Updated: Aug 1
Connection and intimacy are two of the most supportive experiences to foster growth and expansion. Some of us find it easy to open up and build meaningful relationships while others have a harder time putting themselves out there. When we feel safe and seen by another, it allows us the space to explore sides of ourselves, that without the external prompts, we may never have the opportunity to explore.
No matter your comfort level with chemistry and connection, when we begin to slip into deep intimacy, it can be equally scary as it is rewarding. Vulnerability, in itself, is a journey of self-love and expansion that has the ability to discover a new layer of authenticity within us.
Brene Brown says,
"Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.......When we drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives."
While developing and having an intimate relationship with yourself is essential to your health and happiness, the bonds you form throughout your life are vital to your well-being and survival. Whether romantic, familial, communal, or friendly, social support can help you through tricky times, bring you joy, and increase your longevity.
When your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are in balance, your body will be prepared for renewal and healing. One way to help find this balance is through social connection to others. Intimacy and connection with others have the ability to help regulate your breath and experience sensations of thinking, reflecting, and feeling, which can allow your nervous system play a significant role in all aspects of your well-being.
IIN describes, The Science of Co-Regulation:
"Have you ever noticed that your mood is impacted by the cues of someone around you? This is a result of a nervous system mechanism called co-regulation. Co-regulation is a mutual process where two people can utilize their relationship to either calm or stimulate each other.
In a parent-child relationship, coregulation encourages the child to eventually develop the ability to self-regulate and build resiliency. For example, a caregiver can consciously use their body, breath, and voice to anchor the child’s sense of safety, prompting the nervous system to lower the heart rate and shut down defense systems.
In romantic partners, research shows partners’ cortisol levels and negative moods are linked, demonstrating the power of nervous system regulation between highly connected individuals.
While psychology tends to focus on individuals, understanding coregulation can explain how social connectedness has wide-ranging mental and physical health implications."
Relationships and intimacy with others are fascinating topics and experiences. Having the bravery to open ourselves up to, not only another person, but to ourselves as well, can be rewarding on so many levels! Remember, being brave isn't about not being afraid. It's being afraid and doing it anyways!
Do you care to join me in a practice of brave vulnerability? Open up and tell someone this week, how you are truly feeling. Allow the discomfort to flow through your body and realize that it is just a temporary feeling, and it will pass, usually faster than we think. I have found that the resistance to the assumed discomfort is typically far worse that the experience of the actual moment I was putting off. The more we push ourselves to do things we are afraid of, the more we expand and grow. I look forward to hearing your stories of bravery!!!
All the love,