Dr. Brene’ Brown’s Theory on Connection and Vulnerability

Put away all that you believe to be true about connection. Go with me on a trip to experience the impossible connection. Ask yourself this question, what is vulnerability and what does it have to do with connection? Is connection holding hands, an angry slap across the face? Or is it internal, like chills up your spine or a gut feeling? You may not have a logical reason why you like or dislike someone, you just know.

Connection is when you feel what I feel at the same time I feel it. Notice how we laugh at the same time, grin, and giggle. Or even become angry, just because someone else is feeling angry. This is being vulnerable and connecting. “Connection is not possible without vulnerability, Dr. Brene’ Brown.” Dr. Brown is a researcher of vulnerability, authenticity, courage, shame, and connection. To say the least this woman is fascinating. She enacts the imagination, throwing each person a curve ball of truth that goes straight down to the root of the root. Her message is clear, be vulnerable, courageous, and authentic. Take a look at the shame you feel, as the warm feeling that washes over you. Doubt your doubts. Notice where your doubt comes from, it typically comes from a reaction of shame. The shameful feeling is involuntary, habit even. It takes a hold of your mind, heart, and becomes a daily action so common in fact that you don’t even notice it until someone points it out. I thought about putting her theory to the test, but I chose to put it off to another time. I didn’t create a plan, but accidently used my yoga class as a lab. Let me tell you about it. It was opened my eyes to connection in a new light.

The other day as I taught yoga I demonstrated how to assist Camel (a back bending yoga pose). I asked each person to be the participant as well as the assistant. They all chose a partner. It was breathtakingly beautiful to notice men and women becoming vulnerable. Opening their hearts up and allowing someone else to support them. As the partners were finishing assisting each other they were all talking up a storm. I couldn’t get them to be quiet, so I started to OM. As I OM’d the whole room joined in. We created a chorus of standing OM’s. I didn’t realize I was testing the theory until I was middle of it. It was a moment like none I’d ever experienced. In the moment all 30 of us stood connected, at the same time, with a sense of awe.

What I learned is, it has little to do with the yoga pose it’s self. It has everything to do with your way of being with the person. Before the pose started three things needed to happen in order for each person to feel connected and willing to be vulnerable. Both participant and assistant had to experience: Trust that your partner would physically support you. Demonstrate the willingness to connect and be vulnerable. Create a connection. The results were astounding! If they trusted their partner they opened up in camel. If they didn’t feel connected or safe enough to be vulnerable, they wobbled and fell. It’s 98% how you ‘connect’ to the person and 2% how you physically support them in the pose. Being vulnerable creates the possibility of a connection. Without connection you experience living alone and lonely. Connection can create laughter, love, and a life worth living. I invite you, live vulnerable and people will want to connect with you.

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