I was brainstorming a new idea: a Heart Sparks Mastermind for next year…7 women, 7 months, exploring the 7 Practices For Loving Your Life. One component of the group dynamic will be partnering with another person, and that took me to questions I’d ask them about what they might need in a partner, (accountability, sharing, inspiration….) and, what about partnering they might be resisting.
And then, BOOM, I was asking MYSELF the same questions about relationships in my personal life. And I realize how much I resist vulnerability, because the last few times I have opened my heart, I got hurt. Hard.
I took out some paper and I asked, What happens when you are vulnerable? and I wrote, “you get hurt, you learn things about yourself, your heart tells the truth. And that can be a good thing too. It doesn’t always have to be hurt-full. Trust that!”
And so on my beach walk that morning I finally walked to the right, to the end of the beach where Laddy and I always walked. I could hear his big barking bouncing off the rocks, begging me to find him a stick. It made my heart ache. And, of course, I cried.
When I shared the story with my neighbor Phyllis, while her slobbery old chocolate lab named Breyer was allowing me some great dog rubs, she said, How wonderful! And I thought, Yeh, I guess it is also wonderful that I can still go right there to remembering so clearly how much fun we had.
The fact that my heart hurts just means I’m feeling something. It’s not good, it’s not bad, I’m just feeling…. and that is what being vulnerable is.
Being vulnerable is about letting go of the fear of what you might feel and opening up to just feeling it. Being vulnerable is connecting. It’s being willing to give and receive love.
This past weekend I went to my first Sunday Spiritual Service. I got there early, met the very friendly Reverend, and helped some women put out the after-service food.
The actual service was lovely. We began with a Namasté song, walking around the group, singing into each other’s eyes. There was laughing and storytelling, more singing and a standing silent meditation. And afterwards, I spoke with several people, including a woman who I knew from Facebook. I even signed up to attend a workshop after the service next week where we will be making Blessing Sticks.
I was so warmly and genuinely welcomed into the community that I was reminded that I can enjoy many different kinds of connections and relationships. That one person cannot possibly fill all of my needs. And that showing up with an opened heart makes me cry, and sometimes that can feel really good.
On the way home I stopped at the Humane Society, just to look, to see what it’s like to go there. I almost didn’t, for selfishness, but then I thought, even if it’s just to give these dogs a little human interaction, it will be for good.
Of course I cried. For me, for Laddy for all the dogs that were there.
I engaged with a few and asked about Bon Bon, a small white shepherd mix with a happy pink tongue. The volunteer said she is overprotective and aggressive and doesn’t do well sharing the owner’s attention with other people or other dogs.
And that was fine, because I wasn’t ready to take anyone home that day, anyway. But I went, and I opened up that place in my heart and I didn’t die from sadness. In fact, the tenderness might be a little less bitter and a little more sweet.
This morning, I walked again along the rocky end of the beach. I picked up a perfect stick-throwing stick to use for my Blessing Stick next week. Laddy would have loved to have me throw it so he could run and get it, then flop down in the sand and gnaw the bark off it.
You never know when you’re gonna be ready, until you are!
If you’re interested in learning more about the 2015 Heart Sparks Mastermind, drop me an email!