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On Being Guided + My Word of The Year

As I was reflecting on not making any new year’s resolutions, I decided to pick a word for the year instead.  I feel like picking a personal word  as a theme is a powerful statement;  It’s a way of setting the tone for what I want.  I’m committing to letting this one little word show me what I need to know this year.

Have you ever felt like you’re being ushered along your path in a certain way?  I experience this all of the time.  It’s not only a gut feeling I get about what choices to make, but it’s also the signs that appear all around me like magic.

If you allow yourself Because of that, my word for this year is: Guidance.

And I’m not just talking about the typical best-friend-or-parental-advice-type of guidance, I’m talking about guidance from my own inner compass as well.  I want to be guided by my heart and feel my way through it.  I want to be guided by signs I get from my everyday life, because those moments can often be the most powerful–sometimes the easiest and best path is what is right in front of me.

When I hear a stranger’s kind word, a nostalgic song or see a cardinal in the yard, I know there’s a message for me there; I just need to tune in to the moment and figure out what it is.

And at times, I can feel almost crazy at the uniquely, bizarre guideposts that pop up:

~ Like when I was feeling a little homesick for the US while climbing Mt Fuji and then ran into a college friend halfway down my descent of the mountain (yes, in Japan!)

~ Or when I happened to find a Nepalese surgeon to help me when I was in dire straits in a village halfway around the world.  He was trained for a short time in NYC and his brother lived only 30 minutes from me in NJ (of course he did.)

~Or how geese  fly over my head when I’m outside and having a particularly sad moment of missing my mom.  She loved geese + I know it’s her way of saying hi.

Those experiences showed me I was being seen + helped along the path I was meant to go.

Signs are everywhere.  They are my guidance.

This is going to be a big year for me.  For my art, my relationship + the dreams I’ve had–they’re coming into full bloom.  I’m going to need the support and strength of an open heart + mind through all of this, so I’m really excited about being guided.

I can’t wait to see what the universe has in store for me.

How about you?  Do you have one word that seems to call to you this year?  I’d love to hear what it is.





On Being Guided + My Word of The Year2018-03-29T20:23:13-04:00

The Benefits of Being Vulnerable. {No Feeling is Final.}

No feeling is final

I saw an old neighbor/friend  in the grocery store recently and I ducked into the next aisle to avoid speaking with her.  The last time I had seen her, I was a bit of a hot mess and was embarrassed to confront the vulnerable version of myself that I had shown her during our last interaction.  That day had been a classic bomb–I woke up to an over-drafted bank account, my car was on the fritz and I had just gotten into a heated argument with my boyfriend–and then I ran into her.  Biting back the tears, I knew she could tell I was struggling, but I was afraid that the slightest inquiry from her would open up the flood gates and I wouldn’t be able to recover.

I often think about that day and how I held back on the honest answer to “how are you doing?”  I was upset, she knew I was upset, yet I maintained that strong front.  I look back in embarrassment about how I wasn’t honest with her or myself.  I was scared to be vulnerable because I wasn’t sure what would come up for me. Who knows what kind of help or gentle encouragement I could have gotten from our interaction, if I had just opened up a little and let her in.

It’s only after moments like these that I have learned a few things about vulnerability:

Vulnerability is the act of allowing yourself to be seen and heard. 

In the moments of my own tenderness (when I was feeling unhinged at the grocery store or less than adequate on a date,) I was able to see that we all have emotional soft spots, no matter who we are.   The sooner I embraced that life was full of growth opportunities which are a direct result from being vulnerable, the calmer I felt because I knew I wasn’t alone.

Being vulnerable is an ongoing process that we fine-tune over time.  It’s awkward, uncomfortable and it’s totally necessary in order to move forward.  It is only when I figured out how I personally handle vulnerability that I experienced true personal growth.  I realized I could ease up a bit on the inner critic and express my feelings as they came up.

Being vulnerable isn’t a weakness, it’s a gift.

It’s about being who you really are.  In order to really connect in life, we have to be open to accepting all parts of ourselves–especially the ones that are cringe-worthy and not pretty; revealing ourselves to others is a result of that kind of acceptance.  I know it benefits everyone when I show the world who I really am because it builds bridges with others in a way that only exposing real emotions can.

And being vulnerable is not as scary/hard/dreadful as it may seem; we all fear rejection, but stretching our comfort zone and taking the leap again and again builds a strong level of confidence.  Courage is what we get after we do the scary thing.

Self-acceptance is the key to getting through the  feeling-vulnerable spot.  

I learned that when I accept me, it won’t rock my world when others don’t.   When I stand honestly in my vulnerability, I can see the vulnerability in others and relate more to them; it’s a common thread that connects us together.  We are all vulnerable in many different ways and when we share it, we allow others to do the same.

We learn more about ourselves when we’re being vulnerable because there’s no more hiding.  I know it’s hard to be open and show who you really are, but with each step forward it gets easier.  As you understand yourself better, you are more able to show that to others.  This includes showing your joy, too.

Rather than sheltering our feelings,  what if we could open up and reveal our true selves without rejection or fear?  How would being more vulnerable change your life?





The Benefits of Being Vulnerable. {No Feeling is Final.}2018-03-29T20:23:20-04:00
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