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Monday, April 23, 2012

"Vulnerability is not weakness"....

Vulnerability is likely the single best measurement of courage.  But most people think of Vulnerability as weakness and with that tend to stay away from being vulnerable, or exposing themselves for who and what they are.  And when this happens, we lose touch with who our true selves are, what our true talents are, what our true desires are.

How many times have you been inspired to do something, write something, express your opinion, stand up for something you thought was right or stand up to something you thought was wrong?   But then rather than doing that something, sitting down and writing, expressing your feelings, supporting what you believe in or taking a back seat on an issue you felt was wrong, you avoided or suppressed the inspiration?  If you're like most people, too often.

Who am I to speak my mind, write something, create a piece of art, stand up for what I believe in?  Those are all thoughts emerging from shame, "I'm not creative enough, I'm not strong enough, I'm not an authority on this thing".  Well, where did Da Vinci get his talents?   How did Martin Luther King Jr. create such a large organized peaceful movement?  How did Steve Jobs create Apple?  They put themselves out there and kept doing it after each failure........and you know what, none of them were perfect!

Put yourself out there, stretch yourself....and that doesn't mean to be stupid about it and just argue with someone you don't agree with.  Just simply say;  "I see it this way, what is it that causes you to see it your way?  And do it with an openness to where the other person is coming from in order to understand.  You can still hold your opinion.

Creativity is a huge embracer of vulnerability.  Creating something that has never existed is really putting yourself out there.  Be it something physical or a new policy or a new approach to interacting with customers or even a Blog.  What have you go to lose?  Only the thing you don't endeavor to create!  And when it fails or does not work out, try something different.

"The Dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.  The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.  As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.  We must dis-enthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."  Abraham Lincoln 

I love that quote, "we must dis-enthrall ourselves...." Dis-enthrall means to free from a controlling force or influence......that being our avoidance of Vulnerability and the shame that prevents us from embracing Vulnerability as an innate part of who we are

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love is what we are born as, Fear is what we learn

That is a paraphrased from a quote by Sir Ken Robinson, and is so true.  Think about it.  A baby has no fear, they exude Love.  And then as they grow up, parents and adults through well meaning intention teach the child of all the dangers that "exist" in the world.  The shoulds and should nots of getting through life unscathed.  Study this, interact with these people, don't interact with those people, strive for this, stay away from that.

Usually, by the age of 6 and certainly by the age of 16, the individual has lost touch with the essence of who they are, their natural talents and desires are suppressed to varying degrees which diminishes as you would expect the enjoyment of their experience.

Have you ever noticed that when you are experiencing a problem or frustration, you are right there.  Even when you perceive that if someone else was different or if the circumstances of the situation were different, the problem would not exist, you are still entangled with the problem......you are involved with the problem or frustration.  Admitting the truth of this is usually missed by most individuals and the starting point of eliminating or reducing the frustration or problem itself.

As you identify a problem or frustration, ask yourself reflectively some enlightening and honest questions such as;

What am I to learn from this situation?
How am I to change to improve this situation?
Where am I to grow in order to alleviate the situation?
What latent talent is waiting to emerge to help in solving this problem?

And the key is, to ask these questions and then just 'be" with them, be quiet.....don't expect the answer to just appear (though if you do it with an open mind and heart, it may).  Sit with curiousness and see what comes.  Be aware that it may come at the most appropriate time, but also the most unexpected......so be open and listen to the thoughts you have.