Being vulnerable is not something that I do well. I usually am a calculated risk taker and if ever the opportunity arises to show feelings, I am definitely not the first one in line. I prefer to hide and suppress my feelings, for fear of being perceived as weak. It wasn’t until I underwent my massive transformation (spiritual awakening) that I realized that by bottling up my emotions and not honoring how I felt, I was not being true to who I was and I was in turn living a life that I was not happy with. I was not living intentionally and I absolutely was the furthest thing from vulnerable!
It was during this time that I vowed to start living intentionally through vulnerability. This means that you are learning to live with mindful purpose while understanding that you are emotionally exposed. I am going to be honest-this was not an easy road for me and still from time to time I feel like I need a reminder. I will tell you that the steps that I used to get here not only truly helped me figure out myself but how to be comfortable in my own skin!
The definition of intention is to do things with purpose. This means that everything that you say, how you act, your motives all need to be done with a purpose that matches your true authentic self. Every day we make choices. However, if you are not clear on where you stand or you do not wish to show that side of you, you are not honoring your authenticity. So, in order for me to achieve intentional living, I had to ask myself some questions.
What do I stand for?
When I asked myself this question, I sat down with a pen and paper. I wrote down everything that I believe in morally, what types of things that I value and the belief systems that I held to be true. This list in a nut shell was like an advertisement for who Lauren is without any of the emotion. When you write your list out, take a look at it and know that from this moment forward this is your guide for how you will choose to make intentional decisions.
Are you following your intuition?
When making decisions do you follow your gut feeling or do you ignore it? Obviously, the correct answer is that you should always honor your intuition. Your gut feeling is like a homing beacon for what you stand for. If you are being true to yourself you will always follow your instinct when making a decision. Sometimes decisions are not very black and white and the right answer can seem to be eluding. When this happens re-check your list, slow down and listen again to what your intuition is telling you. I have found over the years, that meditating on a specific situation or question always brings the most clarity.
Are you acting with kindness?
We are predisposed to ego as part of human nature and in this we tend to react with feelings rather than our values. In the moment the reaction with ego may feel right but later leave you feeling glum because you violated your own core values. We have all been there and it truly is an ugly feeling. So, before saying something in a knee jerk reaction or making a decision, it is best to stop and rethink about what your core values are and act accordingly.
Being vulnerable is often perceived as a weakness. In fact, the very definition of vulnerable is “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” This leads us to be extremely guarded when it comes to feelings and leading a truly authentic life because we are afraid of being hurt. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, specializes in shame and vulnerability. She says, “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.” It is when I came across her documentary “Call to Courage” on Netflix that I truly felt inspired to step off the sidelines and into the arena. It was in this moment that I was able to finally live my life authentically without constantly worrying about how I was being perceived.
It was when I stopped caring about putting others needs and wants first and focusing on what I hold to be true, that I finally found freedom! Though putting myself out there for the world to see still carries a tad bit of shock factor, I do what resonates with me and not with other people. This way I am always honoring my core values in turn my business always follows this alignment.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” -Brene Brown
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”- Brene Brown
So, if you are ready to start finding fulfillment and freedom in your life apply these ideas for intentional living and get to work! I cannot guarantee that this process will not bring about some turbulence but I can tell you that once you have weathered the storm, the rainbow at the end is worth it!