Vulnerability is Not A Safe Place

LivingElysian, Yoga, Spirituality, Quality of Life

I’m a coward. At least for today.

A few years ago, Brené Brown’s Rising Strong became an all-consuming topic on social media. The memes continue to be shared by many today. These words were incredibly powerful. I wanted in!

Of course, it was easy to live these words in my decision to leave my long-term position at an amazing company to start my own business. Business is an easy place for Elysia to be “Brave”.

Of course, it was easy to live these words in a loveless marriage, where the walls I had spent many years tearing down began their reconstruction.

Of course, it was easy to live these words as I walked away from said loveless marriage and chose to live by myself in an RV down by the river.

“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.” – Brené Brown

Sounds good yeah? Well no. Not for me. Vulnerability is not a safe place for me. Not today. Don’t get me wrong. I have complete admiration for Brené Brown. I follow her on Twitter and Facebook. I especially admired a picture she posted of herself with no makeup, no filter. This lead to a personal decision to stop wearing makeup and embracing the gray. Accepting what one looks like is true courage. This too was easy.

But when it comes to Love, true Love…Nothing is ever easy.

Too Soon?

So, I met a guy…Not just any guy. A remarkable man with a strong spirit. Chivalrous, funny, intelligent, brilliant…the list goes on. This was NOT planned. I fell hard and fast. Well, maybe not too fast but exceptionally fast for me.

We are two extremely different people. He is conservative, preppy even. I am this wild woman spirit. He does not partake in my colorful language, does not do Yoga. Yet we connect on so many fundamental levels. And what an incredible writer he is – totally kicks my a$$, I might add. After many months of experiencing zero inspiration, I found myself passionate again about putting words together.

This gift came with distance, he lives on the East Coast and I am here in Colorful Colorado. Safe enough, yeah? No. I frequently found my heart being pulled in the direction of the east. Daydreaming, listening to love songs…and we had only hugged once.

He surprised me by flying out to Hawaii to celebrate my recent Advanced Yoga Teacher Training graduation. It was on now! We embarked on a most passionate love affair, the likes of which I had never known. Soaking in the Big Island experience, we spent 5 days of bliss, laughter, and total comfort with one another.

He was a trooper, staying the first 2 nights with me at a hippy shack I rented in Pahoa (not knowing I would have a guest), before deciding we needed to move on to a bed and breakfast in Captain Cook.

I can’t remember having laughed so much. Corny jokes, silly pet names…what a blast! And so much love. People could see it, often commenting to us how “cute” and “in love” we were.

Has it been the most ideal of romances? No. But just right. Just Elysian. Irregardless 😊 of the distance, he has been present with me at each given moment.

We made plans to see each other when we could. A 5-day visit last week here in Colorado. Hawaii again next month, then the Spring, many different possibilities. Our visit last week was euphoric for the most part, and then…


Wait, what happened? How did I let myself go this way? This man knows me. He has seen my messy hair, my imperfections. My snoring, drooling, clumsy, cellulite, needing a haircut Elysia. Then there is my inept ability to let my “street” come out every now and then, using “ain’t” and combining words that make absolutely no sense to anyone else but me.

And what do I really know about him? What if he’s a womanizer? If he were, would I still love him? The answer is an unapologetic “Yes”.

I know enough to keep my side of the street clean and to trust someone until that trust has been abused. I also know that expectations are future resentments. I have a past. We all do. So, I choose not to judge what I don’t have 100% knowledge of in any circumstance.

We agreed to take a short break. Then this watery substance starts to flow out of my eyes. Oh hell no.


I just watched Trainwreck (again) with my daughter last night and found myself admiring the main character in the beginning of the show. “Maybe I should move to New York and be a slut“, I said to my daughter. “There’s no shame in being who you are and accepting it”. To which, my daughter replied, “If that were what you are mom, I would support it. But that’s not you”.


