Some of us have only a very faint knowledge of what is inside of us. We are not in touch with what we truly feel inside. We often ignore this feeling that they tend to be hazy if not hidden altogether.
For others, we do not want people to know how we feel because it makes us vulnerable. We think people can take advantage of us when they know what is deep down inside of us. Cultures have frowned upon showing vulnerability, especially when you are male. We are not allowed to cry as that is a sign of weakness, so we learned how to put on a brave face from an early age. We carry it as we grow up until we have a well-developed public persona that the world associates with who we are.
We think people around us expect us to do this. This stance is alright when we need to encourage others to go on bravely amid crisis. Yet, have we ever tried showing the vulnerable self inside us, the true feelings we have even if this means crying, breaking down in front of others, and crumpling down when faced with an unfortunate event?
Vulnerability takes courage. It is opening the wound that is within us. It enables others to hurt us. The Oxford Dictionary gives this definition of vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. Who wants to do this? This definition is contra what we know growing up, which is to be strong and ensure that others see our strengths. What if we change this framework? What if we look at vulnerability as power?
Here's a start to do that change. Below is Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability.
Brene Brown, in this video, tells us to move towards connection. She contends this is why we're here. But for her, this connection is the result of authenticity. It is the realization that what made us vulnerable is what makes us beautiful.
Yes, it is crucial to go into our inner selves and listen to how we feel. Slowly, we need to accept that it is so much a part of us. We don't numb it and go off shopping or binge eat. No, we face it. We ask ourselves, Where is this coming from? Whatever it is, digging further will only make us feel miserable. What helped me more is to accept the hurt, feel it and know it is part of me. I need to tend to it, not allow it to overwhelm me, but look into it and find out how to remedy it. Of course, the prerequisite is to accept and not deny it. Convincing ourselves that it is not something to be ashamed of, a part of us who has not grown with the rest of us is difficult but necessary.
You'll be surprised as I was that it no longer has power over me when I started sharing it with friends. I wrote about my experience, and when we were talking one time as a group, I shared that I write. My friends inquired further and asked if I could share some of my articles with them. I did, and I was surprised at their reaction. One friend told me she was on the two occasions I described there and never noticed how I felt. Since then, we became even closer as we shared our vulnerabilities and cared for each other more. There was greater authenticity in the caring.
It's time to open ourselves, be more faithful to how we feel and not be afraid or ashamed to share whoever we indeed are with our friends.
What could be more satisfying than spending a perfect day in a beautiful garden with well-groomed dogs playing freely and fun folks who appreciate the beauty of nature and fine things?
That was my experience the other day. Yes, lucky me. It was a sunny Monday morning, and our Monday travel club of two invited ourselves to a friend's sunflower patch. Little did I know that other than the sunflowers, there were many more surprises in store for me. The whole day, I was like a child in a candy factory.
A few days in our lives, with no planning on our part, everything around us converges to bring about utter joy and contentment. True, there are a few, but the impact of these like these remain etched forever.
As I said earlier, it was a sunny Monday in August. Our Monday travel club drove from Toronto towards the north of the city. We avoided the highway and instead took the road that took us to some tiny villages. For me, these are hidden gems revealing their beauty after an hour's drive from downtown Toronto. Caledon's rolling hills unfolded in its almost exhilarating majesty peppered with horses exercising in fields filled with hay rolls. It reminded me of the pastoral paintings of Costable.
When we reached our destination, frolicking white and brown poodles met us in the garden of sunflowers, herbs, garlic, zinnias, and gladioli in purple, red, and white. Our host is a tall, slim, stylish lady who grew up in Montreal and brought flair to this rural Ontario outpost.
When we entered the house, everything in it attracted me from the table ready for lunch fashionably arranged, almost like in a home and country magazine. The well-chosen antiques tastefully displayed gives a lover of what's old stare in appreciation. The paintings, all family heirlooms, decorated the walls. Everything in the house contributed to its overall beauty.
We toured the property with the two dogs in tow. I almost did not leave the big barns as inside are treasures to connoisseurs of antique cars. Jags and MGs, beautifully restored in its elegant hues, are on display, reminding me of old TV programs like Inspector Morse.
We returned to the house for a treat: bacon and tomato sandwiches with a salad of greens made from the garden produce. What a refreshing lunch with flavors often lost to taste used to supermarket produce.
After lunch, we wandered through the garden, and our host gathered bouquets and fresh tomatoes for us, a real treat for city dwellers. We then had coffee to end our visit and drove back to the city, enjoying another route on Caledon's rolling hills.
