attitude, Blog, courage, intimacy, Love, trust

“Excavate the Unsaid” – Exploring Vulnerability

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 202

“Excavate the Unsaid” is something Brené Brown said on her Netflix special The Call to Courage.

So many people in my circle are huge Brené Brown fans. They listen to all her Ted Talks and have read all her books. When I turned on Netflix last night, I was going in blind.

Coming off of Kyle Cease’s Love Rising videos, I was prepared for something similar, but I found it quite different. Not good or bad, just different.

I found a number of the things she said to be extremely powerful and were real takeaways for me. Learning not to exploit the pain in the people we love was a big one. This is an easy offensive go-to in the heat of a disagreement with someone you care about. It’s like taking the cheap shot. But I had never considered it as exploiting someone else’s pain. That idea requires some stepping back and taking stock of what we do to people we profess to love.

When someone is in pain, why would we want to hurt them further?

The other takeaway for me was “excavating the unsaid”. She gives a really long example of this from her own life which was enough to make the special worth watching. So often we have a story we create in our heads to explain the behavior of someone else. In many cases, the story we create is not based on anything but our imagination. Why isn’t it easier to simply ask for the truth? When we find truth, we find growth.

Digging deep with each other, especially people important in our lives, is essential in understanding. Being vulnerable is not easy, especially if there is no warm and welcoming place that makes you feel safe in being open and raw. Don’t ask someone to be vulnerable if you are unwilling to accept their vulnerability.

Based on my experience, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable has a lot to do with the gender roles we have learned throughout our lives. Men are not supposed to be vulnerable, but women, being the societal ‘weaker sex’, are often seen as vulnerable.

Brené also talks about the chicken and egg scenario when it comes to trust Versus the ability to be vulnerable.

I am glad I watched. I am not ready to go out and buy her books, but I do value what she shared. Each teacher comes into our lives at just the right time I think. Then it is up to us.

Perhaps we can become addicted to self-help trying to make sense of our lives. For me, I listen for the motivation to effect change in my life. Once I have heard the lesson, it is time to put the lessons learned into action. It will not matter how many teachers you have if you do not apply the lessons to your own life.

I would encourage you to watch The Call to Courage. It is a minimal investment of time and who knows, it might be what you need to hear.

attitude, Blog, Stressed


Day 14

There are days that seem perfect and there are days that seem horrible. In actuality, most days are simply peppered with moments — good or bad — that alter our moods.

Breathable Moments

Today has had some less than perfect moments. It is easy to let stress take residence in those moments but it is important to find a way out.

I know that sounds easy but can be a hard step for some people. It’s hard for me sometimes.

I try to look for breathable moments. Things that snap me back to a sense of calm and clarity.

GowensvilleIt might be a cloud formation, a flower blooming, or a child lost in play. Today it was the sky and an image I saw of space.

Both remind me of how small we are in this world. And if we are small then our stresses and problems must be relatively small as well.

But sometimes they seem huge.


It’s important to recenter. Look around and take in your surroundings. There is so much to observe and take in and appreciate. We are small and while our problems seem insurmountable, they can be small as well. Especially the moments in the day when someone says the wrong thing or treats you unkindly.

Let It Go

My mom used to tell me to “just let it roll off your back”. Sounds good on the surface but sometimes things hurt or sometimes they make you angry. That’s the human condition. We are not perfect and we should not expect perfection in others.

Sometimes we do not live up to our own expectations.

I learned a long time ago that anxiety and stress have a threshold. If you imagine a scale from one to ten, with ten being the worst, you realize that once you hit that peak things will move from a boil to a simmer and eventually, everything will be normal again. It’s learning to recognize when you hit ten and understanding that the worst has passed.

If you’ve had a hard day, try to be easy on yourself. Look around you. Find a peaceful moment.


Just Breathe.

“Life is the most elegant, beautiful, amazing, and magical thing that you will ever have. Why then do you feel anxious, stressed or hurried? Slow down. Enjoy the magnificence of life by touching a flower, listening to songs, singing with a bird, and dancing with dancing leaves.”
Debasish Mridha

attitude, Blog, change, Home, Relaxation

Ebb and Flow of Life

Day 10

IMG_0898Today life is moving at a different pace and in a different direction than I imagined. We can make plans and decide how things are going to fall into place and then things change. Perhaps the change is subtle and perhaps it will be dramatic but life does not sit still. If we are not engaged it can and will happen around us.

Much like the tides that calm us or threaten us, things change. Sometimes we are soothed by the sweet sounds of the surf breaking and rolling peacefully to the shore. Sometimes, the waves pound so hard, we take shelter. There is no shelter from life – we just find momentary places to shield ourselves from the storm of the day and then we move on.

Going With The Flow

Today I am learning to absorb the rhythm of my life here in these foothills. I am more aware of the ebb and flow and the pace at which life unfurls. We are not always open to or enthralled by the changes, but change does not seek our approval. There is a level of acceptance we must find and then perhaps change our thinking to embrace the changes that unfold around us.

There is a peace to be found in accepting what we cannot change. We may fight it and resist it, but at some point we find acceptance. Changes can be big or small – a cancelled date with a good friend, a change in weather, running out of your favorite tea – anything. It seems to me the ability of the human spirit to adapt to changes is important in finding happiness.

So, today, I am at peace with the small ripples in my pond. As I look at them, starting small and tight and slowly expanding until they eventually disappear, I realize the things that throw us curve balls do dissipate. It just takes time.

I am here at home spending a quiet and uneventful afternoon. The day was not as I had imagined, but everything is okay as it is. I have adjusted and accepted the ripples in my pond. In a strange way, I am now finding them somewhat relaxing.

Life is all about perception.


“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are
the detours you didn’t mean to take.” 
Angela N. Blount