Ever had your toes licked by a furry friend?
A year ago I spent time with a dear friend back in Ontario and her dog Colin took a shine to licking my toes anytime they weren’t in shoes or socks. I nearly squirmed out of my skin the first time his cute little tongue took a swipe.
The more he licked, the more I got used to it. To my surprise, I discovered that there was something kind of soothing about his attention. As squirmy as it made me, when we came home from a walk or shopping at Ikea, letting his little warm tongue quietly slurp away felt … good.
When I was looking for a picture to go with this post, I realized that even saying the word vulnerability makes me feel the same was as that first damp contact of Colin’s tongue.
But the practice of vulnerability … that’s a different thing all together.
I admire people who choose to be vulnerable, but I completely admit that the idea of choosing to be vulnerable scares the crap out of me.
The thing is, the more I discover about myself, the more I seek to live authentically, whole-heartedly, the more I realize that being vulnerable really is the key piece to living my life to the fullest.
Contrary to how I tend to feel about it, being vulnerable doesn’t have to mean being a doormat for others to walk on. It doesn’t have to mean allowing people to take advantage of me. It doesn’t have to mean opening myself up to be hurt again and again by the same person.
But it does mean allowing my heart to be seen. Opening up to share the things that are closest and dearest to my heart. Risking not being good enough. Trying even when I might fail. Knowing that the choice to be vulnerable may lead to hurt and disappointment and choosing to live that way anyhow.
I picked boldness as my word for 2012. Little did I know that choosing to be bold would also mean choosing to be vulnerable. As squirmy as the idea of vulnerability makes me, learning to choose vulnerability in the little moments of day-to-day life feels … better than good.
There are so many people who have been inspiring me with the power and grace of their vulnerability. I thought I’d share a few.
- The View from the Vortex of Suck – When your website is called Blessing Manifesting, people might be inclined to think that you only write what one friend used to call “bunnies & light”. But sometimes life just isn’t like that and Dominee can be counted on to be real.
- The Permission Slip – Sometimes I need someone else to remind me that I have permission.
- Feeling Empty on the Inside and Ugly on the Outside – Showing Up Anyway – The title of this blog says it all “Simply Woz”. The courage of this post brought me to tears.
- I’m not liking myself and I’m not doing anything about it – I value this kind of honesty and self-knowledge that sometimes you just need to be where you are without trying to change things.
- Have I told you how much I adore Ellie Di? From here (Scattered Thoughts from a broken and healing marriage) to here (Becoming myself: new site, new direction, new story). I love her never-ending quest to be more fully herself and her willingness to share that journey.
- Art in Motion: Sunshine Piece – I love Kelly Rae Roberts’ artwork. It was her calendar that hung on the wall of my work cubicle throughout 2011. Quietly and subtly, her art snuck behind the walls I’d built and reminded me that there was a different way to live. Sharing her creative process behind such a personal piece made me want to dig the paints out.
- There are so many posts from Marianne Elliott that I could include here, but Chickens really hit home for me. When I think of some of the free writing things I’ve done as part of writing workshops, I find it hard to imagine posting them … without a lot of editing!
- I am beauty by Kyeli – So simple and powerful. In case you haven’t been following Kyeli’s 30 day no-necklace trial during September, watch here, here and here to fully know why this poem of all that Kyeli writes and blogs had to be included in this list.
- Can’t forget the book that challenging me more with each chapter … Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I’m thoroughly enjoying the read-along she’s hosting on her blog. It really isn’t just me who struggles with that “vulnerability” word.
- Trust Changes Everything – When I need a gentle reminder, Kristin’s illustrations and words are a great antidote to fear.
- This list wouldn’t be complete without posts from my Monday night writing buddies. In so many ways, we’re so different, but in so many ways, we’re just the right fit together. They challenge me to keep stretching my comfort zone with gratitude and wonder. So here’s A Time for Celebration by Tara, and …
- A story about a ring from Joanna.
May their offerings inspire you as much as they have inspired me.
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