May every encounter this merry week of celebration be an opportunity to explore, practice and experience the Power of Love, Belonging and Being Enough.

Brené Brown: “Love and belonging are essential to the human experience… If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging…

The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. So many of us have knowingly created/unknowingly allowed/been handed down a long list of prerequisites:

*I’ll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds.
*I’ll be worthy if I get pregnant.
*I’ll be worthy if I get/stay sober.
*I’ll be worthy if everyone thinks I’m a good parents.
*I’ll be worthy when I can make a living selling my art.
*I’ll be worthy if I can hold my marriage together.
*I’ll be worthy when I make partner.
*I’ll be worthy when my parents finally approve.
*I’ll be worthy if he calls back and asks me out.
*I’ll be worthy when I can do it all and look like I’m not even trying.

Here’s what is truly at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. WE are WORTHY of LOVE and BELONGING now. Right this minute. As is.

In addition to letting go of the ifs and whens, another critical piece of owning our story and claiming our worthiness is cultivating a better understanding of love and belonging…

Love:
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them–we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.

Belonging:
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance…

…We can only belong when we offer our most authentic selves and when we’re embraced for who we are.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Have a merry week of celebration and a mellow week of contemplation. 

May every reunion, gathering and encounter be an opportunity to explore, practice and experience the Power of Love, Belonging and Being Enough.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

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Vulnerability

Vulnerability

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” 
– Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

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Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown 

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Perhaps What’s Holding Us Back Is Our Own Struggle With Our Worthiness.

“The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute.

Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. So many of us have knowingly created / unknowingly allowed / been handed down a long list of worthiness prerequisites:

*I’ll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds.

*I’ll be worthy if I can get pregnant.

*I’ll be worthy if I get / stay sober.

*I’ll be worthy if everyone thinks I’m a good parent.

*I’ll be worthy when I can make a living selling my art.

*I’ll be worthy if I can hold my marriage together.

*I’ll be worthy when I make partner.

*I’ll be worthy when my parents finally approve.

*I’ll be worthy if he calls back and asks me out.

*I’ll be worthy when I can do it all and look like I’m not even trying.

Here’s what is truly at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

My biggest breakthrough today, is realizing that perhaps what’s holding me back for so long is because I didn’t believe / realize I was worthy.

I believed I’ll be worthy if I had incredible self-love and lived it everyday. I believed I’ll be worthy if I wasn’t so assumptious. I believed I’ll be worthy when I’m stronger, more-together, better, kinder, braver, more honest, more loving! I believed I’ll be worthy when I’m in a loving relationship. I believe I’ll be worthy when I’ve found the path to happiness. I believe I’ll be worthy if I’m certified in the areas I wish to grow in. I believed I’ll be worthy when I polished up my grammar and my English is immaculate.

In other words, I believed I’ll be worthy when I’m perfect! With these limiting beliefs and mind-set in place, it’s no wonder I’m stuck.

The truth is, I still struggle with self-doubt and self-hate, even as I’m learning and growing in self-love and practicing it. “Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves. This is a tall order given how hard most of us are on ourselves.” – Brené Brown

The truth is that right after writing the article “Assumption Kills”, I sent a text to X to get clear on some things, thinking I had ‘seen the light’. He pointed out that I assume the worst and that it’s true, ‘it was assumptions that drew us apart’. I thanked him for his feedback but I was mortified.

After T pointed out this blindspot to me in 2011, “You assume a lot,” I thought I had gone a long way forward in being less assumptious. To know that 3 years later, I still have a habit of assuming a lot, I felt very embarrassed and ashamed. But Today, I acknowledge it’s okay–I’m only human. And that this goes to show that our learning never ends. We just grow more and more in Awareness each time and know better next time.

And the truth is that though I’m stronger now, there are moments when I made poor decisions out of my weaknesses. Even though my motto this year is to get myself together, I will still fall apart every now and then. The truth is that though I want to be a better person by being kinder, braver, more honest, more loving, there are days when I’m the exact opposite!

The truth is that I need to be okay with myself not being okay all the time.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.

It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” – Brené Brown

When I realised today that my biggest struggle is with my own Worthiness, it’s releasing me to know that I am Worthy Now.

I want to share my story, so that someone else will know that they’re not alone, in their imperfection and in their struggle for love, happiness, wholeness, and a life of meaning and purpose. I want to share my story, so that more people will know that there’s Hope, we’re in this together.

I want to share my story, as a fellow traveller on earth to another.

I want to share my story, because I’m Worthy. And so are You.

…Wholehearted living is not a onetime choice. It is a process. In fact, I believe it’s the journey of a lifetime.” –  Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Are there some things you’d like to do? Some people you’d like to meet? Some dreams you’d like to pursue? Some goals you’d like to realise? Some place you’d like to be at? Some events you’d like to join? Some company you’d like to be a part of? Some skills you’d like to acquire? Some trips you’d like to go to? Some decisions that’ll make you happier? Some choices that will grant you peace of mind? Some experiences you’d love to have? Have you allowed it to happen yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Is it a matter of Readiness or a struggle with Worthiness?

“I believe in the lost possibilities you can’t see, I believe that the darkness reminds us where light can be… I believe that you fell so you would land next to me,” – Christina Perri, I Believe

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Wholehearted 2014

“Live and Love with my Wholeheart: Authenticity is a daily practice. Choosing Authenticity means… Cultivating the Courage to be Imperfect. To set Boundaries and allow ourselves to be Vulnerable.

Exercising the Compassion… that comes from knowing that… We are all made of Strength and Struggle… and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit.

