Vulnerability: A Wise Guide Through Tight Spaces & 4 Ways To Cultivate It

In a world of loud, quiet really wakes up the soul.

In a world of fast, slow magnifies power.

In a world of hard hitting, of slamming it, banging it, crushing it, the soft touch can slide through the tight spot with insuperable strength.

Vulnerability can be seen as the synergy of opposites such as rigid and flaccid, tight and loose, hard and soft.

Synergy is the blending of things such that the sum of effects of those blended things is greater than all effects of any one thing going about its business alone.

Vulnerability can be felt in body, heart, and mind. It’s felt as the outcome of blending opposites like rigid and flaccid, tight and loose, tough and weak in good measure such that each half of the pair of opposites tempers the mix with its finest quality.

Part body sensation, part feeling, part mental awareness, vulnerability can present from within as a scary openness at first. If you’re not comfortable with it, even the suggestion to open to your vulnerability can agitate.

Like cracks in a wall that leave you open to frigid blasts and malignant insect attacks, like cracks in communication that leak top secret intelligence, like cracks in an emotional armour that leave you open to getting hurt, vulnerability feels too undefended, too permeable.

Vulnerability might be scary because we’re not used to the soft-hard art of allowing.

In many martial arts, in the yogas, in the training of hunters and gatherers, in the long apprenticeship of a magician or medicine person, in the cultivating of a master artist, the intimate practice of vulnerability keeps the initiate open in a tight spot, ready to flow in any direction, poised for a leap or a roll, positioned for opportunity.

Vulnerability might be scary because deep in the ancestral language centres of our collective awareness we hauntingly remember that vulnerable comes from words that mean to wound, to maim, to injure, to pluck, to tear, to strike. That’s scary!

But today, vulnerability means an intimacy with body, heart, head, and soul in such a manner that you could no longer hurt yourself or others intentionally.

In The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes this power of yoga: When you are steadfast in your abstention of thoughts of harm towards others or yourself, all living creatures will cease to feel fear in your presence. (sutra 2:35)

That might be called vulnerability in extremis and vulnerability in extasis.

Vulnerability, then, might be described as the taming of the fear reflex and the absence of a blame and shame conditioning.

Vulnerability could be called the necessary angel, to borrow Wallace Stevens’s phrase, of empathy. Now, that’s a beautiful thing.

Invite your vulnerability to guide you and hold you. It has beauty, courage, and magic in it.

4 Actions To Invite Vulnerability:

  1. Tune in to your senses and sensations. Walk in a safe place in nature. Sit quietly, close your eyes, breathe, and practice developing eyes in the back of your head. Walk gently, sense the earth beneath your feet, and practice developing ears in the soles of your feet. Smell as if every pore of skin were a nose. Taste with your fingertips. Open to the subtlety of sensation.
  2. Acknowledge reactivity. You can develop a practice of tuning in to the tight place in the body that’s attached to a reactive trigger; then identify an emotion that goes with the trigger; then observe any meanings, ie, conclusions, perceptions, thoughts attached to that trigger.
  3. Simply sit and allow yourself to embody sensation, emotion, thought, without reaction. Just let it flow through. No judgement. No blame.
  4. Daily, track triggers, emotions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours through tight spots and tender spots. If any of those are uncomfortable, if they hurt you or someone else even in thought, write yourself into a next best perception or meaning. Write about the beautiful, helpful, good, blessed boons in your life even when going through trial. Stretch yourself. Notice something that has a deep and encouraging beauty to it in spite of any anguish or confusion. Focus there.

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The Grit & Gumption Of Your Fearless Awesome Courage big blog

Everyone has a gorgeous perilous mission. The details change from person to person, perhaps from life stage to life stage. The magnitude of the mission is large for some and small for others. But the principle of the mission stays the same.

We are each here to redeem our deep driving desire from its prison or slumber and fulfill our personal destiny within the collective destiny of our times. We are here to be, as fully as possible, the channel for our singular purpose to arrive in the world. We are here to unleash a fearless awesome courage into the world.

LIBERATING DESIRE FROM THE CRAMP OF CONDITIONING

Why do I call it a fearless awesome courage?

One reason is that, for most of us, our deep driving desire got lost beneath layers of experience. Unearthing our desire can require an exceptional courage of us.

