uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure ~ as defined by Dr. Brené Brown
Vulnerability as a practice is about connection. It is about deeply loving ourselves moment to moment and inhabiting that space with awareness and authenticity. It is about finding wholeness in discomfort and peace in our connections.
The following is from the research of Dr. Brené Brown
- Intimacy requires vulnerability. If you want more physical, emotional or spiritual intimacy you must practice vulnerability. “Vulnerability is the glue that holds intimate relationships together”
- If you want more joy in your life practice vulnerability. “Joy is a daring emotion”
- “James Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin studied trauma, expressive writing, and physical wellness. He found that for people who held on to a secret of trauma—because of shame or because of guilt—keeping that secret had a worse effect on their physical well-being than the actual traumatic event.” Vulnerability is the antidote.
- If you want to create healthy boundaries practice vulnerability and shame resilience.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” ~ Brené Brown
How To Start Practicing
If healthy vulnerability is about showing up and letting ourselves be seen, shame is the stuff that gets in the way of that goal. To practice vulnerability you must understand your relationship with shame.
Body Scan – Understand how the physical symptoms of shame show up for you personally. For example, some people report feeling nausea, rapid heart rate and flushing of the face and neck.
Assess – Know what specific situations activate your feelings of shame. For example, parenting, body issues, family of origin, etc.
Practice Critical Awareness – Understand the expectations you have for yourself and the expectations that come from your environment.
Share – Reach out and share your experience. We are more similar than different and you are not alone. Shame loses its strength when we join together and share our story.
Explore, Learn, Practice – Explore the work of Dr. Brené Brown. Consider taking a Daring Way workshop from a certified facilitator. There is more information below in the resource section.