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Flying on the wings of vulnerability


Do you sometimes find doubt difficult to overcome?
Quite frequently in the coaching I do, the question of doubt arises. Doubt in yourself, doubt in your work, relationships and spiritual path. Doubt in the benevolent redeeming hand of the universe. It seems that when you first realise the benevolent presence of a unifying energy, many believe, hope or expect "everything will turn out just fine, it'll all be as we want it to". And if it doesn't, when it doesn't turn out that way, all too frequently you're led back down the ladder of doubt toward the start point. So what's happening here? How do you break the cycle? The answer is 'flying on the wings of vulnerability'...

Staring wide eyed into the jaws of fear

During my existence, I've constantly challenged doubt and disbelief. It seems my soul is naturally configured to confront it - I believe all souls can find that direct confrontation. Why is it so important?

Doubt, disbelief and fear are what truly limit us. And so for me at least, there's been a constant exploration of it. If for example a choice has presented itself that stimulated some sense of anxiety, my soul has always seemed to steer me directly into the jaws of it; not because I didn't have the sense of fear initially - exactly because I WAS reacting internally in some way - being constrained by it, which my soul naturally yearned to work through. I realised early on, it is only fear that constrains and limits us: Fear of not being good enough, fear of not having the right solution, the right outcome. So if I felt the sense of fear, instead of turning away, I'd look it in the eyes and go right into the heart of it.

And earlier in my existence, before I'd overcome all sense of fear, it was similar with doubt. Even though I knew intrinsically in my heart that a benevolent presence was always there loving us unconditionally and leading us to ever greater freedom and expansion, I still wasn't completely trusting ALL THE TIME. It seemed as if doubt and belief were a double sided coin, sometimes landing in my favour, sometimes not.

Expectation: the killer of all true experience

It wasn't until I remembered the importance of vulnerability (especially in this often limiting physical world), that I truly began to trust at the deepest level, when doubt finally dissolved and the penny fully dropped. Just as with many awakened people, as we touch the beauty and infinite benevolence of Unity Consciousness, we just know that mountains can be moved to unveil truth. Nothing is too great or too small that can't be solved by tuning into this almighty power - it's an intrinsic knowing at the core of our being. So why then does it not always work out? What is the importance of vulnerability?

In a word, the key issue, the key problem is "expectation". Expectation is the killer of all true experience. When you feel the infinite flow of benevolent presence, there often comes with it a neediness or desire to shape it in some way. And when you find you can't shape it, the steadily growing bubble of belief suddenly bursts wide open again. For me I recall the bubble kept building and bursting until a realisation dawned...

    "True empowerment is not about intentionally manifesting confidence and building supreme belief that things will go your way. In fact it's the very opposite. It's the absolute acceptance of NOT KNOWING how things will work out which finally unlocks the door of doubt and disbelief."

It's in the NOT knowing where freedom lies

You're truly Walking the Path when you don't know what's coming next. When you don't know how you're going to perform. When you don't know if you'll find the right words. When you don't know if that pay-cheque will come or if there'll be dinner on the table tonight. The truth is, we can't know for certain because we don't have full control. For a while it may appear so, but at the highest level, we created the conditions of uncertainty. In a universe that is continually changing and reshaping, how can the outcome always be guaranteed?

I remember back to when I started leading spiritual seminars, getting used to standing in front of audiences where clearly there was a high degree of expectation - a requirement - that you perform (what a strange world this is!).

Here's an especially memorable experience of that:

    "I was sitting in front of the audience in Glastonbury Town Hall waiting for the intro film to finish. I was watching for the first words to drop into mind, a place to begin, a thread to pick up. Usually they came but this time nothing - nothing at all. As the credits to the film rolled, still nothing. As the silence and expectation of the audience grew louder in my awareness still nothing. As I stood up, still nothing. All the while I was watching my inner feelings, any arising tightness. Time ground to a halt. Suddenly, flashing before my eyes were key times before where I'd been nervous; where I'd wanted to say something and to get a message across; where I'd wanted people to appreciate me and my point of view.

    The penny dropped. I realised how I'd previously constrained myself by all of those things. How I'd limited myself. How I'd judged myself. How I'd measured myself by something so small. What was wrong with how I was being? Even if nothing came? Even if I stood there in silence?

    Time seemed to stretch right into eternity. Without need of outcome at all, any sense of fear disappeared, doubt disappeared, disbelief disappeared. I was infinitely vulnerable. As I opened my mouth to speak, I was stepping off the cliff edge into the abyss and I didn't know what, if anything would come next. But it simply didn't matter. All I knew was that whatever did come, was perfectly okay. In front of all those people, at the risk of making a fool of myself, I realised I'd rather express absolute authenticity - whatever it was."

The truth will set you free

And do you know what? The truth will always set you fee. Absolute faith and trust? I don't care who you are, there is no such thing. What there is instead, is the possibility of absolute vulnerability and awesome acceptance of that. When you can be absolutely vulnerable to life so that you're not sure what happens next, when you step off that cliff edge with absolute acceptance of the outcome, whatever it is, that's when you truly learn how to fly. It's not about knowing what's about to happen. It's not about always having the answer or always getting it right. It's having the courage just to be who you are at whatever apparent personal cost.

