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Allowing yourself to be seen and heard

Many people find it challenging to communicate openly and authentically; we might offer superficial responses to questions like 'How are you really?' or 'What's going on?'. Some of us hide in the role of listener - allowing us to feel some connection without feeling exposed. We might be driven by a sense unworthiness or defectiveness... these feelings can cut us off from building deeper relationships and receiving support and love from those who have earned our trust.

Here are what we've found helpful in allowing ourselves to express ourselves:

1. Find time each day to be still - this might be formal meditation, a quiet moment in nature, or just sitting quietly with your morning tea

2. Reflect on who deserves your trust - Who in your life is worthy of more openness and authenticity? Who will hear your stories with kindness? Who do you want to build a deeper connection with?

3. Start small - Try a 'Me too' when someone shares a vulnerability they are struggling with. Say how you are really doing when asked. Practice reaching out when you are going through a difficult time.

Genuine relationships can't be one-sided. We need to offer our care and presence for others but we also need to reach out our arms when we need to be held. Without both movements of giving and receiving we lose the fullest beauty of connection that life has to offer.

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