Got Your Back

*This is part of a series breaking down my Aliveness Framework to discuss our collective (un)learning of racism in America. Today I talk about Vulnerability, the fourth practices outlined in my Framework.

It’s uncomfortable and easy to avoid. But I’d argue that vulnerability is at the crux of everything we’re here in this life to do. And it has many shapes and forms. It’s tough conversations. It’s putting our art into the world even though it’s more done than finished. It looks like the release of secrets and the bold shouts of rage.

It’s precisely what is going to move us forward as wild and wonderful collective humans in this wild and wonderful world.

And sure, not everything around us has a glean to it. In fact, much of it serves up ineptitude and shock; even hopelessness. Curves aren’t flattening, justice is being flagrantly unserved and we’re on the precipice of an election that holds the fate of our planet and our people.

But vulnerability, guys. It’s everything right now.

Are you totally prepared to call Senate leaders and demand policy change? No.

Do you have all the statistics to debate your uncle on gun laws? No.

Are you experienced in emailing city council members on behalf of your LBGTQ friends? No.

Have you ever talked about your white privilege in community with people of color? No.

But you do it anyway, because you’re tired of the headlines keeping you up at night and you realize there’s no progress without getting your hands a little dirty in the unknowing of things. You speak up and out and stand tall while doing all of it. You speak up because you’re so madly in love with the way things should be in our world, you’re willing to lean all the way in.

Vulnerability now is what keeps us showing up. It’s what keeps us being here.

Write, call, have a conversation, dance, paint, protest.

Stomp your feet, raise your hand. Ask questions.

Wonder...and then demand answers.

Try and fail.

Try and succeed.

A friend of mine closed out her workshop the other day with a mantra we all shared on screen together: “I’ve got your back.” A group of new friends, connected now through the magic of improv, extending our arms across Zoom squares to hold each

other up. “I’ve got your back”, we said in scattered unison. It was powerful stuff.

So let’s stay in our vulnerability for the long haul together. And when it gets rocky and uncertain (and it most certainly will) I’ve got your back.