Years ago, even months ago, I envisioned inner strength to be a harsh form of resilience. Perhaps a brick wall that would protect me from danger, from pain, from agony of any sort.
I believed if I had just built better walls, the pain of specific life events would not have crippled. A car crash would not have left me frozen. Cutting, violent words would not have eviscerated my heart. A break up would not have felt as though I lost limbs.
Otherwise debilitating moments in recent weeks, found me experiencing a new kind of strength. I felt the pain, the fear and the rage, but hours later, I felt at peace and ease. I was wildly aware that the pain of the moment had passed and no longer held on to the proverbial boxing gloves for protection.
The reality in that moment, literally found me watching butterflies appearing out of nowhere, feeling light and tenseless.
While the butterflies were real, they also represent a powerful truth. Whether in business or life, if you can allow yourself the experience of the moment and then step into the next with ease and presence, its far more likely hours do not bleed into days, weeks or even years. I realized as I experienced that form of strength a second time in two weeks, my old perception of strength, while in some ways may protect, actuality weakens.
The intention is to not build walls - to be free and feel in the moment to what is actually occurring. It's to not live in the future or past, to not live in the 'maybes' or 'what ifs', but to live and breath in that exact moment; to allow ease.
A tenant of yoga states that yoga is “a strong, easy pose.” For the first time, I grasp the significance of those words. So long as I am rooted, so long as my strength is grounded, I can remain at ease; I can even experience a certain buoyancy. I do not need walls. I do not need glass panels. I do not need rigidity to protect me. I can open to the moments of life – the ups and the downs – and trust that no matter what, I will be ok.
Mind-body connection can be foreign for many, however, it is a phenomenal, tangible place to explore this concept of strength with ease.
In any moment that requires physical fortitude – whether it’s your fitness routine or holding a heavy load, where do you tense up automatically? Where do you recruit unnecessary muscles – perhaps in your face, or shoulders and neck? Strength does not mean tensing up; it does not mean creating a wall with your body - in fact, that's a great way to stress or pull a muscle. Rooted strength merely engages what is needed and leaves the rest – at rest.