Lately I’ve been feeling so inspired by my community in Asheville and the people in my life. My friends are musicians, healers, activists, artists, dancers, connection-builders, and change-makers in every sense of the word. They are people who address others by looking them square in the eye and often speaking directly from the heart. They aren’t afraid to shy away from challenging questions or dive deeper in.
I am so thankful for this community of people who want to inspire and bring out the best in others. Being around them activates me and inspires me to look within myself and ask myself how I can be the best version of myself, how I can share my gifts and how I can grow and flourish.
Influenced by my friend Dominique Warfield’s event Indigenous Soul and my friend Jai Dee’s ‘Choosing Vulnerability’ playlist at Dance Church (ecstatic dance), I’m inspired to share a writing series entitled, ‘Choosing Vulnerability.’
To me choosing vulnerability means taking the risk even if the outcome is unclear or cloudy, being authentic with myself and being authentic around others, sharing my heart in every moment even if pain looms around the corner, following things that frighten me, listening to my body, establishing boundaries, and more. Vulnerability opens up darkness and a place to be wounded. But because of this, it also opens up a sweet spot of lightness. We can’t have one without the other. There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
This series will enfold on my blog as direct excerpts from my journal, essay-like excerpts that try to make sense of my ever-conflicting ideas of living in the moment and letting go, questions revealing my curiosity in polyamory and how people love in Asheville, and any other form of storytelling that I want to express. I’ll be reflecting on my last six months or so of living in Asheville. I’ll be looking back in my journal sporadically but also giving present day updates. To me choosing vulnerability means sharing myself through my personal writing. I want to explore these thoughts, these themes. The best way for me to explore these thoughts and questions is to share them with others. To first go within and then seek without. I want to share a piece of myself with you. I choose vulnerability.
This past weekend I felt activated through various events and interactions. It all started with my friend Dominique’s (Shamanique’s) Indigenous Soul exhibit at Lush-Works, a gallery in downtown Asheville. On Friday night there was a free event featuring prayerformance, inspiring talks, and dancing. On Saturday and Sunday nights there was a blindfolded shamanic journey dance. I didn’t get a chance to attend the blindfold dance, but the Friday night event was enough to awaken realizations in me. Watching Dominique perform made me realize how often I’ve shyed away from embracing my own sexuality. With a stark ferocity she fearlessly expressed primal and raw emotion through dancing and drumming. At first this made me feel uncomfortable, but I realized I felt uncomfortable because those are things I want to work on expressing as well. Those are things that frighten me. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Dominique’s prayerformance awakened in me a primal feeling of longing, desire, connectivity and sexuality.
Sunday morning at Dance Church I realized these feelings further as I shyed away from interacting with anyone on the dance floor. When I saw a group of people tangled together, I felt curious, but also unsafe. These feelings of sexuality, connectivity, and touch have frightened me in some way or another. Because of that I want to explore them deeper, to figure myself out and navigate my emotions.
These are common themes I’ll address in this series. Others include: loving without attachment, giving without expectation, seeing people for who they are on their own path and accepting people for who they are in each moment without expecting or needing more.
I choose to be vulnerable in sharing my wild, bleeding, raw, aching, pulsing, happy heart. I choose to step towards the things that frighten me. Do you?