Being Vulnerable

Being Vulnerable

Adventure Begins when you leave your comfort zone
Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change”
-Brene’ Brown
an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host.
 
Being Vulnerable The definition of vulnerable is the willing to show emotion or to allow one’s weaknesses to be seen or known. In a world of 24 hour media with social media showing us the best and brightest moments in all the lives of all the people around us, being vulnerableis neither common nor popular. I think as a society, most of us are less willing to take risks and try new things because it makes us vulnerable…. Vulnerable to having the risk not yield some sort of reward, not being good/successful at the new thing, andbeing susceptible to ridicule by others.
 
There are all sorts of ways in which we can avoid being vulnerable… in our professional life, in our social life, in our hobbies and activities. If we play it safe, we are just that… safe by staying in our comfort zones and doing what we’ve always done. However, ironically, avoiding risks in those areas, limits the opportunities that might arise from trying new things, meeting new people, pickup up a new hobby, making a career change etc…. It’s quite a catch 22.
 

As a middle-aged woman, who recently took a few large risks professionally and has many more left to go, I can attest to the deep feeling of fear that burns in your stomach when you make choices to seek new opportunities. The fear that these risks won’t work, the fear of judgement of others, the fear that maybe this was the wrong choice…. However, every time I go back to the why… the reason I made these choices and made myself vulnerable, I remember that it is worth it, and always will be. I needed a personal and professional change in my life so I could be more physically and mentally present in my kids’ lives. So I made a big career shift, took a few big gambles and in doing so have landed on a winding path that requires continual growth, learning,resetting, and changing. And while I’m not 100% certain where this path will lead,I know it is well worth the journey with all of its unknowns and fears. The lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the communities I’ve become a part of, has all been incredible and if I’d played it safe, my life would not be as enriched as it has become over the past two years. It’s also allowed me to not only be more present in my kids’ lives but to show them what bravery looks like, what hard work looks like, and to show them life is a great adventure with so many opportunities, as long as you are open to being a little vulnerable because that is where the lessons are learned and the spirit is strengthened.

 
Live Boldly. Live Bravely. 
 
 
Gratitude

Gratitude

GRATITUDE

Basic is a company that strives to Encourage + Inspire, Healthy + Active Lives and we know that a healthy life is heavily affected by our mental health. Something that Jennifer (co-founder), and I (Nely) both do is practice gratitude. It has made us both be better business partners and happier people. A gratitude practice is just being intentional and consistent about noting what you are grateful for. It can be very informal. For example, at night before you go to bed you could think to yourself about what you are grateful for from the day. Your gratitude practice can also be more formal. Write down each day what you are grateful for and/or tell someone else about it. The part that really makes it a practice is that you do it at the same time, and you do it every day. It is a ritual for you.

At Basic in the workplace we have even implemented some gratitude practices at the office by going through our “High & Happy” at the end of the week. Our Highs are work related accomplishments of tasks that we completed- they are as small as getting the printer fix, it’s about finding the little things to be happy about or proud of each week. For Happy we do work or personal life things that made each of us happy that week. It helps us be present and more in-tune to the small steps we take as a company in the right direction and checking in with everyone to make sure that we are all living the lifestyle we strive for at Basic, inside, and outside of the office.

SO HOW CAN GRATITUDE CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

I get it…you might be skeptical. How could the simple act of writing down what you are grateful for each day really change your life that much?! From my own experience, I will share just a few of the ways my gratitude practice has changed my life.

-CALMS ANXIETY

Whenever I get anxious (which those who know me, know that this is quite often), I try to turn my focus to what I’m grateful for. Try it. It’s hard to be anxious and grateful at the same time. Gratitude wins, and anxiety fades. Having a steady gratitude practice helps me focus on the positive, rather than the what-ifs, maybes, and worries.

-BRINGS ME TO THE PRESENT

Thinking about what I’m grateful for shifts me right to now. Whatever is happening right now that is beautiful and worth pausing on for a moment. It’s easy to get lost, focusing on re-hashing the past or worrying about the future, but right now, this moment at our feet, is the only one that we have. Gratitude practice has made me feel more present.

-CHANGE FOCUS TO WHAT YOU HAVE

This kind of goes along with being more present, but with a little different twist. Sometimes when we are so goal-oriented and always striving and reaching to be better, it gets easy to forget to be grateful for what we have and what we’ve already achieved. I get caught in this trap at times. Have you ever noticed how always thinking about what you want gets very unsettling? You feel like you are lacking, but really your life could be very full. You’ve just wandered and are focusing on the wrong things. A gratitude practice helps you focus on what you have, and you start to realize just how full and amazing your life is.

INITIATE A RIPPLE EFFECT:

Starting small, finding gratitude for the simplest things leads to more gratitude. You start to see things you are grateful for everywhere. And as you carry this attitude and practice forward, you begin to attract more good stuff. Something as simple as writing down what you are grateful for each day, shifts the way you look at life. This creates space for more and more of the good stuff.

TIPS FOR HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE:

  • DECIDING RIGHT NOW: Choose to start your own gratitude practice. Find an empty journal or get a new one you’re excited about.
  • SET A TIME: Choose the time of day you will consistently write down what you are grateful for. We find it works best as part of your morning or nighttime routine. Basically, right when you get up or right before you go to sleep.
  • JUST 1-3 THINGS A DAY: Find the simplest of things you are grateful for and write them down. Going for a walk, a sunny morning, a coffee date to catch up with a friend, etc.

Even more amazing would be to tell the people you jot down in your journal that you’re grateful for them. You’ll make their day!