What exactly does it mean to be vulnerable?
Is it weakness, strength, truth?
Is it us bearing our raw self to another in the hopes for a pure connection as we open our hearts and pour out our souls?
Is it big leaps of faith as we venture into new territory – whether it is a new yoga pose or a new career path?
In my mind, vulnerability can be all of those things. It is those moments of clarity, both big and small, about things in our lives that we want to change. It is that first moment of recognition that transition is about to take place. It is embarking on a new way of thinking, responding, acting and feeling in response to something else. It is uncovering our truth, one layer at a time as we unpack old habits and begin anew.
Vulnerability, both on and off the mat, requires us to go bravely forward, even when we are feeling weak and uncertain. In fact, that is where vulnerability can be a powerful motivator. As human beings, we are not necessarily programmed to work with uncertainty…we gravitate toward stability and security. Even those who take big risks on the stock market or the adventure athletes find comfort in a fall-back or two.
It is also in our nature to connect with others. To find commonalities. We can find those moments of connection in our vulnerability as we share our incredible stories with one another. Our hopes, dreams, fears and joys all collide in conversations, glances and gentle touches where we are reassured that our uncertainty – our vulnerability – is experienced by others in our midst. Finding those people with whom we can confide and share our vulnerabilities with is a tenuous process. We must trust and believe that others will hold us, and our precious experiences, in the space of care, concern and genuine intentions (which, by the way, also involves vulnerability).
When we trust ourselves enough to move into that space of vulnerability – of weakness, strength and truth – we open new doors. We fly in Bakasana (crow pose), fold inward in Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee forward bend), lift into Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow). We speak to someone we haven’t reached out to in years, connect with our loved ones on deeper levels, meditate on our goals. These new doors create a shift in us that enables us to explore and go more deeply into our vulnerability – our space of truth.
Vulnerability is a process that we go through over and over. It isn’t a goal or something that will ever be finished. Vulnerability allows us to always be a student of ourselves as we examine our growth and change. It can enhance relationships with others and our connections – emotional, physical and mental – to past experiences. Vulnerability prepares us for what lies ahead while allowing us to release things from our past that no longer serve us.
Exploring our vulnerability is one of the most powerful journeys upon which we can embark.
Embrace it, savour it…dive deeply.