A multifaceted capstone project for the Summer Sourced Design Lab
Written by Driti Prasad

Oprah Winfrey quotes that, “Vulnerability is the willingness to express the truth of who you are, the essence at your core of what you’re feeling at any given moment. It is being able to open up your soul so that others can see their soul in yours”. It is the experience that originates, when you let go of old story lines and past attachments. This Vulnerability helps open the mind and build what is called the quiet confidence, which is the complete confidence that one possesses upon accepting oneself wholly (Headspace, 2021).To me, Vulnerability is ‘allowing the self to visualise the presence of the extremities of life as posed by the ego, to allow the mind to comprehend it and the consequence of it and embrace every part of it whole heartedly. It is, respecting the ego and embracing its role in forming the identity of the self. It is, simply loving myself for who others think I am, who I think I am and Who I really am.

Keeping that in mind, my Capstone project, as part of the Sourced Design Lab, revolves around having a deeper understanding of this Vulnerability, its nature, form and presence. The project focuses on observing the intersections of the different Vitality centered principles of Cultivating personhood, loving and serving others, respecting the wisdom of the earth and building beloved community, while taking care of vulnerability drives the process or acts as the primary guide to explore the other processes. Through the study, I aim to understand the implications of vulnerability in an individual’s life and to develop an understanding of how to caress and look after this vulnerability. Having outlined this, in simpler words, it is a study of myself, embracing the woman I have become, respecting myself, implementing the knowledge I have acquired about myself in my life, allowing the earth to shape me and my peers to adapt to me, to feel comfortable in my body and to, just, be present in my own life. In essence to be authentic, embrace it and implement it everyday.

Primarily, I believe that authenticity emerges when one starts to explore the process of cultivating personhood. I personally, have been working on, cultivating personhood which is an important process to find the authentic self and embrace this authenticity. In this context, I would like to define authenticity to be the true and real self, keeping aside the gross or physical body, the subtle body, the ego, the mind, the intellect and just being the self for who or what it really is. However, to practice this in everyday life one must allow themselves to be vulnerable. In my opinion, this is how vulnerability takes the primary position to drive other principles. Once this becomes an ongoing process, the authentic self starts to derive wisdom from the earth and through building beloved community allows authentic, unconditional love for others.

In conclusion, I find that Vulnerability is just the first step towards consistent authenticity. One that cannot be envisioned, heard, described but only felt, when realisation is deepened, when one is awakened about the true self and when one is exposed to truths that sometimes may be harsh realities. Lastly, it is vulnerability that guides the direction of how one can be at peace, not only with the self but also with the reality of the world for what it is and people around them for who they are. It is through the process of embracing vulnerability that one can deepen their exploration to cultivate personhood, derive wisdom from the earth, love and serve others authentically and lastly, build a beloved community to strengthen and support those working through this process, hand in hand.

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