In Part 1 of this series, we explored the power of your own vulnerability and the benefits of learning to be OK with it and be your true, authentic self.
Here is the first in a set of 4 steps you can explore to begin your journey on the path to your true self and ultimately becoming invincible.
Step #1: Drop all Judgement
If you hold judgement of yourself or others, you’re not going to fare well in this process. Judgement brings about criticism/blame/anger/resentment/disappointment. Of course, all these are valid emotions and have their place in our lives, but they are constrictive and keep you closed with the need to protect yourself from your vulnerability, whereas this process is about opening yourself up, dropping the judgements you are making of yourself and instead looking with curiosity at what’s driving your behaviour.
Meditation is a very helpful tool and puts you into a place where discovery of what lies beneath the armour is possible. It will help you to take an aerial view of the feelings and beliefs locked away inside you without judgement. Once you know what’s bubbling under the surface, you can work to accept what is there, embracing all aspects of you in the understanding that they are what make you, You.
Without them you may as well be a robot.
A very basic way to meditate is as follows:
- Sit comfortably somewhere quiet that you know you won’t be disturbed. Set a timer for 15 mins in case you fall asleep (unless doing this before bed).
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, pause, then out through your mouth. Focus on the feeling of the breath going in and out of your body. Repeat this 3 times, then go back to breathing normally.
- Starting from the top of your head and working gradually down your body, take note of any tension you’re holding and release it. Also note any discomfort you’re feeling anywhere and where you are feeling comfortable. This step is called a ‘Body Scan’.
- Now relax, breath normally. Listen to the sounds you can hear, the sound of birds or traffic outside, a sound in the room such as a ticking clock, or the hum of a refrigerator. Focus intently on only that sound.
- Begin to sink your awareness down into your body. Look for any emotions that are there. When you find them, just recognise and name them if you can. Try not to judge, just recognise and name, keeping an open sense of curiosity like this: “Oh look, there’s anger – isn’t that interesting. Oh and some blame as well, I wonder where that has come from.” You may have some upsetting memories come up – go with them, view them as you would a movie, detach, allow them to play out, then be open to let them go without judgement. You may have random thoughts that don’t seem to mean anything, again, let them flow through you, go with them, allow. You may find you start crying or yawning. This is a good sign that you have reached something and are releasing it.
- When your timer goes off, take a couple of deep cleansing breathes, wiggle your toes, move your body and open your eyes. Sit for a moment to bring your awareness back into the room. Stand very slowly and carefully as you may feel a little dizzy at first.
When you first start meditating, just get used to naming the emotions. As you practice and become more adept, then you can begin to explore where those emotions are coming from, but still keep that open sense of curiosity and discovery. If you begin to judge, try another day.
If you’re new to meditation and would prefer guidance, or if you’ve struggled with it in the past, a great app for this is Headspace. It uses guided meditation, all you have to do is put your headphones in and relax. Another great app to use is Insight Timer. It has hundreds of guided meditations to choose from, tailored to every need – there may even be some specifically for dealing with vulnerability.
This can be a very challenging and painful process. Be patient with yourself. Your subconcious may not be ready to give up it’s hidden secrets straight away and your ego may want to defend them like a rabid guard dog. Take the softly, softly approach, if you feel you are making headway, go a little deeper, if not – stop and try again another time.
You may find it necessary to get some additional help for more deep-seated issues. Hypnotherapy can be very helpful in this situation as it deals directly with your subconcious mind. Also, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can have quite miraculous results, especially if dealing with trauma such as PTSD. I have used both these methods in my own journey and found them to be really helpful.
Once you begin to understand you and to get used to non-judgement of yourself, you’ll reach the point of self acceptance. A wonderful side-effect of living primarily in this state is that you’ll find it easier to accept the so-called ‘imperfections’ of others. In understanding your own judgements and behaviour, you’ll gain so much understanding of what drives other peoples’ behaviours that your compassion, empathy and understanding of them will grow immensely.
Read Part 3 in this series to learn Step #2 in your journey to authenticity.
To learn more about being vulnerable, check out Brené Brown’s ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead’, click here to view it on Amazon