February 27, 2017

The Power of Vulnerability: Brené Brown’s TED Talk May be the Breakthrough You’ve Been Looking For.

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” ~ Brené Brown


Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Vulnerability is something that has become popular to talk about. We throw the word around the way we do consciousness, meditation, tantra—catch phrases loaded with meaning. Vulnerability is one of my favorite subjects, and I explore it often when writing about relationships.

But are we really familiar with what it means to be vulnerable? Are we practicing it, or even examining the places in our lives where vulnerability can find root and blossom?

Sometimes we dance around a philosophy or a subject and understand it on an intellectual level, but not actually live it. The problem with knowing it is that, sometimes, we are fooled into thinking we are embodying it. It can feel real, without being real.

I’ve been examining myself on this subject and resonate with Brene Brown’s story of an emotional breakdown—something many women and men can relate to after spending years protecting themselves from vulnerability. Brown’s belief is that we do this using three mechanisms: Perfectionism, numbing (anything to quiet our true feelings, as in addictions), and foreboding joy (the dread that kills happiness)

Sometime in our journey into adulthood, we are infected with an idea that we must create a certain life, follow certain rules, be a certain person, and ignoring the pleas of our soul to experience life authentically and through vulnerability, we soldier on pleasing others and living up to society’s expectations.

The mid-life crisis is the point where we can no longer wear the masks we have put on in order to create peace in other people’s lives, ignoring our own needs.

It bears saying that we have been trained from infancy to hide our natural expression. Have you noticed that as soon as a baby makes a sound, parents feel obligated to shush them? You must not be heard, you must be quiet or the others will become upset with your presence here.

And so it goes, until we explode from holding it all in.

At first glance, vulnerability seems like a dangerous state, but really, the lack of it is what leaves us far more exposed.

“I’ve learned that men and women who are living wholehearted lives really allow themselves to soften into joy and happiness. They allow themselves to experience it.” ~ Brené Brown

Brene Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability is a touch point with reality for the millions who have watched it since 2010. See for yourself. I think you will find her insights liberating.




Author: Monika Carless

Photo: Hillary Boles/Flickr

Editor: Lieselle Davidson

How to be Vulnerable.

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Katie OrangeTree Nov 12, 2018 2:19am

I needed this.

Megan Chapman Aug 5, 2018 5:37am

Love this! Thank you.

Nicole Cameron Mar 1, 2017 3:12pm

Hi Adam, please accept my apology for using your image for this piece. I will remove it immediately and make sure our team reviews copyright guidelines for images. All the best Nicole, Eleditor

Adam Purcell Mar 1, 2017 8:45am

Lovely photo, that... seen it before somewhere :) I appreciate the credit line, thank you. But it'd be great if next time you asked first. Thanks.

Peter Lerch Feb 28, 2017 3:10pm

Thank you :) �

Sarah Norrad Feb 27, 2017 10:48pm

Great article! Thank you.

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Monika Carless

Monika Carless, Wild Woman, Witch, Intuitive Coach, lives for the moments where words meet spirit.

A daughter of change, she lives on the magical shores of Vancouver Island, B.C. guiding kindred spirits on their sacred journey through life, sexuality, and relationships. She is the creator of the “Healing Mother Wound through Divine Feminine Wisdom” Workshop leading women worldwide to their sovereignty and empowerment.

This Scorpio loves nothing more than to wander the Underworld and cast spells under a full moon. Monika is also the author of The Dark Pool Trilogy, a delicious tale of erotica, pagan mysticism, and polyamory available through major online book outlets.

She can be reached for coaching and mentor-ship via her websiteInstagram, or Facebook.