Dear Family,

Andy Murray is retiring because of his hip problems.
This is MASSIVE news.

Yes, because he’s had an amazing tennis career and he’s a hugely respected person.

But also because of the manner in which he imparted his news, 
in a press conference that was invariably described as ’emotional’, where he was ‘holding back the tears’.

In the clip I watched (link here), he started – 
“Not feeling good, been struggling for a long time, I’ve been in a lot of pain…”

He was struggling to talk, snuffling, crying.
He was not hiding any of that.
He was not putting on a brave face.

And what’s so beautiful and amazing about this is that you can’t for one moment doubt the toughness, the grit, the relentless determination that this man has.

He’s a big tough man.
But he’s able sit there, in front of the whole world, 
and be honest about his feelings and struggle and pain.

And for that we should stand and applaud him as much as for any tie breaker that he’s won in a big game.


These moments are important.
We often don’t notice them so much when they’re happening.
To the press it’s just an ’emotional’ press conference, then on to what an amazing career he’s had.

But here’s a big, tough, successful man being vulnerable.
And how often do you see that?

Murray is the opposite of other men in the news, such as Trump and Salvini, who like to talk tough but lack the heart, empathy and humanity that one can access through the door of vulnerability.

So what’s in it for us?
All of us, not just the men in the room who could do with being more open about our feelings…

Well, this goes to the heart of Gaia’s ‘F**k It Be You’ work.
The outer toughness is just one of many coping mechanisms (others are people pleasing, perfectionism and martyr-like selflessness) that cover up our true, vulnerable selves.

It’s only when we open to our own vulnerability,
by going through these coping mechanisms, that we can really be ourselves again.
Our true full selves.
And get in touch with our true strength,
which always includes vulnerability.

So let’s praise Andy Murray.
And let’s feel for him. 
But let’s also feel for ourselves, our own vulnerable selves, too.

Who of us hasn’t felt (but rarely been able to openly say) what Murray said to the whole world yesterday – 
“Not feeling good, been struggling for a long time, I’ve been in a lot of pain…”

And Gaia is here, in her retreats and workshops, to help you go through that door of vulnerability.
And finally be you, the open-hearted, in touch with your feelings, true you.

John & Gaia x

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