I thought I could do it. I thought I could veer away from politicizing my blog because this is my happy forum for self-development, wellness and lifestyle but what is life without talking about the radicalizing of our most innate beauty—vulnerability.
Last month I advertised on my social media platforms that I would be hosting a 4-week writing workshop for storytellers. I love a good story. I love telling stories and I love watching other people’s stories come to life. That’s one of the rewards of being a life coach and a therapist. I literally at times can see a person’s story as they are sharing it with me. But, I digress. I was excited about the storytelling workshop and was looking forward to helping people dive into their lives by way of writing and cultivating a narrative that they would later share with others. But, it never formed. I guess it wasn’t what people wanted. Or at least not at the time I was offering it.
Around the same time, I was also offering a Mindfulness-based Support Group. Well, that was a hit! People continued to register for it, all the way up to the day before the first session. They were ready. And so was I. But, first let me tell you a little interesting fact about this group. It starts at 8 o’clock in the morning. The previous pilot group started at 7:30a.m and people showed up time and time again. I decided that this time I needed to reset before I began that early in the morning because I was also getting busier with projects and needed a little reprieve. Yet, I was hopeful that this would be a safe haven for people to gather and learn mindfulness techniques while also cultivating their practice with other people who care about their wellbeing. It’s only been a couple of weeks since we started but it has already been something I eagerly look forward to each week. Sometimes, I’m blown away by the power of the Universe to show me what to do so that I can help others in their journey towards healing themselves. The way things come to me in a vision or in a conversation usually translates later into a program or a blog or an article or something that can help people to share and learn and grow. That makes me hopeful about our future.
The reason I titled this blog, “Black Vulnerability” is that I am seeing ongoing development in the ways that black people are demonstrating vulnerability and I can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy about it inside. However, I didn’t want to keep it to myself. I wanted to tell you about a few people that have turned me into an avid listener regarding how they use storytelling to help heal themselves and others.
Earlier today I saw an IGTV of actor Roderick Garr (@loudman19). He was talking about his youth and coming of age story in the performing arts. It was a beautiful story and imagery of evolving black masculinity. He reminisced about his father coming to see his performance one day, feeling tentative about potential judgements he would get regarding his blackness, maleness and being a performer. But, there was a surprise twist at the end, including something that Rod allowed to occur. I don’t want to spoil it. Instead, I want you to see it for yourself on his Instagram page.
Rod, I salute you for your openness. I think it’s something we all need to see more of with our brothers. Blackness and masculinity can co-exist. Can’t we all co-exist within the multiple conformities of our identity?
The other examples of this come from some of my black male colleagues Arron Muller and King Jay Barnett. They each actively engage men of color in conversations about emotional risk-taking. These men are examples of masculinity, too. If you’re not following either I highly recommend you do. They’re both on the Gram daily and have lots to offer including coaching services and therapy for children and adults.
If you identify as male and have found it difficult to practice vulnerability because of the stereotypes you’ve heard about men, or the negative reactions you’ve received in the past, sound off here. I would love to get a conversation going about the radical ways we can dismantle these stigmatizing and stifling limits on our humanness. Maybe there’s a story we haven’t heard—yours! What would it take for you to transform your vulnerability?
*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*