Vulnerability & Growth - How Effort & Ease was Born

"In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen."

I'll never forget when the idea first came to me. It was a gorgeous late winter day and I was falling deeply in love with my backyard. We had moved from Vermont to Michigan at the end of November into a little 700 square ft house with an enormous backyard. It was the first time we didn't have to share walls (or a backyard) with other human beings. My bird feeders were set up, the snow was basically gone, and I picked the perfect place to station my favorite chair (It's one of these: trust me, if you don't have one - it's worth the investment). There was an overwhelming sense that things were falling into place - I had applied and gotten into my first choice MSW program, I found the perfect nanny job and it seemed like every cardinal in metro Detroit knew where my bird feeders were (I am a proud bird nerd, thanks to my Dad). I was in a good place. 

Before I left Vermont, I learned about this amazing woman named Brené Brown. She had given a TED talk on vulnerability that went viral. When I watched her talk for the first time, it felt like she was talking directly to me. Since then, I have read her books and studied her intentions. She is an inspiration to me on a personal and professional level. While watching this video for the second, third and fourth time, I could clearly begin to look back on the times throughout my life where I didn't say or do what I really wanted to do because it would have required me to be vulnerable. 

Brené Brown's TED talk on Vulnerability. Take 20 minutes to watch - it's worth it.

That day in my backyard, I reflected on all of the changes I had gone through in the last few years. There were many. Changes that were difficult, changes that were easy. I have always believed that individuals are made up of their experiences and beliefs - and it's amazing how quickly beliefs can change when everything begins to fall into place.

My personal and professional experiences had allowed me grow and develop a different sense of control over my journey, and instilled within me a new kind of confidence. While basking in the sun that afternoon (one of my favorite activities of all time), it became unbelievably clear to me how I could overcome by greatest vulnerability: by creating a blog. It was scary, and big, and it would mean that other people would have a chance to see my thoughts and form their own opinions of them. That also opened the door to the possibility of some people forming a negative opinion, possibly deciding that my thoughts and ideas weren't for them. My entire life, the notion of not being overwhelmingly accepted scared me. This was evidenced by some behaviors growing up that I am not proud of, as well as some that I can't wait to tell my future children about. To create a blog meant that I was putting myself out there for the world to see.

I knew that if I was going to create a blog, I'd have to do it with my whole heart. So, I did. The brainstorming process began, and after a lot of thinking + overthinking (about the name, the content, and my true intentions), I landed on Effort & Ease. Though the posts date back only to October, the concept of Effort & Ease has been alive for one full year now, and I can hardly believe it. I wanted to create a place to share parts of my day to day life that have increased my health and happiness, and I wanted to inspire others. I think I'm succeeding. 

Coming full circle - I truly believe that in order to connect with others, we really do have to allow ourselves to be seen. We have to put ourselves out there in order to grow. This blog has given me a chance to share what I love with people that I love and people that I don't even know. It has given me a sense of purpose and confidence that I could not have found another way. 

I encourage you to watch Brené's Vulnerability TED talk (and this one about Shame if you've got the time and the interest) and reflect on what's holding you back. Are there aspirations and/or goals that might find help you feel enlightened or help secure your sense of purpose? Have these aspirations not yet been addressed because you're afraid/worried/nervous/apprehensive/_______? Give it a try anyway. You might find that the results are life-changing. 

Many thanks for being a part of my continuous growth. Much love. 

When I finally decided what kind of blog I wanted to create, I took to brainstorming all the possible combinations of words I could think of. I flipped through books and magazines, looked through my sketches and notes from my yoga teacher training program, and wrote it all down. Some of the words are funny and it makes me laugh to think of what could have been. Glad I could share this special "sneak peak" into how I landed on Effort & Ease!