When I hear the phrase, “be vulnerable” I almost exclusively associate it with love. The way I understand it, to be in love you must open yourself up to others. But being vulnerable is not just about finding love in a relationship, it’s about finding love in life.
It’s hard to be vulnerable. For me, I’m afraid of looking stupid. Especially as a yoga teacher, never knowing if what I’m going to say will help others or just make them think, “what the hell does this 28 year old know about life?” It isn’t limited to that. When I get dressed I wonder what others will think of me instead of how excited I am to express myself. I second guess a conversation I had with someone, or feel regret over my absurd dance moves. It’s a small voice, but it exists. There is a resistance between being me in my full expression and being me in a censored form.
There is a safety in this censored form. You will maintain your personal status quo. You’ll be secure. Everything will be fine. But isn’t there more to life than being fine?
Three years ago, my then boyfriend tried to get me to come surfing with him. I was not interested at all. Not because I wasn’t fascinated with the sport, but because I was terrified at the idea of failing. My personal censor went off, telling me I was too old to try this for the first time, that I was afraid of the ocean, that I might get hurt, and that the spectators on the crowded beach would all laugh at me. So I said no. The next summer I went out a few times, failed miserably and hoped no one saw. This past summer I’m proud to say there were days I dragged him out of bed to get out into the ocean. Of course I look stupid and I’m not very good, but it is exhilarating! I’ve completely fallen in love with yet another facet of life that would not have been available to me had I been living with a censored heart.
For a moment, think of the things you DON’T do because you are afraid of what others will think. There may be things you won’t do because of what YOU think of you. I’m too old, I’m not that kind of person, I don’t do those kinds of things, etc.
The full expression of you is always better. Censorship can only limit you. The crazy, wild, strange, silly, intelligent, creative, totally weird you is what we want. And not only is that you good enough, it is the key to falling in love with your life.
Written by sexy Sakaralite, Sheri Uslander
Bio: Known lovingly as "coach" by many of her friends and students, Sheri has a knack for crawling into the minds of those around her and snapping them into action. Whether it is on the mat, cushion or street, she strives to help others realize their infinite potential. As a former Division I athlete and CPA, she has never stopped looking for a challenge to conquer so that she may teach others the same. Sheri teaches yoga and meditation in New York City.