In 2008 while going through my 2nd yoga teacher training program and starting grad school, I also, coincidentally met the man who is now my husband. The combination of the three occurrences caused me to open myself in a way I never had before.
The man lived 1200 miles away, student teaching was nerve-wracking, and grad school was hard. I had to learn to be engaging while also opening myself freely to critique, I had to be open to the possibility of heartache, and I had to work my ass off like never before.
I tend to be on quieter side and used to keep people at arms-length, afraid to relax show my true personality. So, letting my guard down, being open to critique, and working closely with advisors and mentors was colossal undertaking.
Regardless and somewhat shockingly, I moved forward, stuck my nose in the books, and taught my tail off, unsure of what the future would hold.
At that time, I thought it was the most vulnerable I could ever be.
Vulnerability as defined by Merriam-Webster means being easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally or, open to attack, harm, or damage.
However, if you're familiar with Brene Brown, you know that vulnerability is so much more. It's our ability to be open, show up as we are, and truly put ourselves out there. It means that we are able to embrace our imperfections and be happy right where we are and it means putting ourselves on the line, unsure of what is to come.
That year, I put myself out on the line. Needless to say, things worked out. And, around 6pm on a Saturday night in 2015 we had a healthy, strong baby boy.
It was then that I found out that I couldn't have been more wrong. The vulnerability I felt in 2008 was a shadow in comparison to what I felt as I pulled my baby onto my chest and took in the features of his face.
I had know idea just how vulnerable I actually could be but, in that moment I certainly learned quickly.
I was now a mom.
It took me a while to embrace this new version of myself and still have a lot of work to do, but I believe that I became the best version of myself that day.
These days, I'm a little softer around the edges. Although still impatient, I'm more patient than I was. I cry more, laugh more, and put more value in my true relationships. I am more honest and less shy about asking for what I need and want. I'm more compassionate, more willing to connect, and much more aware of the other moms in my life. I love deeper.
And, the kicker... I embrace it all. I embrace ALL my bullshit. The good and the bad.
This is important, mama.
As mothers, it's important to embrace vulnerability; not just for our mental well being but also to teach our children how to show up authentically and how to become themselves.
By practicing vulnerability, we're able to learn and teach the value of imperfection, compassion, and connection with those around us
By accepting and embracing imperfection we can teach our children that imperfection is normal.
By practicing compassion, first for ourselves and then for those around us, we teach our children diversity and kindness.
In order connection to occur, we have to be seen and we have to be authentic. Through connections with others, we teach our kids who we are, and in turn, they become who they are.
Most importantly though, practicing vulnerability means showing up for ourselves; learning who we are, when to stick to our guns, when to let go, and how to become the mama we want to be.
Being vulnerable means being yourself...and being OK with that.
So mama, if you struggle with feeling frustrated in your space, alone, unworthy, or like you're not measuring up, practice.
1. Practice showing up as you are because you are good enough. What makes you imperfect also makes you the goddess life force that you are.
2. Practice compassion towards yourself first. Tell yourself that you love you. Practice talking positively and throwing away the negative self-speak.
3. Practice opening up with those in your life. Say what you mean and how you feel. Ask for the things you want and the things you need.
When you start showing up in this new way, people might not take to it. Remember, we are all fighting our own battles. If someone is not receptive to you, that's their shit, not yours.
Be you, mama.
Go ahead, be vulnerable.