Opening Up

March 16, 2015 at 5:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“I found that the more truthful and vulnerable I was, the more empowering it was for me.” – Alanis Morissette

One of the biggest privileges within facilitating our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program is fostering a space and time where participants can open up. It still gives me shivers when I witness or hear a student connect to their truth and share it, or step out of their comfort zone in any given experience. We could all think of time/s when we knew we had something to share, offer or contribute or needed to, but didn’t because of a multitude of reasons. Being able to open up, and then connect to self, others and the world around us from that place can be very challenging and confronting at times, but it also provides us with opportunities like those described in the first quote to feel empowered within our lives.

“The eyes shout what the lips fear to say.” – William Henry

I have often thought about what are the keys in aiding this process of opening up. For me, what I love most about working as a facilitator is fostering shared vulnerability within the group. This to me is the starting point where we give ourselves and others permission to really dig deeper, rather than just skimming the surface of what is waiting and wanting to come out. The quote above really moved me when I read it yesterday and reminds me why I am so invested in this educational space. So many eyes in our families, schools, workplaces and communities are shouting because opening up and sharing our truths is too fearful a place to go.

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” – Thomas Moore

So how can we foster shared vulnerability as individuals and groups so that we and others can be the people in each others lives as described in the quote above? How can we celebrate and honour the process of courage and risk involved in opening up within our journeys of potential, while also compassionately interacting with ourselves and others when we choose to keep our cards close to our chests? How can we keep reminding ourselves that our role is not one of expert or fixer within these spaces, but rather one of journeying with through vulnerability, kindness and a deepening of connection?

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable and open.” – Stephen Russell

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