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Friday, January 21, 2011


We do not believe in ourselves
Until someone reveals that deep
inside us
something is valuable
worth listening to
worthy of our trust,
sacred to our touch
Once we believe in
ourselves we can risk curiousity,
wonder, spontaneous delight
.....anything that reveals the
human spirit.

EE Cummings

I listened recently to a talk on TED, about Courage, instantly I thought about the kids in JDC. At one point in the talk, this amazing woman spoke of vulnerability- stating that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful-- and also that in vulnerability lies the birthplace of joy, creativiy and love--- and yet, vulnerability many times also is the birthplace of shame and fear.

I remember being 5, one of my first days at school, I remember wearing a yellow dress and really uncomfortable shoes-- my hair a mop of curly frizz, I was so excited to go to school, to meet other kids, to see people my own size-- I was at that time an only child, and the first in the long line of grandchildren-- at five I was a princess and my beautiful yellow gown proved it. I sat at my desk, proud, knowing I would meet so many friends, because that is what I was told by the grown-ups in my life-- but only if I didn't appear too eager, too shiney, to loud or to.... well what I heard was me. I didn't care, I knew that I would make friends, I sat in my seat, and didn't notice that I had peed my self, except for the kid next to me who showed me the nile river flowing from underneath my fancy yellow dress. I remember that moment, I felt so small, so vulnerable, so not a princess. The teacher at the time came and scooped me up and fixed it all, I went to the restroom, I got dried off and I returned to my seat with all the kids laughing and making fun, I returned to me seat and in the vulnerability of myself, stood up and said "my name is Jenifer and I'm a princess it's very nice to meet you all and to have you all come over and spend time with me." Yup I have never been shy and that moment at 5 has defined me, I DO NOT at all like to be made fun of, I don't like to be different, and I don't like to at any moment feel less than. However in the vulnerability of my heart there have been many times where I have felt less than, not worthy and have had to summon the courage to walk around and through the many moments of life.

When I teach the kids at JDC, I see them, everyone vulnerable and hiding behind this "not toughness", the "not toughness" is their courage, it's what keeps them moving through life-- vulnerability can be paralizing, and when you sit in JDC, defined by the color of your shirt, scared and vulnerable.

I guess that is what connects us, I became larger than life, or so I thought to mask my vulnerablity, they become "tough" we are all connected by whatever brings us courage and that's what makes life beautiful-- our vulnerability makes us beautiful.

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