"There is something hugely freeing about the thing you fear most happening to you, and surviving."
Ebonie Allard is a Coach, a Creativity Consultant, an Adventurer, a Yogini and a Tattooed Badass Chick who dedicates her days to helping others move from ARGH!! to AHHH!! Her honest and compelling entry for the V project articulates the importance of leaning into life's adventurous twists and turns and encourages us to reconnect with the inner wisdom we all carry within...
Worthlessness, lack of self-belief, perfectionism – there are many blocks that prevent us from leaning into vulnerability. How do you move past them? What do those blocks & blurts look like for you? What do you think we can do to make them less controlling/dominant? The first step is AWARENESS. We all have an awesome, inbuilt guidance system, which whispers wisdom from our souls, but many of us have forgotten how or gotten out of the habit of listening. More than that, we live in a society that glorifies and idolises optimism, or feelings of joy. The less desirable feelings like shame, anger, resentment, sadness or vulnerability are not wanted and so we numb them out. We numb them with food, or alcohol, sex, work or TV. The thing is that when we are comparing our selves to others, or an idea of perfectionism we are looking outside and not in.
Happiness is an inside job and feelings of worthlessness, a lack of self-belief, or anything else that ignites feelings of fragility or vulnerability are invitations to go inside and listen for some wisdom. Often for me the deeper wisdom of feelings like this is a reminder to go inside. My inner guidance system is getting me to go slower, to relax the pace and take it all in. To enjoy the moment to moment of what I am doing and to do one thing at time. The trick is not to make the feelings less controlling or less dominant, but to reframe them not as BAD feelings, but wise, alerts. I like to think of them as shadow deities; beautiful dark goddesses of the feeling realm, inviting me to go inside and listen for their wisdom.
"To breathe into something uncomfortable is scary, done with curiosity it becomes an adventure."
"To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength." Vulnerability is often seen as something we admire in others but detest in ourselves. How do we actively try to close the gap with these concepts? Firstly I think that the gap in these concepts is closing, it’s not something that can necessarily be done over night, but as with all big shifts, one person at a time, each leading the way for the next, we create a butterfly effect or a landscape of dominoes. Secondly, I think that the definition and perception of the words ‘weakness’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘strength’ needs some work, and this too is happening.
Emma Watson recently made a wonderful speech about feminism at the UN conference highlighting their campaign #heforshe in which she said: "It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are. We can all be freer and this is what #HeForShe is about. It's about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves."
She is right, it is about freedom. What I am hopeful of is a time when each of us are able to, without fear, and as a completely natural way of being; listen to and BE in our own personal strength, weakness and vulnerability whilst also honouring the same in others. The more all these words, concepts and issues are talked about, they are brought into the light and removed from the shadows, which in it self is a gentle flutter of that butterfly’s wing.
“When you breathe into fear it becomes adventure.” What was one of your most terrifying/rewarding experiences? Life is a series of adventures. I often say and I truly believe that adventure is personal. What is scary to one is a dream to another. Each of us has a unique and personalised capacity for the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual elements of life. To live fully IS to breathe into fear, and sometimes that is it. To breathe into something uncomfortable is scary, done with curiosity it becomes an adventure.
In 2009 a spiralling sequence of events left me homeless. Not quite on the streets homeless, but nearly. I had to sell or donate all of my possessions in order to pay off debt and to be light enough to travel to whomever would let me stay. I remember something my brother said at the time about how freeing it must feel to be without any things. To be completely without possessions to him meant I could go anywhere, do anything, be free. To me at the time, every piece of furniture, every kitchen item, my bed, my wardrobe were all parts of me, they were physical representations of how independent, and grown up I had become and losing them way like saying I had failed in being an adult. In time, and with hindsight the whole experience while terrifying was the making of me, and one of the most truly rewarding experiences to have been through. I now know who I am without ‘things’. I am an adult from the inside out, and even without the trappings. I have enjoyed and learned from each step of my progression to where I am now, and I continue to reap the rewards of the experience with each new place my adventurous life takes me.
There is something hugely freeing about the thing you fear most happening to you, and surviving. I was terrified of having nowhere to call home, but how wonderful it is to have found that my ‘home’ is in my heart.