courage and vulnerability

Two Posts Today!  I was inspired to share!

It’s Week 2 in the HHS125 class…and the students get their first taste into storytelling.

This is one of my favorite classes because this is the week we have them think about the story they’re telling themselves – and how they have an opportunity to tell a more powerful story.

The first part of class (after the five minute meditation) has them write 20-25 “I Am” Statements in five minutes – statements that describe their lives at the present moment.  Their statements could start with their name (I am Bill), then move into other short descriptions about themselves (I am Black, I am a Father, I am a coach, I am a trainer).  For most, after they run out of the short descriptions, they start to write more reflective answers, both positive and negative (I am struggling with confidence in myself and my abilities, I am proud that I’m the only person in my family to go to college).  By the end, they all have at least 20 statements, some with more depth than others.  (Note: I share my 25 “I Am” Statements with the class.)  When the five minutes are up, we ask them to read their 25 statements to themselves, then take 30 seconds to reflect on what they wrote.

Next, we have them watch Brene Brown’s TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability (”  We ask them to watch the video; their ultimate goal is to write ONE “I AM” STATEMENT that describes how they will live their truth, with authenticity, courage, power, grace, and compassion.  Write a statement that describes how you will live your life every moment, every day.  Yes, that might be a lot to ask in five minutes, but they all seem to come up with something that resonates with their soul.  We just started this activity today (Tuesday), so I will share a few that were shared in class today:

  • I am blessed with the strength to move and speak freely.  I want to be the gem that can go and make someone’s day better for the people that cannot.
  • I am accountable and reasonable.
  • I am a spiritual person who loves everybody for who they are with my whole heart.
  • I am the laid back girl who continues to spread love, happiness, and though with anyone whom I cross paths with.
  • I am hard-working, always trying to better myself physically and mentally, while helping others achieve their goals.
  • I am authentic…I live my life every day knowing I’m not perfect, but knowing that I can strive to be the best me possible.  I life my life knowing I’m worthy and I am enough being imperfect.
  • I am an ever-changing girl willing to overcome personal struggles and take steps towards self-improvement and allowing others into my life to get closer to me.
  • I am striving to find myself and my belonging.  Every day I am wanting to love with everything in me and know that I am good enough and I do deserve a good life.
  • I am divorcing my fears, getting engaged with my hopes, and marrying my dreams.  I am in a constant state of improvement.
  • I am enough and deeply loved by others and strong enough to show vulnerability.
  • I am a deeply devoted friend who is determined to transform my struggles into something productive and use my knowledge to serve others.
  • I am striving to be my best self and want to help others do the same.
  • I am diligently working to succeed and become the very best me in order to change the lives of others every day!
  • I am wholeheartedly working to win my life back by practicing joy in moments of terror, creating beautiful connections with people, and allowing myself to be vulnerable at all times.
  • I am changing every day to learn to accept myself and become the outgoing, successful young woman I am worthy to be.
  • I am striving to live every day without regret, just simply living my best life by being kind to myself and everyone around me.
  • I am no longer going to be afraid of not being good enough or afraid of struggling.  I will grow as a person and help those around me know that they are also loved and that they belong on this earth and have opportunities to be successful.

Just so you know, these words of wisdom are coming from first-year students.  We ask for one or two to share with the class – and we’ll typically get at least five students to share out loud every class period.  Remember, this is the FIRST day of our SECOND week of classes – I have seven more classes to engage in this activity!  Whew!!!

Seeing their words of inspiration not only gives me goosebumps, but inspires me to keep moving, keep growing, and keep sharing.

I will leave you with a quote and an article that inspired me this semester to dive deep into vulnerability:

Quote: “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 up 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, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Article: Vulnerability: The Key to Better Relationships (Mark Manson) –

My request to them – if they have Netflix, check out Brene Brown’s documentary, “A Call to Courage.”  If you haven’t watched it, you should.  Here’s the link:  One of my favorite quotes from the documentary: “True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are. It requires you to BE who you are.”  She’s the BOMB!!!

So, what’s your ONE SENTENCE – to describe how you will live authentically and courageously every day?


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