Vulnerable Strength: It’s Not Always Pretty - Jennifer Racioppi

Vulnerable Strength: It’s Not Always Pretty

I landed in NYC at 5 am. Getting off a red eye from California after traveling for a month, I awaited my overstuffed bag at the luggage terminal. An odd feeling of not being able to go home washed over me as I reconciled the inconvenience of no longer having a place in the city. […]


I landed in NYC at 5 am. Getting off a red eye from California after traveling for a month, I awaited my overstuffed bag at the luggage terminal.

An odd feeling of not being able to go home washed over me as I reconciled the inconvenience of no longer having a place in the city. Foggy from the travel, I silently wished I could just take a cab to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and crawl into bed—a home I officially moved out of in March. I quickly shrugged off this feeling of inconvenience and headed to my destination, Chelsea Piers gym—a place I could check my luggage, workout, work, take a nap, steam, sauna, and shower before going out to meet friends and heading home on a train upstate in the evening.

I consciously chose to fly a red eye on the night of the Libra full moon. I needed to fly across the country anyway, and since my body feels a bit wired and especially energized under full moons, I decided to ride it out on a plane.

I had back-to-back morning meetings, so I set myself up to work a couple of hours from the café before engaging in some post-flight, post-full moon self-care.

The Libra full moon that peaked just a few hours prior happened next to Jupiter, signifying luck and good fortune, but opposed Uranus who aligned with the Sun.

Uranus, in a particularly tender place in my chart, was due to bring me game-changing news.

And though we can decipher the stars and planets all we want, it doesn’t mean we are always prepared for the curveballs that await.

My first call, a call with one of my dear sweet collaborators, who has worked with me for a few years now, and who I have fallen completely in love with on an intellectual level, came with a curveball. She informed me that over the next couple of months she’d be wrapping up her work with me to move full-time in another, more heartfelt direction.

I had known this day would come and that I was on borrowed time with her. I just didn’t think it would happen today.

I got myself together and continued to my next phone meeting, made my way through my inbox, replied to social media comments and messages, and took a walk to grab lunch.

Spring dominated the day. The weather in the high 70’s usurped my focus, and I found myself laying on the grass overlooking the Hudson doing gentle yoga before making my way to Chelsea Market for lunch.

I arrived to long lines and congested shopping. In the midst of the madness, deciding between Asian, farm-to-table, and other varieties of grab and go, my phone rang.

It was the case manager from my adoption agency. She could hear the hustle in the background and asked if we should talk at a different time when I wasn’t in public. But I was so excited to speak with her that I insisted we stay on the line.

I soon realized why she suggested talking at a different time. She, too, represented Uranus.

The bottom line of the phone call; there’d be no baby in my future anytime soon, another discouraging curveball straight to the gut. Along with the lack of sleep, the intensity of the full moon, and perhaps still feeling tender about having to part ways with one of my all-time favorite collaborators in my business (ever), I hung up the phone, crawled into a corner of a crowded Asian market, and squatted while my noodling lip absorbed tears and snot sliding down my face.

Less than 24 hours prior, I had felt totally on top of the world.

I had just wrapped up a multi-week journey through San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Napa, balancing a demanding work schedule with my desire to indulge my former home state of California.

My last week there occurred almost entirely silent at a yoga teacher training in Calistoga. A much-needed break from the hustle of work and entrepreneurship, silence and deep devotion to my practice replenished me at my core. I emerged from this retreat feeling like a cartoon superhero with my very own theme song guiding me—ready to take on the world.

And now two days later I’m sobbing in the corner of a crowded market on a warm spring day.

I teach my clients to expect curveballs and to work with them productively. To trust how resilient they are in the face of them, and to see them as an intricate part of their evolution. Disappointment often precludes something wild and beautiful on the other end.

But that doesn’t mean we repress our emotions.

Often we think resilience means keeping everything on lock-down, so we can stay strong and enduring. To the contrary, resilience means facing life exactly as it is, without needing to change it or fix it, even if that means crying the ugly cry in a crowded Manhattan mall and continuing forward regardless.

And that’s what I did. I had my moment, got myself together, returned to the gym for some therapeutic exercise, got ready for dinner with my girlfriends, followed by a train ride home to reunite with my husband and dog.

Now over to you. What’s your definition of resilience? In the comments below, I’d love to hear about some moments you’ve experienced where you felt incredibly strong and entirely vulnerable at the same time.

All of my love,


P.S. Curious about how new and full moons impact you? Download this guide outlining the new and full moons for the rest of 2017 and start to track them yourself.

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