And here's the beauty of it, you don't have to be an accomplished person, a confident person, an empowered person, an obviously talented person. All you have to be is you, walking boldly into the jaws of life all the while allowing your truth to flow outwards from within, allowing your authentic expression to be good enough whatever that may be.

    "Come to the edge" he said,
    "We can't, we are afraid" they said,
    "Come to the edge"
    "We can't, we will fall"
    "Come to the edge"
    and they came
    and he pushed them
    and they flew.

    Guillaume Appollinaire

Indeed, the only way to truly fly in life, is to unfold our wings of absolute vulnerability.

Happy flying!

(on behalf of Openhand)
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)

About Openhand
Openhand is a unique approach to spiritual evolution: integrating enlightened wisdom of spiritual masters through the ages, it is a way of tapping into the Benevolent Guiding Consciousness of the Universe and aligning with it in your life. It helps you unveil your True Self, remove karmic blockages and unfold your Divine Destiny. It leads to authentic, resilient and truly successful living.
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Open's picture

Here's a favourite clip from that wonderful film Gandhi. It expresses so wonderfully the truth of confronting the moment and being absolutely vulnerable to it...

Open's picture

And some wise words on vulnerability from Socrates...

Trinity's picture

Powerful! Thank you for bring voice to such an important topic on our spiritual journey.

Two of my favourite all time video clips too. What a treat.

Absolutely wonderful article, Chris! Thanks.

I have a small question.

During recent year I went through a series of challenging situations and events that actually made me feel as if I am demanded to make a choice, to 'know' what I want to do now and then empower myself through following it no matter what. The only thing I didn't know is whether the choice I've made is right or wrong (aligned or not) hhhh

So there WAS not-knowing in the process, but within this not-knowing I had to focus on something and make my way to it. It feels like almost spiritual growing up, spiritual teenagehood. Like "that's it, flowing joyously on the wave is over and now please, make choices and take responsibilities", which is tough.

What is your 'understanding' of this paradox? I mean, did you experience anything like it?

My shot: there is the way of getting connected to ray 2 (through vulnerability) and there is a way to connect to ray 1 (possibly through just doing it?)...

Open's picture

Great question Yulia. Yes I've experienced similar.

The paradox is the path. That's exactly where the path is to be found - within the grey areas of feeling. That's where the expansion possibility is.

I'd say you're being invited to work with the ebb and flow harmony of Ray 1 Warrior and Ray 2 divine feminine surrender.

There's surrender, but surrender is not the same as acceptance of anything goes. This is a realisation for many. So when we surrender (ray 2), an impulse will arise to 'do something'. There's then invited a full commitment to the unfolding path, without owning it or being owned by it or denying it.

Hope this helps!

Would it be right to say that the mastery of the path has to do with learning to adapt fast?

It would include sensitivity to what is happening, flexibility or surrender to it and letting go of what was up till this moment and a fast reaction - a cooperation with willpower to break through whatever is in the way and do what is needed/demanded without getting too rigid and in the head about it?

And what would be your tip about doubt - when you feel there is a thread, but you are not sure what it is, and also there are other things that are coming into landscape as if to distract OR help to sort out what to do in comparison with what not to do hhhh

I tried waiting until it gets clearer. But then what happened to me a lot is that things didn't get any clearer and I found out that I was dissolving something on the way. So I learned not to wait, but act and then find out what is the wrong/right thing to do.

Open's picture

Hi Yulia,

You ask a great question:

    "Would it be right to say that the mastery of the path has to do with learning to adapt fast?"

Just yesterday i was chatting to someone about this. You reach a certain level, master something and then life changes again, wanting to take you to a deeper level. It's constantly changing and we have to become infinitely flexible and adaptable.

Often I hear people who truly start walking the path saying "I don't know who I am anymore". And I say: "brilliant! That's exactly the place to be, because the true self doesn't know what it is until it happens!"

Filippa's picture

Hi Folks,
Anyone knows something about the Chatars in France ?? Im going,(again to the Castle of Montségur) in Mary Magdalene-country.....;) There is a vortex there...
Anyone has a info, of any kind, about that place....I´m want a prayer, that belongs to the Chatars....where can I find sutch ?? Give me a link, video, inform... Thanks... Namasté Filippa

I think one of the great hurdles along the path must be coming to terms with the idea that exploring near the edge is a solitary confinement of sorts. There can be no expectation of another truly understanding the cliff from where the soul within stands with uncertainty. It is the journey of one with transient outposts along the way acting as guide continually erasing the pockets to hide, continually striping down the nature we always thought real. The lessons are proportionate to the discomfort we can bear upon our selves and this is why the edge doesn't enjoy many visitors.
The wings of vulnerability are made with very delicate feathers yet they can weather storms beyond imagination and that is because they are made with our very own essence, unique to our style of flying and they only work from the tailor made cliff edge that confronts us; our soul awaits the opportunity to soar. The knowing is the secret to our selves and the edge is where we discover what we have always known to be true, it is where we reveal what the universe locked away in safety so we might find our way home.
The hurdles are there to slow us down so we can enjoy the view along the way. Those we see at different points on the climb need not understand my path as the soul only sees possibly and any projections from outside can act as a harness of limitation an invitation to be a supporting role in my own movie.
The walk to the edge represents the erosion of victim and the ensuing flight thereafter if chosen glides our energy into the clouds of "the incredible lightness of being".

