Strength manifests in different ways. We know people whose bodies are solid, those who have tenacious hearts, those with impenetrable conviction, those who are strong-willed. We all possess these strengths in varying degrees. Some are more prominent than others but, as with every other part of life, a balance is desirable.
For me, 2013 was a year that required emotional strength. The upside of this is that I learned I can handle a lot and do so with a fair amount of grace under pressure. I also learned that this strength is not a bottomless reserve, you need to bolster yourself and take care of yourself in the process.
While handling difficult situations I tried to replenish myself emotionally with meditation, massage, alone time, etc. I was doing what I felt I needed to do. But as the year came to a close I noticed that other areas of myself, and my strength, were being neglected and, as such, I started to feel weak instead of strong. I had lost the balance.
For one, my physical strength declined. I let my good fitness habits fall away and, surprise, surprise, it took a toll. I began to feel unsubstantial in body. Willowy. More than ever, I recognize that physical strength helps you to feel strong in general. Of course I know this, I teach yoga! Yoga is a physical AND spiritual practice. One will always fuel the other.
Furthermore, at Pinnacle I get to work with quality trainers who help their clients to build strength and this always translates to overall wellness. I see it everyday. People feel better about themselves, gain more confidence and have more stamina for the challenges of life. These marvelous trainers also inspire their clients by walking the walk. They work out everyday, they are passionate about their lifestyle and it is infectious. I want to follow their good example.
Spiritual strength is something I have always felt sure of, but this also suffered. Though many of the things I did to reinforce emotional strength are also spiritual in nature, there were some subtle deficits. My hopefulness dimmed. The creative pursuits that I love so much got less attention. I cocooned myself and connected less. My passions felt pastel pink rather than vibrant red.
It feels time to break through the cocoon, to sing, dance, laugh and live strongly. Take all the gifts I received from being emotionally tough, but then let go a little. Or a lot. When trying to be strong you can inadvertently cross a line and start living too much in control. I yearn to cut loose and be free, rediscover my strength of spirit in the things and the people I love most.
We need all aspects of strength so that when one is called into action, the others can help maintain the balance and keep us nourished and whole. May you take a moment to celebrate your strengths and the ways in which they serve you. May you offer your attention to those places within that need bolstering. May you seize each opportunity to share your strengths luminously, for all to see.