Nurturing the connection and a sense of belonging… that can only happen when we Let Go of… What we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.

Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving. Even when it is hard… Even when we are wrestling with shame and fear… of not being good enough… and especially when the Joy is so intense… that we are afraid to let ourselves feel it…

Mindfully practising authenticity… during our most soul-searching struggles… is how we invite Grace, Joy & Gratitude into our lives. ” – Brené Brown

This morning, I received two mails in my inbox. The first was entitled “Crawling out of the whole”. The second mail entitled “Whole – hole”, was a short and embarrassed note to point out the apparent “mistake”.

I couldn’t help smiling and feeling this was no mistake at all.

Especially since the content of the mail could be summarised as a journey that progressed from being stuck and lost in darkness–just like being trapped in a hole–and coming out whole again.

And especially since my theme for this year is WHOLEHEARTED 2014.

I didn’t intend for this to be my “vision” for the year. But  when Brené Brown posted ‘Wishing you a blessed mess and a Wholehearted 2014’, the word Wholehearted leapt out at me, connected and stayed.

With wholeheartedness, I can Imagine bigger, bolder, wider, higher.

With wholeheartedness, I can challenge myself to give Life and Love MY ALL–even when it’s scary.

In return, giving my all will invite the kind of life and love experience I’ll be grateful for, knowing that I tried.

What’s inspiring is, everyone can make this their Wholehearted year.

This afternoon, I got into an interesting chat with Christelle on wholeheartedness vs halfheartness. It was insightful so we’re sharing:

“Any new year resolutions for 2014?” – C

“Yes. Wholehearted 2014! You?” – M

“Uhmms I actually don’t know of and don’t have any yet haha… but I hadn’t been wholehearted in 2013, now that you are sharing it… (I want) to learn from mistakes and be better!” – C

“Wow… that’s a powerful insight, if you feel that way about 2013… so now you get 2014 to give it your ALL. And yea, learning means growing. That’s good!” – M

“Yeahs to position myself where my heart lies. So I can be wholehearted with ease,” – C

“Position myself where my heart lies. What do you mean by that exactly…?” – M

“Uhmms hahah I find it hard to be wholehearted when my heart is somewhere else!

So I pray for opportunities where my heart is so I can be wholehearted. But I guess even if such opportunities don’t find me, I should be whole hearted too?

I didn’t realise that the very woes I was going through were due to me being halfhearted,” – C

It’s only the First Day of the New Year 2014. Be gentle with YOU as you do some soul-searching the next few days, weeks, months–all year long.

“I now see that cultivating a Wholehearted life is not like trying to reach a destination. It’s like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really arrive, but we certainly know that we’re heading in the right direction.” ― Brené Brown

Happy New Year and wishing you a WHOLEHEARTED 2014.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Daring Greatly Begins With Daring NOT To Be Great

Knocking on doors. Sharing my life’s work. Opening myself up to criticism. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Not hiding. Sending out emails and realizing later there were typo errors, things that could’ve been worded differently or best left unsaid. All of that, left me feeling the fear, uncertainty and discomfort of Vulnerability.

To allow myself to be in that Vulnerable place, has not been easy. I am scared. But I am also curious enough. However the response pans out, for better or worse, I know in the least I gave myself that chance by taking the first step. Now, I get to see what’s next.

Meanwhile, I get to wait.

And it is in the midst of waiting, that I am learning more about what it means to be Vulnerable. My inner critic is saying, “Look at your mistakes! It would’ve been better if you kept quiet. Or waited. Or perfected. Anything but doing what you did!” But my inner best friend is quoting Maya Angelou, “I did then what I know how. When I know better, I do better, that’s all.” So my inner best friend is cheering me on for trying.

Today, I wanted to understand more about Vulnerability.

What is its role in our life, our work and in our success?

So I looked up Brené Brown and came across a vid of her talking about Daring Greatly. I am resonating so much with everything she shared!

“I was in an incredibly difficult place. I was trying to show up in my work, and put myself out there. I was writing a lot and talking a lot about my research. And I felt like the more I did that, the more exposed I felt, the more afraid I felt and the more I was constantly ducking… criticism.

And I come across this quote by Theodore Roosevelt.

“It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who’s actually in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and blood and sweat, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again. 

Who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement. 

Who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I know that there’s a myth that vulnerability is weakness. But it’s not. To show up, to let ourselves be seen. To try. To put ourselves out there when we’re not sure we’re going to succeed. That’s vulnerability. And that’s daring greatly. 

To bust through the fear of not being enough. 
Of not being perfect enough. Of not being bullet proof enough. 
Of the fear of failing… 

…The question is, what’s worth doing, even if I fail?” – Rene Brown, author of Daring Greatly.

Thinking these two words over and over again. Daring greatly. Daring greatly. Daring greatly. I began to realize that daring greatly begins with daring to NOT be great.

Daring to be imperfect. Daring to be seen, flaws and all. Daring to put yourself out there.

The hope is in not having to go through this alone.

“(It’s) Very necessary to have people in our lives, who, when we’re vulnerable, when we try something new, and it doesn’t work out, and it comes out short, who are willing to look at us and say, that you were brave,” Brené Brown, The Power of Being Vulnerable. 

“A group of people who… made an agreement… that we would be vulnerable and brave together… we would create a space where we never have to shrink. Who are really proud of what we’re doing and our successes. And we would never have to puff up when we’re feeling small and ashamed. That we were all going to be brave together…” Brené Brown

Do you have people in your life, who you can be vulnerable and brave with? Can others be vulnerable and brave, with you?

Lastly, a good reminder:

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brené Brown

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture