Today, I went to visit my juice shop today in Chiang Mai… (and by the way, when I say “juice shop”, we’re not talking your average fruit or sugary juices. 🙂 )

Bai-Yanang, Khow-Tong, Papaya Leaf Juice, Turmeric tonic and Gotukola are just a few of the intensely nutritional, fresh and hand-pressed juices that this amazing Thai woman makes at the Lanna Herb shop… and I am so into it!! These juices literally make you feel like a super human!!

I was feeling so eager to fill up my cells with the bitter, weirdly kind of sweet and overall just mega-green flavor of Papaya Leaf juice, after a week spent in Krabi with ZERO access to ANYTHING healthy! 😮 (BTW, if you ever get Dengue fever, God forbid, this Papaya leaf is apparently the cure!!! Word to the wise!)

Oh and don’t even get me started on Khow-Tong… it tastes like something something between crushed up roots, dandelions and some sort of old tea… but apparently cures EVERYTHING and detoxes EVERYWHERE and gives you MEGA ENERGY and makes you INVINCIBLE!

Anyway, arriving to Lanna Herbs, the sweet woman who runs the shop immediately remembered me – which constantly blows my mind, here in Thailand, how they do that – considering that I hadn’t been here in about a year. People here really see you, know you, and remember you.

We chatted lightly as I selected my juices (she threw in a free Tamarind juice since I was buying so many. 🙂

And as we continued talking and I asked her about life since the last time I visited, our conversation turned to the very real and raw topics of broken relationships, the fragility of life, and how it feels to continue forward, bearing the burdens alone, and holding yourself together while moving through the world… even while inside you feel like breaking down.

Suddenly, we were no longer two people from opposite cultures and sides of the world, chatting lightly on topics that were easy to get by with basic English. We were two women connecting about love and loss, heartache and the raw strength it takes to continue on – with tears in our eyes and deep compassion and understanding in our hearts.

As I hugged this beautiful woman, marveling at her strength and vulnerability, all I could think was what a gift it was to connect in this way, and how grateful I felt for her to have opened up to me about her truth in that moment.

Receiving this woman’s raw truth completely changed my experience of today… and possibly everything else moving forward.

Vulnerability changes everything…

What would the world be like if we could all be strong enough to be so vulnerable and authentic?

Could we tap into this powerful ability to connect with people who might seem so different from us on the outside… but deep down, we share similar struggles, fears, loves and joys?

To remove the mask we put on for society and to be fully and utterly real….

To know that it’s not just okay to be vulnerable… it’s the superpower that will actually change the world.

When you take off your mask, and share with complete authenticity…. you give a massive gift to whoever you’re connecting with.

And like a pebble dropped into a still pond, or a comet shooting across the sky… the ripple effect may go beyond what you can even comprehend right now.

That’s okay. Just do it. Keep doing it.

Taking off the mask. Being real. Being vulnerable. Even when it’s hard. Even when everything inside you wants to hide and just smile and “be okay”.

This woman today may never know the effect she had on me – but I promise you, it will reach others as well.

How can you give the gift of yourself – your REAL self – to someone today?