Unless you have been off-grid lately you will be aware of the viral #metoo campaign. Women across the world have spoken up about the magnitude of the problem of women’s vulnerability around sexual abuse and harassment.
In today’s Curiously You Podcast, we are having a conversation with guest Annabelle Dura, who speaks candidly about her own unseen scars. We discuss how we can use our most painful experiences to leverage ourselves powerfully into deep meaning and purpose. And how we can approach life from a place of love, and finding the space and courage within ourselves to be vulnerable.
Annabelle is a freelancer writer living in Los Angeles who works on the ambassador program at “Live A Great Story.” She is the author of “Into The Darkness: A Workbook to Healing”, and an energetic advocate for issues that impact women and girls.
We dive with an inquisitive nature into the healing process beyond trauma, learning to trust and be vulnerable once again, but still maintaining a level of discernment, and finding strength in a divine support, which is larger than you alone.
You’ll love this episode if:
– you would like to learn how to be empowered and lead from your vulnerability;
– you have experienced sexual abuse, harassment, or a violation of some kind and want to find a way to heal, and turn this pain into your power.
Time Stamped Notes
[05:05] From a young age, Annabelle has always asked questions: feeling and thinking far deeper than those around her. She was hired at “Live a Great Story,” when a mutual friend introduced her to the founder, Zac. From there, Annabelle was assigned to build the ambassador program.
The intention was to build structure for people to be in community with each other and encourage vulnerability in a safe space. This has been something Annabelle has always wanted to do but never had the platform or direction to do so.
[09:08] One of the things Annabelle learned on her vulnerability journey is to lead by example. She follows Gandhi’s quote: “be the change you want to see in the world.”
In her freshman year of college, Annabelle experienced a traumatic event where she was raped by her boyfriend at the time. This triggered a soul-searching journey as Annabelle began to lose sense of who she was, and entered a deep depression. Whilst navigating through this darkness and feeling vulnerable, she surrounded herself with friends who stood by her to remind her that she was loved.
As a person who naturally depends on self-awareness and moral code, she found that after the rape, she was forced to reevaluate and make sense of her values. She had to learn and understand what it meant to be vulnerable whilst also simultaneously guarding her heart. There a time and a place for everything, and throughout her whole journey she has realised how much one’s own vulnerability will affect others, depending where they are on their journey.
[13:47] Annabelle learned to be comfortable with the exploration of vulnerability. She realised that mistakes aren’t awful because the experiences always provide a lesson for you. When you are going through such pain you learn the importance of shifting your behavioural patterns, and becoming your own best friend.
She was in therapy until she finished college because she loved it. However, it came to a point when her therapist said that it might be helpful to be on medication. Annabelle saw this as a last resort, and so was terrified by that reality. Then, she saw a beam of light in her imagined visual space which triggered her wanting to pursue spiritual healing before turning to medicine.
[23:12] Understanding how to be vulnerable has led her to success. There was a realisation that she needed to accept love in her life and that something bigger was there for her. Annabelle learned how to be kind to people, and that humanity is all born with the desire to be loved, and to love. Society makes it really hard to surrender to that idea of just being worthy of that love.
[26:32] A key to being empowered in vulnerability is to stand on solid ground to combat what society is going to tell you. You need a foundation for your truth. For Annabelle, it would be the same truths that are found in the bible. You need to start with what are your non-negotiable truths.
[29:14] After feeling so lost and not knowing what to do, she trusted that working toward her purpose with passion would create enough energy to support her. It’s a matter of working with where you are, and believing that your will be called to your purpose.
[31:37] Annabelle has a habit of saying yes to projects and passions she can pursue. She has a desire to learn new things, in different situations, to see how it goes. When she also gives tasks a time-frame, as it allows her to narrow down her focus.
She has accepted her trauma and how it has shaped her. It has influenced her work, and the creative efforts that she is putting out into the world.
Creating her book was a surprise, and proof that something powerful and beautiful can be born from something so horrific. She created this space in her mind to be willing to accept the idea that came to her, and it was encouraged and supported by the universe.
After just being in a therapist’s room for quite some time, you learn how to speak and to enquire about things with others. She’s learned how to cope with different behaviours by being able to mentor people on a deep level, allowing her to pin point patterns of behaviour.
[38:48] It’s very damaging to go through a dark experience and not allow it to shape you. She believe that is why you’ll hear the phrase “owning your story,”, and not letting it define you.
Who she is now outshines that very dark moment in her life. She has also learned that healing is definitely not a linear thing and that sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward. There are 7 stages of grieving, and you go to where you need to. No matter what you label it, being in the process, you are still moving forward.
Connect with Annabelle:
Into The Darkness: A Workbook To Healing the website
Into The Darkness: A Workbook To Healing by Annabelle Dura on Amazon
Annabelle’s Recommended Books:
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Other resources mentioned:
Annabelle says you need to start with a foundation. To build a foundation for yourself you need to start with what you know to be true. What are your non-negotiable truths?
One of my personal truths are: you can never go wrong by exploring your intuitive curiosities, for example.
What are yours? Let us know in the comments section.
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