Vulnerability 101: Inspiration and Tribute to LYL Creator Scott Dinsmore

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” – Neil Gaiman

OK. Here goes. I am scared. Sigh. Big breath. In. Out. Okay.

I read this in the comments from a guy named Matt, in response to Scott Dinsmore’s post titled, “Painful Authenticity: 35 Honest Personal Stories, Fears & Facts You Don’t Know About Me.


And that I found because somehow through the mysterious serendipity of the universe I found Scott’s TEDx talk, an amazing, breathtaking challenge to all of us to do what we love to help make the world a better place in any way that feels honest and authentic regardless of what it is. So like, you don’t have to aim for the nobel peace prize. Do small simple things too. That’s totally okay and awesome. I saw it yesterday for the first time and felt like my heart and mind were on fire with happiness and desire to share and was Oh My God, this is exactly what I’ve been trying to say and sort out how to articulate for years and now this guy’s done it! And I immediately did what I always do when I get super excited. I shared that talk EVERYWHERE and to everyone I knew who I felt they needed to hear this right now!

And then the gut punch. My friend Katy, (a life coach, who’d recently quit her job to pursue her dream, which is awesome) sends me a note Facebook Messenger telling me Scott had died just last Saturday while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I cried and cried. A LOT. Considering this is someone I don’t even know personally. But it was just like this bright light of amazingness was gone? NO WAY. So I checked and sure enough, it was true. And I can’t even imagine what his wife, family and friends must feel.

And I had the thought, wow, well, he died doing what he loved. And inspired so many people all over the world in a wonderful healing way. So, there’s that. And then I also remember that I’ve been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, “no death, no fear,” in which he reminds us that truly, there’s no death, no birth, only transformation of energy. Nothing is created or destroyed, only transformed. Our lives are just the way we manifest as part of the great everything, for a time and then when conditions are no longer there to support that manifestation, we no longer appear that way. But transform and appear other ways. SO that we could really now, see Scott and everyone else we’ve ever loved and lost, literally EVERYWHERE.  But this is hard of course, we have to learn how to do it and that takes time, and so meanwhile, we struggle and cry and do the best we can. Because after all, we were really attached to that particular manifestation. Darn. This is hard shit. So we can cry and practice and keep at it. Till we feel in our bones and cells the truth and can rest in fearlessness.


And, so I’m inspired to write a post soon, sharing my own Vulnerability 101 and I will. But I need time to think and write. But I promise I will do it. (One story involves me almost drowning on Lake Superior in a sailing accident involving too much wind a lot of sail and loss of upper body strength.)

For now, I leave you with this. My own impression now is that if anything all this reminds me that the time we have is so very precious and I remind myself and implore all of you out there, let’s not waste it. Carpe diem, right? Because who knows what tomorrow will bring? No one does. So, let’s show up authentically ourselves and try to help others do the same and please God let’s share hearts of peace and love everywhere the best we can with everyone. When we do, we make the world a better place. And the ripple effect of even one smile is endless. Let’s honor Scott’s memory and the memory of all those we have loved and who’ve taught us so much, parents, teachers, friends, people we never knew but who lit the flame of inspiration and held is high for the rest of us stumblers, by going for it every day the best we can and holding the light for others. Here’s the link to his website, Live Your Legend. Check it out. There’s tons of great tools to help you find your way. For those already bravely forging ahead, let’s keep helping each taking those risks and steps. Thank you for the generosity and gift of your presence.

Heart of compassion begins with us. (And maybe you’ll end up doing some handstands, or something.)

Have fun. Love like crazy. Go do what you gotta do.

Love, Hillary

PS. Here’s a crazy dream. I’m in grad school to become a clinical psychologist. Huge career change. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be like a sailing psychologist? Is that even a thing or could it be? (More on that later.)



Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

6 thoughts on “Vulnerability 101: Inspiration and Tribute to LYL Creator Scott Dinsmore”

  1. Thank you Hillary,
    beautiful thoughts, the references from Thich Nhat Hahn is inspiring, my partner quotes him often.

    And Yes, I can imagine the best therapy in a busy world occurring in the quiet spaces between the tasks aboard a yacht over a weekend of sailing – fresh salt air, exercise, sun, splash of spray, balancing the heave and sway. Silently cutting through the water, coordinating with a few other people…. and then at anchor with a sunset over the water, sharing a meal in gratitude for the fun and friendship, the gentle rocking to sleep.. time for reflection, questions and answers… for things to settle and occur to one.
    I’d go.
    I gather the above ingredients are what Hippocrates thought should be the elements of a hospital for optimal healing – sited on top of a hill for beautiful views, fresh air, good food, clean water etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David, Thank you so much first for stopping by and then for leaving such an insightful and poetic reply!
      I’ve thought lately that sailing is not only refreshing for me, but as you so, so thoroughly therapeutic on many levels. The slowness, the reconnecting to natural rhythms, the community aboard, and the chance at days end to marvel at it all.
      May you be well. Carpe diem. Carpe pacem to you, Hillary


  2. Hillary,
    I did not know Scott personally, but I love what he stood for and he was certainly an influence on a large segment of my followers, friends, and associates. With regard to your “crazy dream” of becoming a sailing psychologist, I fully endorse the idea. As a fellow sailor, I can attest to the spirit healing qualities of a beautiful sail.
    Blessings to you,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lee, I didn’t know him personally either but have been so moved by much of what he stood for. For me, it’s been such a reminder of the importance of connecting, finding those who will support your vision and who will be interested in what you have to offer the world. I’ve definitely been rekindling that sense of “anything is possible” that was so much more accessible when I was in my 20s! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. Blessing to you as well, Hillary


  3. Hillary, thanks for this. Although we never met, Scott’s work has influenced me greatly and I have thought of him and his family/community every day.

    Re your career change – I grew up on the coast of Maine where there are floating ministries, a medical clinic, at least one veterinarian… There are definitely people melding their love of boats with a life of service. A sailing psychologist sounds like a wonderful addition!

    Sending thanks your way,


    1. Hi Annie, Thanks so much for your kind answer. It really is amazing how the ripple effect of one person is so huge. I teach that all the time in my classes but this experience brings y awareness to a whole new level. I’m realizing how much making new connections with like-minded souls matters for All of us.
      As for floating clinics and so forth, Wow! That’s so cool. I grew up on the east coast as well. Sailing in Mass. Maine, Ct, and NY (Long Island). I never those kinds of things existed. Thanks so much for sharing! I think for now, I may look at offering retreats as a way of exploring and getting started. We know at least one couple who in the retirement run a lovely business offering day sails and cruising for individuals, couples and small groups. I may look into partnering with them as a way to get a simple start.
      Carpe diem, carpe pacem.
      With blessings,


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