Reflecting on this experience, I thought of the many days we spent uneventfully when adventure and beauty are waiting for our exploration. I vowed to get in my car and explore the area further in the future. There were some places I took notice of and researched when I came home to visit on some sunny days.
Life is a fantastic voyage: adventure, excitement, love, learning, travel, surprise.
WOW! This trip has everything. Everything! Hey, and we know the destination, right! So we don't want the fastest means of travel. We want a long slow trip with time to savor, rest a bit, take time in the right places, and move on quickly when another stop disappoints. So this is all about the trip.
Of course, some in your office call life a struggle! They live by the famous bumper stickers, "Life is hard, and then you die." "The best thing about each day is that it ends." It's up to you: Misery or adventure? What will your voyage be?
Here are some simple things to remember, something we often take for granted in our pursuit of better travel tools, navigation aids, tips, new courses, new transport, exotic places.
The market is so full of products and services to help us out in our journey, that often these things are just put aside for more colorful and attractive options.
1. Make a Travel Map
With a map, you have the best chance of passing through the places that will interest you. You can't buy the plan.
No one has ever had your journey before, so you have to draw your own. It will end up as a reverse diary, looking at what will happen tomorrow, not what happened today.
There is nothing you can do about the history and everything you can do about what lies ahead.
2. Get a Primary Navigation System
Nothing too complicated. First, get a notebook, so you don't lose this. Forget the jargon, the intricate frameworks, and programs. Just sit down and make your own.
You know how to create lines and shapes and write. Let your imagination go. What you can imagine, you can do. Go to the start point for this new voyage.
Now, think for a minute. This journey is not a powerboat trip. You are in a sailboat, winds change, and you have to go with them. Tides, currents, and rogue waves. You have to adjust for them all, but if you know very generally the experiences you want to have and the people and places you want to see, you will accommodate the rudder to keep you moving in the direction you want.
What are these experiences you want?
What environments do you want to experience?
What adventures seem interesting?
Write them all down. See the links. Are there clusters?
3. Adjust the Rudder
Is your flopping around now going to give you these things? If not, how can you adjust the rudder, given the wind, the waves, and your navigation aids? Hey, talk to the other passengers. Speak to your family. They might be amazed!
4. Give Yourself a Break
Often, we forget the essential part of living is doing the map for ourselves and our families. Stop. Look up. Look around. Where are you? In what country (real or imaginary) are you?
Enjoy the moment. Sit down and be aware and conscious of what is going on within you and in the world. In our hurry, we miss so much. We get into such a frenzy that we can't even enjoy the very people we want to make happy.
We don't listen to the sound of silence. Instead, we fill our lives with noise.
5. Welcome the New and the Unexpected
Often, we protect ourselves from any of these. We want our lives undisturbed.
We insulate ourselves from what is unique because it threatens us. So the break gives us some time to prepare ourselves to encounter the new, conquer our fears, and provide space for the new experience.
6. Pack Light!
Many times, we take a new route, but we bring all the luggage. Just in case something happens. Something will happen now that you are ready and open, and your baggage in your mind will get in the way.
Keep your experience, but abandon most baggage.
7. Listen to Your Restlessness
It is another word for awareness and readiness for change. Look in the paper for short seminars or courses on things that interest you.
Get a book that talks to you about change and moving in life. Look at stages.
Read about others that have thrived on life as a travel experience.
8. Enjoy the Scenery
Some people spend so much time planning the next trip that they never do see the joy of the one they are taking now.
Suddenly, the journey is over, and they never visited anything. They just got to the destination.
As you journey,
9. Share the Road
Help those who need your help on the way.
Respect the things you see around you.
The more you give away, the more will come back to you. I am not a flower child -- this works.
10. Enjoy the Company
Share and celebrate life with the people you meet on the road. You might never see them again as they are on a journey, too.
Connect with those you meet on the way. More and more, you will see how interconnected we all are.
And remember, there is a world of difference between being alone and being lonely.
Don't ever let the movement of the mob be confused as part of your life's journey.
Start now! Get the notebook. Live the adventure. You get one go around!
Do you ever wish you are a different person? Nobody wants to be in a being who is suffering, feeling victimized and unworthy, insecure, and unhappy.
In the past, each time I get an invitation, the first reaction is to find reasons not to go. I get panicky about what to wear. I start wondering what to say in a conversation or how we're going to handle the payment.
