The Power of the V-Word

By: Rebecca Liston

Some of you may know that I have the pleasure – and the honour – of being a part of what I can only call a “Spirit Group” under the wise counsel of Catharine Clarenbach.

This past month it was my turn to be the Seeker – the person among the group who speaks their heart while the others listen.

This has never been a comfortable role for me to hold. 

In fact, it is rarely comfortable for me to be part of any group at all because (I’ll just be fully transparent here) when I am not leading the group, then I am not in control of it. And when I am not in control of a group, then I am vulnerable within it.



I said it. I said the V-word. 


Take a good, long look at that word, Dear Reader. Let it play on your lips as you read. Perhaps even allow the word to escape your mouth.

How many of you feel, well, vulnerable just saying the word?

I know I do!

Now, I could go into a great, long, and sometimes sordid story about my own ‘issues’ with being vulnerable. I could start with my childhood, and about 4 hours later, we would hit upon the impact of the intimate partner abuse I lived through, my Beloved’s horrendous betrayal, and the rather awkward time I ran around my house stark naked while a bat flew furiously about my house. Throw in some deeply unfortunate group experiences with practitioners who really didn’t quite know what they were doing (and caused more harm than good), and a dose of body shame resulting from…well…I think you’re getting the picture here.

Being vulnerable is not something I ‘do’ with relish.

And so when I found myself making the decision to work with Catharine in this small group, it required a ma-hoosive leap of faith and a freakin’ mountain of trust.

But here’s what I discovered as a result:

I can be vulnerable, and nothing bad will absolutely, without fail, happen as a result. Knock on wood, things have been pretty good since I let it all out on our last Sunday call.

I can be vulnerable, and people will not shame me for it. Oddly, I may even be thanked.

I can be vulnerable, and people won’t stop hiring me as their coach. Who knew it wouldn’t impact their buying decision?!?

It’s possible to be safe.

It’s possible to be held.

It’s possible to be listened to by others who don’t have any agenda whatsoever except to be unprejudiced witnesses and unbiased supporters. 

It’s possible — even for those of us whose entire job is to do this for others — to experience this for ourselves. (Read that one again, my friend, because I am lookin’ at you, love.)

Imagine that.

Now imagine if we all had such an experience – the experience of being listened to by others whose sole (soul?) role it was to be unprejudiced witnesses and unbiased supporters. 

Imagine if we all experienced that – even once!

Imagine how that experience might change you.

How it might feel to be Heard.

To be Seen.

To be Held.

To be Safe.

To be – dare I say it – Loved.

Can you imagine the softening of your Heart? The release in your shoulders and neck? The way your feet would now touch the Earth?

Can you feel the difference it would make in your body?

And can you begin to imagine the difference in would make in how you would relate to others? 

I can. 

I can imagine it. 

I can imagine the softening of our collective presence. The easing of our collective fear. The releasing of our collective trauma.

And I believe that this, my friends, is our only way forward.

We must continually and without fail be willing to be vulnerable.

And we must continually and without fail be willing to hold space for one another when we do so.

To be vulnerable is the ultimate act of service to our co-walkers-of-this-Earth, and for your service, I thank you. 

From my soft Heart to yours,

Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.

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