Like everyone else, I’m on a Brene Brown binge. I saw her Netflix special, and our very own TSC book club read Braving the Wilderness last month. (Want to join the book club? Check us out here) I ate up every second, drank in every word, and immediately tried to change my life based on this amazing new idea of being strongly vulnerable.
In my personal life, this looked like being open about how I struggle with parenting. Last night, I cried in front of my daughter and told her I was sad. I stopped putting on the proud face and just let her know I was a bit overwhelmed since her dad was out of town; he’s been away at a work conference this week. Instead of pretending I didn’t have feelings, I just told her I did. My lovely daughter of course brought me our feelings cards to help me pick out my type of sad (We’re definitely THOSE type of parents) and then hugged me through it.
In the past, I would’ve never been that vulnerable with her. Kids are especially scary to be mushy around- they’re the best providers of too honest feedback even when you’re feeling good. After this though, I realized how 1) I felt way more connected to her as a person and 2) How much more likely she was to tell me about things that made her sad- turns out she missed Daddy too and 3) I actually taught her to be brave and walk into her own wilderness.
Now I’m at the Center and just reflecting on what our wilderness looks like here. Ready for TSC Vulnerability 101? Let’s go!
Step 1- When people come in, the most un-vulnerable thing they can do is just sit down at a chair. No risk there, chairs aren’t too scary, we even have extra approachable looking ones.
Step 2- Ready to get more vulnerable?
Work on the puzzle in front of you. All you have to do is lean forward and nudge a few pieces together, nbd. No one is looking, you’re allowed to put together puzzles right?
Step 3- Next level vulnerable?
Talk to someone. They may be sitting next to you, they may be low key looking at the puzzle too. You say, “Hey- I’m _____” and now they know your name! Ah! Now they know something about you. You’re already starting to get into this.
Step 4- Keep going?
Now you’re putting together a puzzle with someone when you realize there is an activity up in the classroom. Ready for this crazy move you can make? Ask them to see if they want to do it with you. We work to always make sure we have fun things that bring people together to play with in the classroom area. This week, it’s stationary, last week we had DIY keychains, next month we’re going to have an obstacle course! This place is made to be an adult playground of vulnerability!
Step 5- Now what?
The absolute worst case scenario is that you spent an hour with someone you didn’t know and took a risk. The best case scenario? You made a friend. You have one more person to text when life gets rough. Your support system grew by one and there’s another shoulder to cry on. Maybe there’s even another person who likes the same things you do? Maybe you start a new hobby together? The possibilities are endless!
None of this is easy, if it was, we’d all be doing it. A lot of people have good reasons to keep their guard up too. Our past can teach us that it’s better to stay safe than take a scary leap. Some days we need to feel safe, secure, and protected more than others. But one day, I encourage you to take the jump into your own wilderness and try to connect. We made a playground of connection here for you, come hang out.