Enlightening the Passions – Finale: Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Your life is always working, whether you know it or not. Sometimes it works to bring you what you want, and sometimes it works to keep you from what you think you want. — Neale Donald Walsch; Tomorrow’s God

11_11_2008_stephen_alvarezThis is the last entry I’ll be writing within the framework of the Experiment – because it’s finished, and it’s turned up enough of a practice for me to let go of, satisfied that it has carried me this far, and that it has been a teacher beyond anything I thought was possible.

An important lesson came to me yesterday on my birthday. Thinking about being 55 and what that means it became clear that now I’m ready to accept my destiny as it is. All of the life that I’ve lived so far – leaving traces that co-determine what the present is for me and those around me.
Today learning that some of my family believe that my father is very close to the end, I think this is the one ‘thing’ I can give both my parents. And I’m thankful that they’re still around to be able to have me give it to them. If I were to formulate what the essence is of what I have to say, it would be this, “Thank you for giving me life and doing what you could to raise me. What you might consider your failings have influenced me making choices in my life that were not always in the best interest of everybody involved. I have hurt others and myself out of lessons from my childhood were I misunderstood what went on.
Where I stand now – at the beginning of the middle of my life – and where you are – drawing closer to an end – I need you to know, that even though I have behaved far from perfect I have been blessed by gaining an enormous richness of experience. I cannot know what would have been possible without you and what you co-created my life to be in the first 16 years of my life.
Whatever may be the case – and there are also movements that are very much beyond me – I have accepted this destiny and I pledge myself to live according to the deepest love, joy and beauty that is in me. You have co-created this moment in my life, thank you. Thank you.”

11_11_2008_01_stephen_alvarezWhen I think about how I would call my practise then it’s Intentional Vulnerability. The vulnerability is a fact of life. To ‘plug in’ to the feeling-field I need to be vulnerable. I can either be vulnerable or I miss that whole area of unfolding life and not feel vulnerable. The strange logic I now have makes me see that vulnerability is a fact of life, as I said above, and it doesn’t care whether I feel it or not. Derestricting myself on the feeling level, the practice that evolved during the Experiment, I plug in to the feeling-field and am connected on the non-rational plane. Many, if not most, of life’s flow is happening on that level (today I found out that there is actually a tribe that lives within that ‘region of existence’ by the grace of their language), and being vulnerable, I am connected. This actually is not a choice, it comes with accepting your particular destiny as it unfolds.

When intentionally vulnerable I hold the space that all emotions need to unfold. Holding the space I do set a limit; the perimeter of the ‘sacred space’ in which I can hold space, where I actually am open to what unfolds in the inner and outer between-us’, where I can be with whatever comes as the host, the caretaker of the guesthouse.
So what about all the guests that visited me during the last month of this Experiment?
They have indeed “cleared me out”, and in a way “for some great delight” – not an ecstatic delight, more of a deep “This is indeed the way it is. And it is good.”

11_11_2008_0stephen_alvarezI might still analyze the blogposts that went before, but I do not feel that it is needed to come to a proper conclusion and rounding of the Experiment. I think the basic lessons are recorded; whatever else I might glean from the former posts, it is what moves me in the present and almost naturally that truly counts.


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)


Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Day 24 (Vulnerable)

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go, we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. — Wendell Berry; Collected Poems

Today I’m in the frail kingdom, the space where you feel raw, as if your soul’s skin is all raw and anything and everything has the tendency to “hurt a little bit”. You’re looking for signs that would indicate which way the wind blows. After all, you went through a co-created hell where the heat was provided by the voluminous breath of your own fear of separation. You couldn’t see anything much, except the dark smoke coming from the cinders of your hopes.
You can see, now that some of the smoke is lifting, that drawing lines can be done without the fire and the brimstone. You accept your own limitations – the pattern of behavior and thinking and feeling that forms your character is now finally more or less OK with you. You come to accept that you’re far from perfect but that, if you keep on adapting to your deeper self, you’ll be as open as you need to be to flow with life, and as clear as needs to be to accept your limitations.

You can’t, no, you would never want to deny again your trans-and-ir-rational nature, your malleable and stubborn character. You have found some center, frail and promising, a space from where you can live an openness that before you had no idea of.
The chaos of your imagination’s darker regions need the balancing force of a brighter imagination to become acceptable in the constellation of what it means to be me,

And then there is the other One. And there is the dynamics between, the uncontrollable and utterly free forces that choose their own path – this is the kernel of vulnerability: that you don’t know what is going to happen. Life-changing forces are afoot and depending on where you are in this constellation, you can open to the other participants in the constellation.
In Hellinger’s vocabulary one of the primary forces in our life and character is the “Hinbewegung”, the “movement towards”; and what troubles us in these constellations is a “Movement toward” that is “broken” – the “unterbrochene Hinbewegung.”

To be vulnerable is to be aware of many of these “movements toward”. In the course of this experiment I have come to be in resonance with many, many of these “unterbrochene Hinbewegungen.” Maybe I’m still a romantic after all (I thought, I wasn’t), but I believe that in close and intimate relationship this one-on-one relationship itself is a “movement toward.” Maybe what I got a taste of recently is the promise of just such a possibility in my life. But the “Hinbewegung” is an utterly free movement – which doesn’t mean that it is not bound to circumstances, but rather that it is free to go with it, be neutral or go against it, but “it” is beyond control.

All day I feel vulnerable.
And I’m moving my attention from going in too deep.
Let me, vulnerable, stay near the surface.

I’m a hero and a coward
While I courageously go, I shiver inside considering possible consequences.
The longing for that space of intimacy with you, with life, with destiny is strong.
I accept that longing.

This longing makes me vulnerable.
Living vulnerable is part of me
Part of the whole.

All day I feel vulnerable.


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)


Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)