vul·ner·a·ble (vŭl′nər-ə-bəl) adjective
1. susceptible to physical, emotional attack, harm
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation.
Synonyms: helpless, powerless, weak
I posted a similar "Vulnerability is the New Black" post exactly year ago on our Tumblr. Since it's the OnlyAtoms first year anniversary, and it's recently come up again, I thought it'd be nice to share a version of it here for you. Enjoy!
May, 2014: Last night in my DharmaPunx meditation group (which is an amazing and free donation-based meditation group in NYC! There are also groups all over the country), the teacher, Josh Korda, was talking about “stories” we all have. How we think we’re all so special, the only ones with that particular story, but we’re not…we’re all the same. We have the same emotions, same issues, same problems, same insecurities, anxiety, etc. Just like running and training and all you go through to get yourself to the next PR or next distance. (Running and meditation has completely changed my life, have I mentioned this before?! Read on!)
Fittingly, before I went to Dharmapunx, I was feeling very vulnerable as our friend and gorgeous running model, Chantel, posted an OnlyAtoms photo of her, and it was the first time I had to “go public” with what I was up to with OnlyAtoms. Eek! Time to be vulnerable.
All these thoughts came up: fearful, self-doubting, self-conscious thoughts. Afraid no one likes this, everyone hates this idea, why would anyone support me, people will think it's stupid, etc.
So many scary thoughts. Like the one about how I don’t know what I'm doing, even though I’ve done this for so many years (making clothes for the top clothing brands of the world over 10 years). Duh, of course I know how to do this!
Additionally, I had been out of work, got some job rejections, which made me feel bad too. Like a loser who can’t even get a job at a tech startup that sells dog products (a job I was over-qualified for…) But maybe it's telling me something? Like, why the hell not just go for your passion instead. (I now think the universe was really trying to tell me something...). So here I am “going for it”. Following a dream of 8 years. Following the lifelong dream to have our own business since I was a kid selling (fresh, real, homemade) lemonade and fresh picked cherries on our street. Everyone has been so amazing and supportive, and things have been going well.
And I am SO grateful for it! And so excited! But then those fear and self-doubts come up again...
It’s just like running a marathon…mile 14, doubt. But keep going. More doubt again at mile 20. Keep going. And again at mile 23.5, even again at mile 24.75. Doubt. Keep going. Doubt. Keep going. Eventually, 26.2, a finish line, and you wonder why you doubted yourself. And then you want to go run another marathon! Eventually you run, doubt, and keep going more and more, and marathons become easy and fun, and the fears and doubts dissipate more over time. (See, as I keep saying, running is a metaphor for life!)
That night's DharmaPunx talk and mediation reminded me of one thing – we all have fears and self-doubts – we all feel this way at times. We are all just scared children inside. We all go through the same things in life and with our running. But we have no need to be doubtful, really. It’s crazy thinking and can be destructive. We are all humans, all with the same feelings, same problems…and we’re also all here to love, support and give to each other. This is how meditation and running has helped change my life...it helped me quiet those fears, help me put aside doubt, helped me follow my dreams and live my best life I am truly meant to live. Doesn't everyone want this? Just like running - farther, longer, faster, you overcome challenges and goals and become a better and happier person each time you do so!
So, just practice quieting that part of your mind that doubts and fears, that's what meditation does! And open up to others, share your fears, express your doubts….be vulnerable and you will see the outpouring of love and support from others. Especially others in the running community! I'm here if you want to share your story with me, just reach out here, here or here!
Thank you, I'm so grateful for you all!