How can I practice being more vulnerable and still feel safe?
Have you every wondered this?
It’s a million dollar question that I have asked myself and was asked by a client. I want to share with you the intuitive guidance that came through for her and has stayed with me and led to a beautiful vulnerability practice.
This word…Vulnerability…can feel so scary and foreign.
“In our culture,” says Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”
When we’re afraid of being vulnerable we often hide, make ourselves wrong for what we think are mistakes we’ve made, and we numb our negative emotions. Unfortunately, when we numb the emotions we don’t want to feel, a side effect is numbing the feel-good feelings, too: Joy, Excitement, Happiness, Powerfulness, Purposefulness, and many other emotions also become unreachable and feel just as foreign.
Have you ever seen a beautiful sunset or heard of a heartwarming story and felt those warm fuzzy feelings inside only to suddenly become busy doing something else? Or you teared up and felt like your chest would burst so you turned away and distracted yourself with food, a conversation, etc?
The positive feelings can become just as overwhelming as the negative ones and we habitually resist them all. The good news is, it’s just a habit and can be changed.
The thing is, being vulnerable doesn’t have to mean we begin to share everything about ourselves with the outside world. If being vulnerable can be thought of as the opposite of hiding and numbing then this means we first need to feel safe feeling our own emotions.
An important skill becomes being vulnerable with yourself, first and foremost, and to begin practicing vulnerability, a good place to start is inside you with your own feelings.
When you can feel safe feeling your own emotions in every moment, you are being vulnerable with yourself.
This means all emotions and not just the positive ones that we so often crave.
It certainly means feeling the good emotions like joy, happiness, elation, excitement, and purpose.
It also means feeling neutral, bored, annoyed, and frustrated, etc.
AND it means feeling the hard emotions that don’t feel good like sadness, anger, even despair sometimes.
As often as you remember throughout your day, focus in on what you’re feeling and become really aware of that feeling, no matter what it is. Do your best to stick with the feeling without running away from it. Notice what happens in your body. Notice your breath. Notice what your mind is narrating to you in that moment. And notice, too, that when you simply observe the feeling it eventually passes.
You can also seek out stories, videos, poems, art, and experiences that invoke emotions inside you so that you can practice feeling them more and more. Funny cats, heroic humans, photos of sunsets or puppies, etc, can all serve as catalysts for igniting emotions so you can practice feeling them and observing them.
Your emotions aren’t who you are, they are simply experiences you’re having.
It takes consistent practice to un-numb your emotions and feel them. In the beginning, it will feel very weird and you may even think it’s stupid. I certainly did, and my clients have said this, too.
But it’s only weird because you’re not used to doing it. The more you practice and the safer you feel feeling your own stuff, the more you will also exercise your vulnerability muscle because you will know that you can handle any emotion that your body conjures up.
If you have a backlog of these emotions and you’ve numbed them for a while, this process of opening yourself up to feel them and release them can feel intimidating. Ask for help if you need it and work with a practitioner, coach, healer, or therapist that you feel safe with to help you clear this backlog. Much of the work I do with women is clearing emotion and I’m happy to help you, too.
Inside you is where true vulnerability begins and grows. When you reach a degree of inner peace you can practice sharing your inner world with others that you trust and grow your vulnerability comfort zone.
Vulnerability isn’t a destination we reach as much as it is a path of becoming. It’s getting to know ourselves and what we’re made of. And an easy place to begin is inside yourself because you already have access to that information. To help with this path, I have created a free audio course on how to feel safe feeling and release your negative emotions. You can snag it here.
Kasia Rachfall is an intuitive coach, healer, and artist working with the Akashic Records to help spiritual women break generational patterns of feeling inherently broken so they can feel whole and have the freedom to accept their imperfect selves fully, at any age!
Grab Kasia's free audio course Feel Safe Feeling here to learn how to decode and release the difficult emotions that steal your joy, peace and happiness. It's a shitty day emergency kit for your emotional triggers.