Getting vulnerable and baring all

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” ~ Dr.Suess


Sally Canning at the Art Gallery in Paris


Have you ever dreamed of standing straight, arms outstretched powerful and strong and yelling with all your might something like –


“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies no regrets” ~ Clark Moustskas”


Like stepping out from behind your perfect Facebook mask and OWNING it?


Could you ever imagine yourself doing something like that or are you  scared ‘they’ might be critical or disown you?



Owning your vulnerable bits


Having the courage and conviction to own your personal power doesn’t have to come from a pushy standpoint I’m coming to recognise more and more it’s actually an act of self love that can gently emerge from owning your vulnerability.



It goes without saying that the deepest most meaningful connections arise from authenticity and vulnerability. When we allow our true selves to be seen and acknowledged – the joyful, excited, happy bits and also the fearful, insecure, confused and yes, those vulnerable bits – something magical happens, especially when we give others permission to do the same.



I didn’t think I’d ever been aversed to baring my soul on the occasions I felt it might help someone else although it was admittedly a selective process only revealing as much as it felt safe to do so.  In this moment I’m asking myself if it is possible for this sensitive, empathic introvert to be fully seen and heard?


What would I have to do to make that happen? What would have to change? And come to think of it what changes are already naturally occurring?



When things fall apart


The past 18 months have presented a list of life experiences, mostly good, some not so, and a few could only be described as down right ugly. I tried to share a few of the highs and lows with you along the way but I mostly veered towards the positive because I found the process uncomfortable – I realised I was feeling increasingly as if I had been plunged deep into the darkness of my own dreads and insecurities with the sole purpose of pulling down the walls I’d built around my heart to keep me safe before I could emerge with any sense of self and of what was happening.



The enduring gift throughout the unfolding of this uncertain journey has been the recognition of the power of my own vulnerability.



Soooo … I figured the most courageous thing I can do is to come clean. Not so clean I’m starkers, or knee knockingly fearful of pressing the publish button, but clean enough you’re gonna get a true sense of the Sally newly emerged from a dark night of the soul.



Close friends are telling me I’ve changed – I’m apparently more direct, have an opinion on everything, see so clearly things are startlingly black or white.


Ooops – is that true? Are my highly prized skills of acceptance and listening in jeopardy? I’d prefer to think not but how others see me is their truth. I wouldn’t challenge their opinions for a moment. Me, I just feel stronger and clearer about what I’m prepared to ‘tolerate’ for want of a better word, where my personal time, energy and space are concerned.



Anyhoos, I’m prepared to take this a leap and a bound further.  I’ll undoubtedly feel exposed but hey, in for a penny, in for a pound … It’s far easier to be true to myself than conjour up stories to make you love me or create a picture of who I think you’d like me to be.


Why do it?


If you’re wondering why I would do this it’s because I’d like us to get real. I’d like to create a deeper connection and by my reckoning if you ‘get’ me, if you can actually ‘see’ who I am, I’m hoping you’ll feel more inclined to contribute, to share your energy and feel a part of this loving community.



“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies no regrets” ~ Clark Moustskas”




On that note here we go … This is how it is these days

I’m perfectly imperfect …


If you’ve read me for a while you’ll already have gathered that, but actually I’m probably more imperfect than you realised. I can’t say I have bad days, that’s not who I am, but I do have ‘off ‘ days where I can’t be bothered to complete things I ‘should’ or do or say the right thing. I’m sometimes so untidy I even drive myself mad and you know what? I’m totally okay with it. I’ve learned to do what feels right for me. If it feeds my soul – sewing, gardening, artwork, saying ‘sod it’ and leaving everything to go for coffee with a friend that’s what I do, without apology or explanation. NB if you’re prone to OCD or you’re a tidy freak please give me fair warning if you feel like dropping in.




I’ve been told I’m wise, some even call it inspirational


How lucky is that? Most of what I write and talk about comes from a place of passion – it may be an idea I’m totally in love with but to be truthful a lot of it comes pouring out when something upsets me, when strong feelings and emotions just can’t be contained. Fortunately for me you often feel the same and actually appreciate the fact I’m voicing what ever’s bothering you too. Most of my recent posts have come from a place deep inside.




I have times when you could knock me over with a feather


There are days still where I feel vulnerable, fearful and I get defensive and withdrawn. This isn’t new, you probably already know if there was a card for introverts I’d be carrying it. I’ve always been as sensitive as heck and that trait has been significantly amplified throughout this journey. If I’m not careful I can be knocked sideways by atmospheres and other peoples’ energy.  I loooove people, I love being in their company, but for limited amounts of time. I then have to retreat and rebuild my energy especially after having been in large groups.




I’d love you to think I’m totally spontaneous


I really would love to be that spur of the moment, uninhibited, sparkling energy goddess I envision in my mind’s eye, and occasionally (very occasionally) I do embody her. I can be the epitome of free abandon but at other times oh my … it’s like procrastination central around here. I become the queen of delay and putting things off.




