Interview: Hey Francesca

What is vulnerability to you?
Willingness to let others see that which you feel you must hide. It’s holding your fear with tenderness.

What vulnerability feels like to you?
Alive and unguarded.

Why are you practicing vulnerability?
To feel alive.

What’s your response to a violation of you being vulnerable?
A vulnerability is the willingness to not control things. It includes and allows the possibility that someone will behave in a way that is hurtful. As I become better at setting boundaries and trusting myself, it becomes easier to be vulnerable with others. And to trust my intuition in choosing whether or not to be vulnerable with them. When someone crosses a boundary, I might feel angry or disappointed at first. And then I do what I need to care for my well-being, whether that means communicating, or leaving, or cutting them out of my life.

Was vulnerability encouraged growing up?
Not explicitly.

Who is supportive of vulnerability in your family?
No one in my family talks about vulnerability, and most tend to model a “be tough” or “put on a happy face” approach to life. But I also have very creative people in my family artists and entrepreneurs. So there is an understanding of risk and an appreciation for the vulnerability in that sense.

Any mentors along the way?
Yes. Teachers and Life.

What book(s) that helped with this?
Books don’t help. Conversations and embodied practice help.

Any advice to a person struggling to be vulnerable?
You have permission to struggle, don’t feel bad about it. Feel what you feel. Practice in low-stakes settings. Choose your vulnerability and the people you want to practice with. Remember being vulnerable doesn’t mean other people will respond in a way that you like. It just means you will feel more alive and you have the opportunity to create incredible connections with others. You’re going to die one day. In the meantime, how alive are you willing to be?

By the way, I teach a 7-day free writing class, click this link to learn more.