The magnificent evolutionary efficiency of our nervous system shaped itself in, through, and from this world of experience, a world filled with danger and safety. The nervous system evolved to shrink from pain and reach for pleasure.

These layers of experience become our cramp of conditioning—the learned habits of limiting memory and rote behaviour that keep us in the same-old-same-old. These habits very often keep us from daring the difference that our unique and singular destiny calls for.

Our cramp of conditioning is also mostly invisible. I say mostly because we can’t see a belief; we can’t touch a memory; we can’t eat a perception of any kind, limiting or unlimiting—at least not physically.

But we can see the effects of conditioning. The effects unfold as our typical reactions and behaviours, preferences and abhorrences.

To liberate our deep driving desire we have to dare our conditioning that holds guard at the gates of memory. Like any great heroine or hero, we have to dare the underworld, the place where lost things go, where forgotten things lie, where the treasure of our true destiny waits to be freed.

And old habits die hard. Our entire ego identity and sense of belonging cling to these old patterns of conditioned memory. It’s a big deal. A belief is a little thing wielding a huge heft of power.

After we dare the underworld of our subconscious, then we have to dare the world.

DARING THE WORLD

The world we must dare includes: the convictions others have around who and what we’re supposed to be; the insistence the collective conditioning has around how we’re supposed to fit in and do our duty to maintain the status quo; the hard line group mind has around keeping everything as is.

And dare we must if we are to redeem our own true authentic self from conformity. Dare we must if we are to protect and liberate the good, the right, the perfection in ourselves and in the world.

You may feel called to rescue abused animals or help relieve world hunger. You may be called to release yourself from an addiction. You may be called to be the strong light in your family or neighbourhood that brings hope to despair, joy to sadness, a helping hand to a disabled neighbour, a shovel to a tree planting event.

No matter who we are each of us is called upon to protect beauty, truth, innocence, and trust in whatever form those appear in our worlds—both inner and outer. And many are the forces against us—from within and from without. An old shame habit can keep us down. An old worry, such as what others might think, can keep us stuck in deep unhappiness. An old taboo can keep us small. A military occupation can throw the mind into terror.

But what’s the alternative to playing safe? Does dying with your music still in you appeal to you? Does living with an unlived story inside you appeal to you?

THE CHALLENGE OF GRIT & GUMPTION

Your gorgeous perilous mission calls upon you to challenge your habitual fears, make fear your ally, and lift that wildly singular burning desire into your living flow. Big or small; visibly on a world scale or invisibly in the inner arena where you wrestle for your soul—your gorgeous perilous mission is as important as anyone’s.

What’s stopping you from beginning? Fear of some kind? Well, take a deep breath, take heart, and take a step. That step not only calls for a fearless awesome courage, but calls upon the fearless awesome courage to arise. That step evokes it from its prison or slumber, wakes it up to the dire cue of the moment, ignites the grit and gumption needed to carry through.

When a fearless awesome courage allies with a gorgeous dangerous mission you get a golden opportunity.

As soon as you take that step, the path of radiant attraction begins to open. As soon as you begin the challenge, courage begins to muster. Your gorgeous perilous mission attracts the allies it needs to liberate your joy. And a primary ally is the fearless awesome courage that lives within you, within each of us, awaiting ignition.

 

Imagination~The Hinge Between Something & Nothing

Imagination is power, creative power, co-creative power with the original and originating All Stuff. We mirror that power. We partake of that power.

And the etymology of the word imagination itself carries that power right from its roots into our vision, our language, our hearts.

The word imagination derives from the Persian magush, the Greek magos, and the Latin magi, becoming magian and magic in English. The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) ancient language word magh- is at its root. Magh-means to be able, to have power.

The image in our imagination has immense magical power. Poets, yogis, teachers, sages of all times and cultures have celebrated this tool of incarnational power that each of us has so ready to our creative vision.

Imagination partakes of magic, enabling us to create what never was before.

Imagination gives access to the worlds of which it dreams—or frets. What we imagine we become. Imagination brings forth worlds.

And true imagination partakes of beauty. In many ancient systems describing what I call our crazy sexy super powers, imagination is seated in the heart.

You are a magnificent imagining maven.

Imagination is the hinge between nothing and something. It gives form to the formless, substance to spirit, matter to musings. Bold, loving, playful imagination is the crazy sexy super power that helps incarnate your deep driving desire.