If you have the idea I’m highly efficient with everything in order … I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m a space angel’s nightmare.


I do know where everything is (well mostly) but if you insist on tidying up around me I’ll be totally lost for days. My creative energies emerge without warning. I can be working diligently and get sidetracked in a flash as new ideas and projects float through my brain. It seems like every piece of paper or notebook (of which there are dozens) end up with pages covered in patterns and doodles that don’t always piece together in a coherent fashion two days down the line.


I no longer do things just because I or someone else thinks I ‘should’


Be that personally or professionally this is probably the biggest change I’m feeling and seeing. Perhaps a sign saying “Don’t mess with me” would be in order. I’ll happily separate from sarcasm, cynicism, those who lie, cover up, let me down, pretend, gossip, moan, send out ‘arrows’ and ‘second arrows’ to cause more pain. I just want to say ‘be gone, I wish well but you have no place in the story of my life from here on in’.




I’ve given up on expectations


This has to be the one brightest floodlit areas of enlightenment. I learned the hard way that having expectations of anyone else is totally crackers. The notion I had of a particular person must have been so far removed from how she saw herself in relation to me that she and I might just as well have lived on different planets. After all the hurt subsided (believe me it took a long time because I held on to that story with a vice like grip) all became crystal clear. It’s over, it’s done and only the beauty and goodness of our times together remain.

My expectations of myself and my beliefs around treatments were also challenged to the limits when I made choices from the place of being a mother rather than the ‘I’ I believed myself to be.




Nowadays I’m prone to occasional bouts of anxiety


I know, can you believe it? Anxiety and SallyC used to be two words unheard of in the same sentence. This dalliance with the Big C has run much deeper than I could ever have imagined. Fortunately I have powerful tools and techniques at my disposal. The trick of course is to spot what’s happening and if you’re prone to it you’ll know that’s often easier said than done. Thank heavens for energy work, EFT, Reiki, Gentle touch reflexology, Australian Bush Flower essences et al.




I honour my own needs


Really I do. I’m kind of repeating myself here but it’s so important and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I talk things through with Gladys my greyhound pooch – if that’s smacks of the first signs of madness I’m cool with that. I speak my truth in the kindest way possible but I refuse to swallow my thoughts and stay silent to appease someone else. I’ve always given people in my life lots of chances, I can’t bare hurting anyone’s feelings albeit these days not at my own expense. Somehow my recognition of game players and manipulators has heightened and soon as I spot what’s going on they are history. If that sounds empowering believe me it is!




Asking and saying ‘Yes’, and ‘No’ … who knew it could be that easy?


As one of life’s ‘copers’. I drew strength from the knowledge that whatever you through at me I’d deal with it and then some. I was fiercely independent and capable which made asking for assistance a rarity. I don’t mean the ‘blokey thing’ of refusing to ask for directions for being seen as … well, I’m not quite sure why they won’t but not that anyway. No, I just did everything I possibly could myself. It took the equivalent of a universal sledgehammer to stop me in my tracks and take a long hard look at how I kept most folks at arms length.

What I and those around me received was a joyful stream of sharing and receiving. I welcomed people I had previously left standing on the threshold of my life through the door. I asked and received, and asked and received, and asked again and received again without inhibition. The ‘extra miles’ certain people traveled was extraordinary. I will be eternally grateful 1. for their loving human kindness  2. For having the opportunity to experience such an outpouring of love and support.


Saying “Yes” to what I actually want to have in my life and “No” to what I don’t wish for or the actions/invitations I’d prefer to decline has become second nature. This I think is probably the ‘no grey area. This I believe is the where greatest Self Care resides.



And of course not forgetting Gratitude


Oh my gosh, how can I ever say thank you enough to those who cared, who were with me every step of the way, who supported from afar through words, thoughts, deeds, prayers, energy sending.

I feel blessed beyond measure and oh so grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you x



In a nutshell … I’ve stopped chasing rainbows, errant friends and the prospect of the next big thing in conscious preference for more of the little good things, paying attention to who and what really matters and celebrating the truth of who I am. Self love and Radical Self Care my friends, are definitely the order of the day.



Phew, that was a bit of a marathon. If you’re still with me thank you.


Can you handle my vulnerability?

Does it put you in touch with your own?

How would you speak your own truth given the opportunity?


Please leave a comment below, shoot me a tweet @SallyCanning, connect on Facebook or Connect HERE

However you do it please do. I would love for you to join the conversation


Sally Canning





1 Comment

  1. Kathleen on June 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    What a courageous and inspiring post! I am brand new to you, Sally. Just read your post on SixtyandMe about your cancer diagnosis and was so inspired I clicked over to your blog to see more. I look forward to keeping up with your writings.

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