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MeditationEmbracing Vulnerability

Embracing Vulnerability

New experiences come with a lot of intimidating “what ifs.” But what if we did it anyway? Dora leads a meditation on finding ways to work through the anxiety that comes with doing things that scare us.

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Hi there, and welcome to this first step on this journey of seeking discomfort. In case we haven't met, my name is Dora Kamau, and I'm one of the meditation and mindfulness teachers here at Headspace. This meditation is all about embracing vulnerability, which I know can sound quite intimidating, especially if we're new to the topic. But so what if you were able to find a way to work through the fear that can come with doing the things that scare us? Author Brene Brown defines vulnerability as, "What we experience when presented with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure." And it's true. When we decide to do something, whether it's traveling to a new country, having a difficult conversation, or even learning a new skill, there's uncertainty there. We don't know how it will turn out. We may think about, "What if I fail? What if it goes wrong? Or what if I'm not liked?" But what about if we did it anyway? What if instead of failure, it just meant that we were being invited to learn more about ourselves or others? What if rejection was redirection? And what if that sense of uncertainty gave us more freedom to dream, and connected us to greater possibilities? The truth is we don't know how things will work out, yet the mind can make it seem as if these things are quite certain. But the only thing guaranteed in this life is change. Things are constantly changing. And the more that we can lean into that sense of impermanence, the more we can learn to embrace vulnerability. The journey to embrace vulnerability begins with becoming aware of our relationship to it, recognizing how it shows up in our minds and bodies, and over time learning to define it or redefine it for ourselves. So, let's give this a try. We'll begin with keeping the eyes open to a soft, gentle gaze, taking in your surroundings. And then, beginning to take some nice, big, deep breaths. Breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. Just softening the body with each breath. And on the next exhale, closing the eyes if you'd like, and returning the breath back to its natural rhythm. Feeling the weight of the body press down into the surface beneath you. Now, we'll spend some time reflecting on a few questions, and the invitation here is just to notice what thoughts or feelings arise as we flow through the following prompts. So, inviting you now to reflect on what does vulnerability mean to you? What does it look like to be vulnerable? Maybe even noticing how does it feel? When we think of vulnerability and what it means to be vulnerable, what can we sense in our bodies? So, just building up a picture in the mind and body here, trying not to get carried away by stories or judgments, just noticing what arises. And again, asking ourselves, what does vulnerability look and feel like...


Duration8 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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