The Truth About Vulnerability

Vulnerability has been a buzz word ever since researcher Brene Brown’s TED talk  went viral in 2011. According to Brown, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is the key to authentic connection and living fully. This can go undisputed. But if saying yes to vulnerability is the key to a more meaningful, fulfilling, and connected life, why is it so difficult? Why do so many of us still struggle with anxiety, depression, feelings of despair, and struggle? Because to the survival system of our bodies, vulnerability feels like a life-or-death matter. We are born into vulnerability. At birth, human infants are more helpless than any other babies in the animal kingdom. In other words, human infants a

The Empathy Test

Can we feel empathy in our bodies? What exactly does it feel like? How will we know when we feel it? Try this little test. Click on the video below and expand to full screen. Turn up your volume and watch the video. Notice the sensations you feel in your body when you watch. Notice how they shift and change with the changing events in the video. That's empathy! Empathy is to feel with, not to feel sorry for. It is an embodied experience of compassion with no attachment to outcome or effort to analyze. It is the purest form of presence and being with. Didn't feel anything at all? Not to worry. It doesn't mean you are an uncaring person. It might simply mean that this video did not resonate wi

Meet My Friend, Shame

Not too long ago I received an email from a new friend. We had just spent five days together with several colleagues working on a book of best practices for yoga with sexual trauma survivors. His email was thoughtful and gentle, but he wanted to let me know I had made a comment that weekend that just didn’t sit right with him. He offered me some useful reading on a subject that he, admittedly, has much more knowledge about, offered himself for further conversation, and signed off with love. Without a beat, shame descended upon me. Brene Brown calls it a warm wash. For me, shame was a punch in the gut. A sick feeling in the center of my solar plexus, a hint of nausea followed by a tidal wave

Chasing Well-Being

I recently attended the Women’s Conference in Boston, MA. For one full day, thirteen thousand women—mostly from the corporate world—gathered to connect, learn, and share ideas with one another. Throughout the day, I was asked what I did for work. In response, I said, “I developed a program and training that aids women in finding a sense of well-being.” I quickly realized people understand well-being in a variety of ways! Many of the women I talked to understood it simply as healthy living. And, yes, eating right, exercising, and choosing self-care options like massage, working out, and walks in the woods are certainly a part of how we care for ourselves. But the pursuit of these activities (