The other day I got a call from my late husband's cousin inviting me to a dinner in their golf club. My anxiety went up as I feel awkward to be in these places. I couldn't say no, but my mind rushed to thinking of reasons to get out of this engagement. I am not sure if I will feel at ease with them. I never worried about this before because my husband would always carry the conversation. I never had to say anything unless directly asked, and as the conversation flows smoothly with him around, I had never worried.
I probably tried on so many dresses to make sure I dressed appropriately, not embarrass my adopted cousins. We have not seen each other since the COVID lockdown, so I was a bit apprehensive.
The day came, and the weather was terrible. Possibly, I could convince them to cancel. I tried, but they responded that they had called the club and they're fine. So, I prepared myself for the pick-up. When I entered the car, I saw that my cousin's husband was in shorts. My cousin, who casually dressed, assured me that everything goes. I saw when I came in that people there wore whatever was comfortable. It was their second home. That made me feel at ease.
As we're still maintaining social distancing, we wore masks in the car and ate in the outdoors. The dining room is very spacious that even with many people there, we had enough space away from other diners, which made for a more lively conversation.
Being my first time to be with these cousins on my own, I worried earlier what to say, but as the dinner progressed, the conversation became smooth and enjoyable. I entered fully into it, expressing my views freely. For them, this must have been the first time they have heard much from me. The conversation was so compelling that we ended with a greater desire to see each other more.
Reflecting on this experience, I saw how much I have changed as a person. I seem comfortable with everyone, happy to engage with them, and valued my contribution. I started to feel my worth as a person. What changes have I recently made to my life that brought about this new being I love?
Here is the most crucial step I took. A friend of mine recommended that I check out the workshop on transforming yourself. This friend told me that with the new science of epigenetics, I could even change my genes. So, I went to YouTube and looked at some of the videos on epigenetics. I started educating myself on the more effective personal transformation. My friend also suggested I check out the workshop of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
After watching several videos on meditation, I saw how crucial this practice is to the change I want. So, I started meditating, and the changes I experienced encouraged me to go on. I did this for about two weeks until my friend convinced me to take Dr. Dispenza's workshop.
Thanks for the time COVID has given us, I ventured into the workshop. I have meditated before, but this workshop led me to the most intense experience in my life. I found myself tuning in to the unknown, the place of possibilities where I find my new potential.
I don't get any commission from this website, but the transformation I see in myself pushes me to share this program. I feel so happy about my new self, the new person I created in this workshop.
What is important is that you seek your inner transformation. Once you start, the forces around will help you.
Does this butterfly look back to its past?
Most of us direct our attention to what we had in the past. Some of us even live in the past. Why do we do this? Because we know it for sure. We don't have to struggle to accept it. We have embraced it, and it comforts us. It is familiar, yet cozy.
The Future, on the other hand, is unknown. It is uncertain. It is something we do not know, and so do not trust at all. Most of us would not even think about it. We will deal with it when it comes. At the moment, we want nothing to do with it.
But do you know that where we focus our attention is where we direct our energy? Therefore, when we focus on the past, we give it power. History now influences how we live our present life. It dictates how we behave and how we respond to the new realities in our current moment. When we continue to do this, the more the Future becomes unknown to us, unexplored and distrusted. What's worse is nothing will change in our lives because we live the same reality we did before. We are only repeating what happened before. Is this what we want?
What if we challenge ourselves to imagine our Future and avoid looking back to the past. If we do this successfully, we train ourselves to look towards the Future, go for what is in front of us, and stop looking back. How we respond to the events in our present moment will be directed by this new image. Wouldn't that be more exciting? More exhilarating? Only then will we see changes in our lives.
Maybe some of you will ask, "Why do we have to do this when we are happy talking about the past, reminiscing the significant memories we enjoyed and shared?" While this has its advantage, it stops us from growing, from moving onward and transforming our lives. We are satisfied with what we have had and are happy to stay in it.
From now on, only focus on the image of your Future Self. Many of us don't have a vision of how we want to see ourselves in the Future. So, I invite you to do this. Upon waking up every morning, picture the Self you wish to be in the Future. Picture your joy as you live this new reality. Feel the emotion of enjoying this new life.
As your day unfolds, watch your thoughts. Each time the past takes its hold on your mind, refocus on the picture of your new Self. Keep doing this until the past has lost its grip on your thought.
Before you sleep, picture once more the image of your new Self. Keep doing this until the vision is clear in your mind. Remember to feel the emotions that go with the fulfillment of this image.
As you do this every day, you then live your life based no longer on the past but the vision of your Future Self. Transform like this butterfly.
For those who love travel, here are some of my top recommendations of places to visit.
Click on the picture to know more of these places: