The Fruits of Vulnerability


You guys, I had the best day on Thursday.  And I realized it all happened because of the fruits of vulnerability…the willingness to be exposed and to share.  As in, the stuff that normally scares the crap out of us.

1.  I got to hear Brene Brown speak all about vulnerability on The Katie Show.  It was really, really great.  She was taking some deep breaths (who wouldn’t?) – but she was also amazing and bold and just nailed her message.  Everyone loved it.  The show will air on 9/13.  (I highly recommend it!)

2.  I got to see Katie Couric, live.  She was warm and natural and lovely in every way.  But believe it or not, she was being vulnerable.  Yes.  You could see it (only off camera), but it was adorable.  You see, being in front of a live audience is new for her (someone said this was only her second taping on her new show.)  And she was so cute to acknowledge the moments of awkwardness in between the filming.  To break the silence, she nervously told us she felt like she should tell us some jokes or something…and that it was just so new for her to have people there.  And she kindly and sincerely really wondered if we were enjoying the show.  Yes, we were enjoying the show!  🙂  Thoroughly.  It was just amazing.  And everyone loved her.  And I think her expressions of vulnerability made her even more lovable and human and relatable.

3.  I got to meet two readers (& twins!  Megan and Emily) from Ohio who, despite hesitation and fear, bravely dared to reach out to me – a stranger  – and invite me to join them at the show.  I’m so glad they did.  It resulted in the most wonderful day, the greatest conversations and a quick friendship and connection between us all.  They were lovely in every way.  (Megan has a blog, here, that she wants to start up again.  Of course I was cheering her on.)

4.  And I got to celebrate my own willingness to share and be vulnerable.  You guys – this blog wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t figured that out.  I mean, I wouldn’t even dare leave a comment on someone else’s blog a few years back (not kidding!)  So it really, really has made all the difference in my life.  And that includes meeting Danny 🙂  And all the amazing experiences since, including so many that have resulted from this blog.  If you missed my earlier posts on how I was able to figure that stuff out, I wrote about it in an intro of sorts and then narrowed down the 3 main things I did that made all the difference:  intro, #1, #2, #3.  They’re some of my favorite posts on the blog.

May I leave you this weekend with a few words from Brene Brown:

“We love vulnerability in other people…we see it as courageous and brave.  But in ourselves, we tend to see it as a weakness.”  oh man – that’s so true.

Friends, let’s be brave and change that and instead believe that…

 “What makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful.” 

What makes you feel vulnerable right now? (do you dare?)  For me – I accepted a request to speak to a large group of single women in Washington D.C.  Yes, very excited.  But still – um, big deep breath.  More on that later…

Have a wonderful summer weekend!

Much love to you all,


ADDITION:  See Megan’s write up of the day on her blog, here.

Twitter @ablogaboutlove 
(We so appreciate all the “likes”!  thank you.)
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  1. Charlotte August 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    It was so lovely of them to invite you along, going to check that blog out now

  2. Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I am single and live in DC – I would LOVE to hear you speak! Will the event be open to your readers? I would love details! Thanks!

  3. mwoodall August 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I am also single and living in D.C. and I would LOVE to hear you speak as well!!!

  4. Reachel Bagley, Fashion Consultant August 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Vulnerability, that's a beautiful, terrifying thing to ponder on. I'm going to make it a personal goal today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Kylie August 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Vulnerability is so scary! I've always had people open up and just pour out their hearts to me, and I always feel such an amazing connection with those people. I feel so special that they trust me enough to just spill, but for me I try to be strong. Or at least to look strong as I fall apart on th inside. It's just so darn hard to just open up and soften, to let myself be vulnerable. If your not vulnerable then you don't get hurt, but it's made me hard and wary, I don't want to live like that forever. Thanks so much Mara and Danny for being vulnerable and sharing your incredible journey, separately and together. It's crazy that some of your feelings and emotions and experiences are similar to mine, it's so nice to know that I'm not alone. Thank you!

    • Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Kylie, let me recommend you re-read an entry from back in March titled "Vulnerability STEP TWO". Let me also add my own testimony of the power of faith in combating fear. Being vulnerable is scary, and perhaps you are "safer" when you keep yourself guarded, but you also deny yourself countless opportunities to learn and to grow, to love and connect. Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubt – these are all part of our mortality. But you don’t have to face them alone. I know that after the unexpected ending of my marriage my initial response was to harden myself, and I promised I would never let anyone get close enough to hurt me like that again. I was full of fear and cynicism. For months I successfully kept myself safe… but I was alone. I was barely living! Then I decided that love was worth it. I opened my heart again and my life became richer and brighter! Don’t let a few bad experiences hobble you. Don’t let your attempt to shelter yourself from pain cost you the enrichment that comes from a trusting, meaningful relationship. =)

    • mara August 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Anon – oh gosh, this was so beautifully written. wow. So much truth in your words. thanks for sharing with us all.

      And Kylie – you're awesome to be thinking of this stuff and having the desire to change – – you totally can! I recommend Brene Brown's new book which is coming out shortly, Daring Greatly. I just started it and it seems really great. And – just practice in small ways. Do it very deliberately. You'll build some confidence…and it will become easier and easier. xo

  6. Tiffany August 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I think sometimes the easier question to answer is what doesn't make me feel vulnerable.

    • mara August 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Seriously, right?! So true. I figured this one would be tricky for people to actually write out. It is for all of us.

  7. Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I'm single and in DC! Details forthcoming?

  8. Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    And I too am single and living in Washington, DC! Do let us know if the event is open to the public! Many thanks! Your blog is great and I would love to hear you speak.

  9. Anonymous August 11, 2012 at 12:31 am - Reply

    I am learning how to navigate my marriage of 2 years with my decision not to drink anymore while supporting my husband's decision to enjoy the occasional glass of wine with dinner and drinks out with friends. Re discovering a sober and social self is vulnerable in the most awkward and rewarding way!

    • mara August 11, 2012 at 12:48 am - Reply

      Whew. This made me smile. I've never thought of that but yes, that would be a whole new level of vulnerability. Well, cheers to embracing your wonderful sober self, just as you are. 🙂

  10. Mindy August 11, 2012 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Going to meet up with an old friend tomorrow who severed our friendship due to her infertility and my pregnancy. It's been over 18 months since we have spent any time together. Do I dare be vulnerable and bring up what has gone on the past while and put the past behind us? I am EXTREMELY nervous!

    • mara August 11, 2012 at 2:49 am - Reply

      Mindy – what a unique situation. And yes, I say bring it up… 🙂 I think it's only bound to be better, if you do. I say do it out of love for her and the friendship. That's where you can bare your self as a friend. And just say you've missed her. You love her and have thought a lot about her. And you hope that she's been doing well…and you'd love to hear about her life and how things are going…and likewise you hope it's ok for you to share your life, too, including your child and those experiences of being a mother. yikes. these are just ideas. But I think if you open the door just a tiny bit, that likely she will, too. And things will feel natural and a lot better. K, good luck!

  11. Taryn Davis August 11, 2012 at 7:27 am - Reply

    You're going to be talking to single women in D.C.!? I fit that description! Although I'm living out of the country for a few months, seriously hope that I don't miss a chance getting to hear you talk. You are definitely a light and an example to so many of us, I'm so glad you share it.

  12. authenticaya August 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    I was on my way to the library to spend a few hours writing for my upcoming book. I decided to read your blog before I left to hopefully find some inspiration and was elated to see the word Vulnerability. I had a terrible breakup several months ago and he told me I was too vulnerable…I pondered his statement and scoured the internet for any and everything I could find on the subject…enter Brene Brown's TED talk on vulnerability. She helped me to understand that if you suppress grief, sadness and loneliness you also suppress the ability to feel joy, happiness and love. In the past 6 months, I devoted my life to loving myself and in the process lost 40 lbs, completed a triathlon and the attraction and connection with postitive people has been mind-blowing. Thank you Mara and thank you Universe for always give me exactly what I need.

  13. Martha August 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    oooh, brene brown is good stuff. we read her shame book, "i thought it was just me but it isn't", for book club a couple months ago. i especially liked her ted talks. one line i can't forget is when she said, "children come to us hard wired for struggle. our job is to make sure they feel loved and that they belong." that has really helped me as a mom. i'd love to read her vulnerability book next. and i love katie couric! maybe she'll fill my oprah void. ha.

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