Vulnerability

This past summer, I watched a Ted Talk by Dr. Brené Brown, a leading Social Work professor who has spent ten years researching vulnerability, shame, courage, and authenticity, with a more recent focus on living in a wholehearted way.

I opened her book, Daring Greatly, and flew through the pages. Drank up her words. Felt afraid to put myself out there, and yet yearned to live every moment of every day this way. I’m one who is expressively emotional. I like to think I have it all together, and know when to say the right thing at the right time, but often I find myself wishing I could slurp the words back in.  Too often. Brown has encouraged me to be thoughtful in word and action, and to say and do what makes my heart happy. What is right, albeit perhaps new and scary. To be vulnerable is not to be weak, but strong. “To be a doer of deeds, in the arena,” to quote Teddy Roosevelt. And of course, the lovely Eleanor, who said so bravely, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

This inspirational talk and book both really affected the way that I lead my every day life. At work, at home, with my family, with acquaintances, and with strangers I meet for the first time. It has inspired me to begin an equal parts lovely, exciting, soul-expressing, vulnerable pursuit of my photography as a bud-blossom-business.

In Daring Greatly, Brown refers to an eloquent speech by T. Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Erring is natural and expected. But better to have erred and learned and grown and blossomed a little bit than to not have tried at all, to dwell in criticism of others or comparison and envy. I have found that sincere, thoughtful baby steps go a long way.  Dear friends are supportive. Family offers to help in any way, and be cheerleaders, naturally.  Strangers {they’re just people too!} have pointed me in the right direction as I open up my eyes and explore the path of business ownership and photography.

Each day is another gift, and I want to bring a little bit of light to at least one person each day.  Seeing the light in my students’ eyes through my teaching and seeing the light in my clients’  eyes through my lens brings light to my heart.  I am on my way.  One day at a time, I make choices that point me in the direction I hope to be blessed to go.  Being vulnerable takes practice, and courage. So, here is an exercise in vulnerability: some photos from recent photo shoots, as my portfolio grows into an extension of my soul.

Now. Some pretty pictures. This is the real vulnerable part. Eeeeeeshk!

 

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

Alyson Ann Photography

xoxo,

Aly

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4 thoughts on “Vulnerability

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