Greetings, Luminous One!
We're going to turn our attention to the attribute of Inner Strength and discover how we can cultivate it physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, not necessarily in that order.
It's an understatement to say that we're in great need of Strength these days; navigating the turbulent waters of our current lives can be confusing and exhausting if we don't have a rudder and a place to anchor. Inner Strength steers the ship and brings us into safe harbor.
But where does Strength come from and how do we conjure more of this precious quality?
I can almost hear you saying that it's your trials that have made you strong, and I wholeheartedly agree, as did Gandhi:
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." -Mahatma Gandhi
If you rated yourself on a Strength Scale from 1 - 10, my guess is there are a lot of 10's in this tribe!
And yet, there's always room for improvement because we can be strong in one area and weak in another. The world has always had brilliant people who flared out due to an overdeveloped genius paired with an underdeveloped psyche.
But what if we could be consistently strong in all ways?
This month, we're going to explore the qualities of Inner Strength and perhaps find some new resources to supply us other than hardship. (I suggest keeping a journal to track observations and shifts.)
To start with, let's talk about what Strength is not...
For one thing, I draw a distinction between Strength and Power, defining Strength as an internal muscle that builds over time, whereas Power is how we use Strength (and Will) to effect change, both internally and externally. Before we can exercise our Power, we must build our Strength.
Secondly, Strength can be misconstrued as the ability to carry the heftiest loads, so brilliantly characterized recently by Luisa in the Disney musical, "Encanto". Singing "Under Pressure," she laments being the strong one even as she does the heavy lifting for her entire family. (As the eldest child, I can relate to this one!) It's easy to predict that a breakdown will eventually happen, and when it does, she's forced to redefine her identity - who is she if she's not helping everyone and living up to expectations, even to the detriment of herself?
Once she quiets the critical inner voice that was keeping her running, she relaxes into the freedom to explore who she really is without all those expectations she (and others) had put upon herself. Developing Inner Strength does not require sacrificing our own needs - in fact, choosing what's in the highest good for our well-being actually builds Strength, and that in turn benefits everyone else.
Third, it (almost) goes without saying that Inner Strength is not dominance. What we've come to understand as Masculine strength, a show of force, is all too present these days but quite outmoded, and not the vibration of the more Feminine world we're moving into. It isn't just men who have been caught in a snare of aggression, for many women followed in the paths cut by men for thousands of years simply because that was what had worked - in the past. Now, we're finding more balanced approaches as each individual redefines what real Strength is.
Inner Strength means we have the courage to face our fears, the confidence to know we can calmly weather any storm, the resilience to bounce back from missteps and fumbles, and the humility to continually seek self-improvement.
It might sound like a tall order but my hunch is, that most of us are already doing these things. Still, we'll try to up our game this month.
Let's focus on physical Strength by choosing an accomplishment that will build the body as well as our discipline. Have you wanted to do a cleanse but kept putting it off? Or maybe you've been delaying getting outside for some exercise? Or maybe it's a good week to cut out sugar or - fill in the blank with your particular weakness -? Why not use this week to strengthen your resolve to support your body? By next Sunday, you'll feel better and have the pride of following through on a commitment to yourself.
And if you have a moment or two of struggling to stay on track with your commitment, go to the Earth - She will provide endless quantities of Strength. We'll discuss this more as the month goes by since conjuring from Her is a huge piece of the Inner Strength pie.