With the help of some of my participants of the 100 Day Warrior courses we created a very cool video, if I may say so myself. Mark Bremerkamp of Dopamine shot and edited the footage of the ever-charming Noeska Pak.
Last night I uploaded the video onto YouTube, today I posted it on my Facebook timeline. Noeska saw the video for the first time. Her initial reaction was that she felt very vulnerable, very naked. And I totally understand because my reaction was similar. I too cringed when I saw myself. I thought that my face looked old, I saw wrinkles that I didn’t notice before.
But when you look at the video your experience will probably be quite different. If you know Noeska or me you will probably just see our familiar faces. To you my wrinkles will be nothing new and to hear Noeska speak so frankly about herself is not embarrassing, it is touching.
We all have a tendency to hide our vulnerability. To overcome that fear we need courage. We need courage to bridge the gap between what we feel and what we show. We cannot expect the world to know us if we don’t reveal what is truly going on inside us. We can’t even expect to know ourselves if we don’t allow ourselves to explore our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. By developing the courage to open up we create connection with self and others. To become this type of courageous man or woman is what I call a warrior.
As warriors we have a responsibility to reveal ourselves because this is how we contribute to the healing of others. When we are occupied with fearing judgment and shape our behaviour accordingly we are denying the other to see us from a brave and authentic side. Vulnerability heals and consciously exposing our vulnerability we are giving others an opportunity to heal something inside too.
You can check this for yourself. When you watch the video and hear Noeska speak and notice the vibration of her voice and the expression on her face you will feel her integrity and therefore you will feel your integrity. You will also feel her innocence and therefore your own innocence. Same goes for honesty, humility, joy and friendliness. Her energy will resonate with the same energy inside you. You will recognize her humanity by acknowledging your own.
Some readers have criticized me that I have been ‘promoting’ my courses by exploiting the misery of others. In a previous post I used the iconic picture of Aylan Kurdi, the 3 year old Syrian boy that drowned, as an in my opinion undeniably convincing reminder of the importance of reconnecting with our shared humanity. I do this because I feel it is very important to realize that there is a connection between how we choose to live our daily lives and the grave injustices in the world. Last Friday Paris suffered from a horrible terrorist attack, as no doubt we all are aware of. When we justify our own fear of vulnerability by saying to ourselves “It is a good thing to not be too open about what I feel” we allow disconnection and fear to influence our own behavior. If we do this ourselves, how can we judge those who have become so disconnected and merciless that they appear to have become inhumane? If we want the world to become more humane we have to contribute to that cause by practicing and spreading our own humanity. We can’t become more human without allowing vulnerability. There is no other way.
It is not just for Noeska that I am happy to see her preciousness shining through her vulnerability, I am happy for all of us. Because her vulnerability is the same as your vulnerability and my vulnerability. By revealing herself she gives us permission to do the same. Becoming a warrior is a conscious decision and a lifelong path. It is not easy. But we can easily imagine the goodness and fulfilment that will come when increasing amounts of people start following the inspiring example of those who chose to courageously expand their humanity.
In case you are interested in participating in the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning, you can click here. New courses will start in January 2016 and you can register now.