Ripple Effect: Notes from the Vulnerability Salon on July 7, 2016

"Most people believe vulnerability is weakness.  But really, vulnerability is courage.  We must ask ourselves… are we willing to show up and be seen?" ~ Brene Brown

What makes you feel vulnerable?

  • Being called out

  • Being in front of people you don't know
  • Staying true to self when you want one thing and know the other person wants something else
  • Expressing feelings/ being honest
  • Giving up control
  • Asking for help
  • New situations - and getting to know new people
  • Being judged for needing help
  • When subject to opinions of others

How do you define vulnerability?

  • Weakness
  • Exposing self - to criticism/approval
  • Putting yourself out there
  • Being open and honest

How do you AVOID feeling vulnerable?

  • Staying in the house
  • Changing the subject
  • Pretending you have it all together
  • Acting like you're in control when you're not
  • Numbing behaviors

    • Humor
    • Cleaning/tasks
    • Self deprication
    • Forced extroversion - being "on" instead of authentic

Is vulnerability necessary?

"Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness but it appears it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love."  ~Brene Brown
  • Yes - to have real relationships
  • Without it - you're missing out on something deeper
  • Hand in hand with authenticity
  • Closer to people
  • Can't have amazing relationships without it
  • Don't want a relationship that doesn't have it


Negative Aspects of Vulnerability

  • As a kid - put down, humiliated for being vulnerability
    • Led to fear of criticism
  • Struggle to let guard down
  • Getting to a point where you don't care what others think
  • Risking rejection
  • Learning as a child to suppress emotions
  • Relationships that reflect back what you need to work on
  • Get back more of how you are showing up
  • Asking for help
  • Being honest about how things are going
  • What is our responsibility to initiate the conversation?
  • We all bring our strengths and weaknesses to relationships
  • When you open up, someone else opens up
  • Encouraging vulnerability by being accepting/empathetic
  • Modeling
  • Gentle nudge
  • Being open to other people's thoughts
  • Family - insisting on saying "I Love You"
    • Discomfort with saying the word

Strategies for feeling your way THROUGH vulnerability

  • Take a risk or you don't grow
  • If it scares you / feels uncomfortable - you probably need to do it
  • Breathing exercise
    • Breathe in through nose, out through mouth - air leaving body is anxiety leaving body, imagine it as a color
  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Phone a friend
  • Initiating conversation by stating your vulnerability
    • "I'm feeling really vulnerable/uncomfortable about what I'm about to say."
  • Writing (journaling)
  • Write letters
  • (Writing can be misconstrued by other person)
  • Writing as a discovery tool

Do you believe that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful?

  • Narrative of how you're modeling to your children
  • Vulnerability allows you to relax - relaxing = being more present / makes yourself more beautiful

How does being vulnerable in our own lives contribute to global wellness?  What is the impact outside of ourselves/our individual wholeheartedness/happiness?

  • Inspiring others
  • Responsibility to have an impact
  • Need to put yourself out there for sake of global change
  • Vulnerability is not just about self
  • Struggle with impatience with others
    • Not wanting to see the part of you that's like her/him
  • Help others from acting out
  • Tolerance
  • Everyone is unique - we make fun of people who are different
  • If we are real with others - they feel like they can be real too
  • Ripple effect
  • Be involved - community, school
  • Volunteering


Final Thought

  • Like hearing how others deal - use things in own life
  • Tolerance - working on being more tolerant as others are being vulnerable with me
  • Be with other like minded people is great - knowing you're not the only one
  • Leaving here and making a difference - working on yourself inspires others to grow
  • Appreciate others talking about courage
  • Vulnerability is pervasive


"Vulnerability is not knowing a victory or defeat, it's understanding the necessity of both; it's engaging.  It's being all in." ~ Brene Brown