Musings on Vulnerability

Slowly reading, ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown.

From page 43

In the song “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen writes, “Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold  and it’s a broken hallelujah.” Love is a form of vulnerability and if you replace the word love with vulnerability in that line, it’s just as true. From calling a friend who’s experienced a terrible tragedy to starting your own business, from feeling terrified to experiencing liberation, vulnerability is life’s great dare. It’s life asking, “Are you all in? Can you value your own vulnerability as much as you value it in others?” Answering yes to these questions is not weakness: It’s courage beyond measure. It’s daring greatly.

I’ve been talking a lot about giving our all to our practice, whether in yoga or in our meditation, and Brene’s reflections on vulnerability is absolutely relevant. If we give 100% but don’t begin from a soft, uncertain, vulnerable place, we wind up starting from tension and ending in tension in each and every pose. We strengthen the very sides of ourselves that keep us from feeling vulnerable and open to life.  The great thing about yoga and meditation is that if we don’t know how to be vulnerable in our practice, the very act of practicing will bring us to places where we feel uncomfortable, insecure, unrooted, unprotected. And when we feel those things, we slowly learn to breath into them, give them a space to be, and learn to open up from them. We soften into a pose or the breath or our intention and then notice how the mind, our habits, physical and mental, will start to fight it, try to shut us down, make us invulnerable, in control, secure. Slowly, we begin to value and give energy to those soft, open places that actually allow us to be courageous, outgoing, tough, intimate, whatever we need in the moment, and stop listening so much to the defenses that paradoxically make us weak and disconnected from life. It’s incredibly challenging work, but well well worth every bit of effort we can give it. See you on the mat!