Powerful yet banal, as these thoughts often are. Fear happens to us all, and there is such power in admitting it.
We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us. Brene Brown
Last year I was introduced to Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. I’ll pop it in here for those who haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. Brene Brown
The idea Brene espouses is that vulnerability is the pathway to true intimacy with ourselves, with others, and our authentic place in the world. Vulnerability isn’t weakness, it is the ability to risk baring yourself in order to be real, to be open, and to grow.
So when my last post went gangbusters – I got more hits in one week than I get in most months – I thought it was kind of funny, because it had felt a little raw and unpolished when I published it. Maybe that’s the point, raw is good. Raw is real and vulnerable.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change. Brene Brown
Chakradance is a perfect place to explore vulnerability for me. It’s more than just dancing, it’s a journey within, to connect with our true essence, and I never quite know what will come up for me. Will it be joy, exuberance, tears, trauma, raw primal power?
Kat Gal wrote a great post in Tiny Buddha about her journey with meditative dance. I have to admit to similar experiences with the practice. A freedom from care of what I look like, from needing to be or do anything except what my body wants to express in that moment. It’s incredibly liberating.
In movement meditation class, people move their bodies as they feel like it, without judgment, just letting everything go, just being present, just being themselves. Kat Gal
Being fully present sounds great in theory but in reality, it’s not always comfortable. Sure when I’m seeing faeries and angels, dancing in golden pixie dust, and exchanging light rays with the moon goddess, it Rocks the Casbah, when I’m curled up in a foetal position releasing childhood trauma, not so much.
However, I have found that the faerie dust comes after I release the trauma and reclaim that lost part of self. There is a particular brand of joy that comes from facing your own darkness and seeing it has it’s own specks of light.
It’s the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, the doing and the receiving, and there’s a beauty in releasing trauma this way, it’s both powerful and empowering.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. Coco Chanel
As I express my vulnerability and my innocence in this journey towards wholeness and integration, with childlike wonder and awe, I inspire others to do the same. People are so hungry for that feeling of aliveness that comes from uninhibited self-expression, the part of us that is creative, imaginative, the dancing, the joyful, the spontaneous, the unrestrained free spirit that wants to come out and play.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends. William Shakespeare
Creativity and vulnerability have infiltrated my business planning processes this week. In my last post I expressed the mental block I was experiencing in this area and I have been inundated with helpful suggestions to assist in my business planning.
It turns out this process can be incredibly heartfelt and creative, and thanks to the assistance of Johannah from Confetti Design, I have been shown a process to be creative in my expression of my business goals and the result is pure gold!
Since I have been putting my business aspirations out there, I have had some great discussions with other small business folk. It makes me laugh, because I never wanted to admit my vulnerability, yet in this blog, it seems to be all I do, and every time it is so freeing. And other people tell me it helps them too, and then people offer me assistance.
When will I just have faith that being vulnerable is the way to go, always, all the time, and put it as my default setting? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.)
There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community. M. Scott Peck
Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Maya Angelou
This week the gift I received from dancing the sacral chakra was the realisation that openness and vulnerability are essential to the creative life. Every week brings a new gift of awakening to self.
Chakradance, for me, has been a process of reclaiming my spirit, of breaking it down into the seven chakras, and being present with each aspect of my spirit in order to reintegrate it into the whole. Wholeness.
As I get excited by my vision and talk about it to others, it magnetizes, it attracts.
The truth is I love exploring the chakras – it feels amazing, it transforms my whole being and therefore my whole experience of life. It’s like being transported into a parallel universe of infinite love and possibilities. I want everyone to experience this awakening. Chakradance is an astounding way to do this. It’s fun, it works on multiple levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It meets you where you are and brings gifts with every dance.
While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance. Hans Bos
Affirmations from Jon Patch’s blog inspired by Brene Brown’s video:
I am worthy
I tell the story of who I am with my whole heart
I have the courage to be seen as imperfect
I let myself be seen
I love with my whole heart
I am enough
I am willing to be vulnerable