Additionally, I forgot that Trainwreck is not just a comedy but a rom-com. The leading lady meets a man who is so different from her – he is quite conservative. This is sounding all too familiar and when the male lead talks of Norman Rockwell and his love of Billy Joel, my head starts to hurt. “I need to turn this off.”, I say to my daughter. She steals the remote from me.

I’m totally feeling it when the female lead expresses her concerns about vulnerability with her sister. Though she uses a far more colorful analogy than even I would use (can you imagine?). The movie rolls on and the couple breaks up. Now, this makes sense to me. Alas, with every rom-com there is the makeup scene and everyone lives…

This is so not real! Monogamy is not realistic. People do not live happily ever after. Am I bitter? No. More jaded, more careful than anything.


Vulnerability Part II

The last two years of my marriage were so easy. My ex-husband didn’t love me and I knew where I stood. No questions to ask. Safety.

I have indeed, fought with my monsters. But am I ready to take this journey of vulnerability? Why complicate things by getting lost in emotion? Tomorrow is another day. So for today, I am a coward, comfortable in the safe place of my fear.

Fortunately, I do not have to sit in my fear alone. Having a good group of friends, who love me unconditionally, is my saving grace.

For today, I would rather take a drink than be vulnerable. In fact, the thought of being vulnerable makes me crave a drink. Good thing it is time for a meeting, where I can surround myself in the safety of my GOD.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Eleanor and Park – A Book Review


I purchased this book on Audible for a long flight to Hawaii over six months ago, however, due to a back injury, I had to upgrade to first class and I took advantage of all the good movies available. Therefore, I did not actually listen to this book until my recent flight to Puerto Rico.

I had no idea what I had missed out on. Eleanor and Park. I laughed…a lot. I cried…a lot. I couldn’t put my earbuds down to get anything done my first day in San Juan. When the Wi-Fi went down at my Airbnb spot in Ponce, I was actually happy to shut my laptop and pick up right where I had left off in the story.

This book is based in 1986 and both characters were the same age that I was at the time. So there’s that. Regardless, anyone who is or has ever been a teenager can identify with the awkwardness of those years as well as the teen angst of first love.

Eleanor is the “new girl” at school, a complete misfit. Not necessarily because she wants to be. It is mainly due to being so poor that she doesn’t even own a toothbrush. Her MacGyver approach to this is admirable. Eleanor appears to be comfortable in her own skin. But this is, of course, a front.

Park, being half Korean, half Caucasian also feels like a misfit. However, unlike Eleanor, he grew up in their neighborhood. This at least benefits his acceptance of others in school. Just barely.

Their relationship is hardly love at first site. Eleanor and Park are so completely different, yet they share the same seats on the daily bus ride to school. Neither are happy about it and don’t even talk for several weeks. They both have incredibly harsh words to describe each other. These words, of course, are only in their minds, as they won’t even acknowledge each other out loud.

I really need to get my nails done…Anyway, this relationship develops in an extremely slow fashion. Park first realizes Eleanor is reading his comic books over his shoulder. He begins to read them slower, to make sure she is able to catch every word. They begin to bond over comics, The Smiths, and Joy Division.

I found many “interpretations” on YouTube but this one was the best so far:

But Eleanor is living in a dangerously dysfunctional home. Her step-father despises her and it only increases when he is drunk – which is most of the time. Park, has the normal father-son difficulties but is otherwise in a far more functioning household. Park’s parents are just about the only couple still married in the neighborhood.

These two youngsters connect in such a slow, deep, and quiet manner you wonder if they are ever going to kiss. The reader (or listener in my case) will not be disappointed. Though, with the continually rising tension in Eleanor’s home, it is difficult to see this story ending well. The anticipation is fierce for the reader.

One of their best conversations:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.

So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.

I’m not kidding, he says.

You should be, she says, we’re 16.

What about Romeo and Juliet?

Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.

Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.

I’m not kidding, he says.

You should be.

The finale, like their relationship, is a long process. Sometimes painful, sometimes humorous. All the while, worth taking a good…long…time to read.

Stay Blissful My Friends. – E