Open's picture

Well said Mike Ok

I especially liked this...

    "The wings of vulnerability are made with very delicate feathers yet they can weather storms beyond imagination."

How true

Open Smile

erica r's picture

So often when I read all the sharings reflection occurs. Sent me to my writings to search for this one. I can hardly express how grand it is to experience all of you after exploring solitarily for so so long. Here goes..

Restrained within my own constraints
Sensing the boundary there to define
Leashing the mind inhibits, comfortable I succeed to exist
Is this the life I would consciously choose to enlist
Driving the physical being to pain, electrifying pulse stimulates the soul
Able to soar without a sense of reason
Invigorating life to a heightened awareness
Intensifying the extra sensory perception, elevating to the most extreme degree
Silently awakened
Paralyzed, yet exuberantly energy rages
Whom, what, where is it I seek?
Revealed so vulnerable to myself
Torn, yet I remain the observer
How long will this tumultuous process torture me even though it's of my own doing
Controlling the raging energy that channels through
Primitive instincts alter perception, weaving through taking root
Flowing into the never ending
I am restrained of my own constraint

That's a writing from a couple years back.It's all so magnificently grand even the years of perceived pain gave stimulated enlightened.. I wouldn't take back one second Glorious day and I am so grateful for all of this profound honesty.

divinespark's picture

I scheduled a treatment session this morning with my chiropractor/shamanic healer. I explained to him that I've been experiencing painful spasms in my left upper back when I reach for things such as food items in the fridge. Last summer he showed me a technique about reaching from the centre of my body to maximize the body's natural energy flow, but I just didn't get the deeper meaning behind it. So I haven't been diligent about using it. Today we explored my emotions behind the physical act of reaching out. Mostly, I have continued to reach from the left and right sides of my body with closed hands. Fearful that I won't get what I "need." Attaching to outcomes. My chiropractor, once again, reminded me of the technique to first place my open hands over my heart in the centre of my chest before I reach from there. Centred. Open and vulnerable to giving and receiving what wants to flow. Open mind. Open heart. Open hand. I got the deeper meaning this time.

I appreciate this wonderful article about absolute vulnerability. Thank you, Open.

xxx Catherine

.Jen's picture

I just love this article.... It's touching on everything I am feeling and working with right now.... The doubt, sitting in the unknown and staying open in that space, being ok with not knowing where things are going and releasing any expectation from the moment. Just as I feel A sense of openness and acceptance with the moment, I feel invited to go deeper with this sense, to carry it into the places I feel twinges of doubt and to expand and unwind it. I feel all these things working within me at this time... Thank you for posting this... It feels like grand support. With love and gratitude, Jen

Js's picture

Living plenty of doubt and fear as of now, this article is a blessing to once again give me a push in the right direction.

Catherine your sharing can be used as a very powerful analogy to so many experiences in life, Thank you Smile

Well said Open!
I felt that.
I once 'thought' vulnerability to be weakness.
The experience was not. I had to reach a point where I could sacrifice anything in order to reconnect within, eventually myself would be the wager.
I remember what that felt like, it was soft, gentle, kind, accepting. It rode from a low position so there was no distance to fall and what i felt behind me was an endless flow of support.
Vulnerability gave me freedom to experience great power.

I have similiar views on expectations too.
The path to me is one which blows me away. It leaves me in tears of amazement, saying to myself "OMG! Did u see that?! I never knew! Wow".
Expect nothing and experience anything. How exciting?
Keep that cup empty I say.

The smart person says "I know this".
The wise person says "I know nothing".

Mark72's picture

This reminder couldn't have come at a better time..as always..thank you Open....:)


Js's picture

I so enjoy reading your experience of vulnerability speaking in front of the crowd.

Nivasha777's picture

Dear Open,

Thank you so very much, this was as always divinely guided to me as I was seeking truth whilst standing at that very precipice right now. The energies are indeed heavy and draining and we are in a chaotic, tumultous time of change and I can feel the shift is upon us. In these very very trying times, finding ones inner stillness amidst the hurricane is the key to ones survival. I say survival as I feel I have been torn to shreds in the last few months. I didn't realise how painful the mirror would be. And my fears were great, so great I didn't even know they existed in this way. I have realised that evolving and growing and lesson-learning is very bittersweet. The shedding of the illusion and the layers that blinds us from our Soul and Spirit has left me gasping for dear life. My only choice was to step inside my pain and soften into it (told to me by a very wise man Smile )

A really beautiful affirmation - it has filled up my soul indeed!

Thank you, with love


Open's picture

That's totally brilliant Nivasha.

Great job - just keep right on going.

Open Give rose