Will Hardy

June 28, 2023

I have to admit something: I struggle with being vulnerable. There are a long list of reasons why, but most of them boil down to my father abandoning me when I was young. I never truly acknowledged how much that affected me until around when I opened Suan Sati. Around that time, I decided to get serious about my meditation practice and personal growth. A big part of that was working to figure out where I was stuck and why. Of course the root cause was the obvious reason, I had just been in denial for decades.

My willingness to be vulnerable had been smothered by the fear of rejection. What if people don’t like me? I kept my true self hidden and let other people tell me who I was and what I needed to do to be liked.

When I first moved back to Chiang Mai in fall 2015, I was fortunate to make a lot of friends who held space for and encouraged my desire to be vulnerable. I felt safe to revisit my childhood wounds in order to heal them. It was a gradual process that took a couple of years to fully unpack and move through. During those years, I had plenty of moments when I would forget that I was living in fear, and would either withdraw into myself or lash out at those close to me. Upon reflection, I would see clearly that I was acting out conditioned behavior patterns that I wanted to leave behind. With time and reflection, those patterns loosened their grip on me and I was able to live a life more aligned with what I felt to be the real me.

My gut reaction is still to avoid being vulnerable, but I’m aware of that now and can make a conscious decision to open up. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that those feelings of fear don’t control me anymore after years of hiding behind a facade. My personal relationships are richer, I have less fear of rejection and failure, and I love and accept myself more than ever. For all the discomfort and shame I felt as I worked through during the growth process, it has been one of the most rewarding journeys of my life so far.


About the Author

Will Hardy

Will is the director and co-founder of Suan Sati. He founded Suan Sati as a lifestyle that would allow himself and others to live the practice and not only visit it. He is currently E-RYT® 500 certified and continues his studies with well known teachers in his time away from Suan Sati.

About Suan Sati

Suan Sati runs on-going meditation and yoga retreats in Chiang Mai, Thailand throughout the year. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer guests the opportunity to come and join our family for a yoga retreat of a few days or a few weeks. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer a range of all-inclusive meditation and yoga retreats in Thailand at an affordable price for those on a budget. Whether you’re new to meditation and yoga or a seasoned practitioner, we’ve got something for you. We also host our own 200 hour yoga teacher trainings in Chiang Mai multiple times per year.