playing>pen and paper

It’s coming up on two years since Mom died. In fact, Mother’s Day will be the date two years ago that I received the call. And two years ago on Mother’s Day was the last day and night I spent with Mom.

Since I have been editing¬†Body 2.0, the book, I have found myself in a foreign place. My heart is on my sleeve like never before. I have always done my best to lead with compassion, to extend love to everyone even when my ego says they don’t deserve it.

Our egos are often wrong. They are judgey, petulant, arrogant, parsimonious, and immature if we allow them to exist in that state. Our egos attempt to serve the purpose of self-protection by creating the illusion that we are separate from our fellow earthly travelers. We are not.

We are all one. We are all stardust infused with potential and love.

And we can tame the ego through being vulnerable, through exposing our emotional jugular and being willing to trust that other humans will be a soft place to fall when we need it.

That is where I am now: more vulnerable than I have ever allowed myself to be. Releasing Unlearn Moderation during this time of year, a time that was a challenge for me anyway even before Mom’s death, feels like exposing that emotional jugular.

What feels foreign is my peace and playfulness in the exposure. Yet I think I know why I am experiencing that peace and playfulness. I have chosen to walk toward my pain. So much of our fulfillment rests in the power of choice. When we choose to mindfully take on a challenge we banish the feeling that life is being done to us.

Walking toward May fourteenth and walking toward another book release has gutted me a bit. I have been at the editing non-stop and it didn’t occur to me that my higher emotional sensitivity was the result. I, of course, pay no attention to what I tell every client: mental-emotional work takes energy too. Our culture doesn’t sanction it, but that doesn’t make it less real.

So there it is. As I have been working with my editor, responding to her direction for “more detail about your relationship with your mother.” I see the comment, “expand or delete” as dare, a dare to do what I didn’t when Mom was still with us. And daring I am.

As I write, even I’m surprised at what lands on the page. Deeply hidden wisdom that when excavated from my psyche is accompanied by tears. I’ll write a few thousand words and be exhausted, not energized. And after when singing a Madonna song or watching a friend’s baby chickens hatch or listening to my baby boy co-host a radio show, I’m a blubbering mess.

This vulnerability thing is tough even as I dive into it with a smile. It takes guts to risk vulnerability. I understand why people lash out, judge, undermine each other, cut off communicating, or gossip. They feel protected from vulnerability by that activated ego. Yet the protection is an illusion.

Only standing strong in your vulnerability can you grow. Only in setting aside your ego can you truly love. We are all constantly handed these lessons on the value of vulnerability, but only when we choose it for ourselves can we grasp its power.

Despite feeling exposed and emotional in my vulnerability, I have never felt more connected or fulfilled. Walking toward the pain and stepping into vulnerability has shown me the vastness of my strength. My strength in connecting to Mom even though she is gone has made me realize how infinitely precious connection and love truly are.

So if I get teary upon hugging you or send you an unsolicited loving text about your awesomeness, I’ll try not to make it awkward for you. Just know that the power of connection is an epic feature of this life adventure. And I refuse to shy away from vulnerability just because it is hard. This feeling of strength in my fulfillment is worth the work.

Here’s to all those who risk the heretical act of connection. You model the beauty of being vulnerable. I am grateful you are in my orbit. You enrich the world for all of us.