Posts tagged ‘strength’

September 8, 2014

This full moon, return to yourself

On the eve of the 2014 harvest moon — also a supermoon — I share the lyrics from the song “Return to Innocence” by Enigma.

In this life, follow your heart, and don’t be afraid to take a risk or two. Be well.

Don’t be afraid to be weak.
Don’t be too proud to be strong.
Just look into your heart, my friend;
That will be the return to yourself:
The return to innocence.

If you want, then start to laugh.
If you must, then start to cry.
Be yourself; don’t hide.
Just believe in destiny.
Don’t care what people say.
Just follow your own way.
Don’t give up and lose the chance
To return to innocence.

February 10, 2014

Don’t be afraid to be a little messy

Quote for the week, courtesy of Eleanor Roosevelt:

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

I did something like this the other day. I stopped, turned the car around, and went back to do a thing that made me feel exposed and vulnerable — a thing that scared me but was also the very thing I most wanted to do in that moment. The result? A little awkwardness, a little uncertainly, and a positive outcome.

This experience made me realize that life’s events don’t always have to unfold gracefully or fluently or in any sort of well-ordered, elegant fashion. They just have to unfold, period. The how of it doesn’t really matter in the long run.

Fear tends to stop us from creating space for our lives to unfold in the first place. That’s a sad state of affairs, when you think about it.

So this week, do a thing which you think you cannot do. Do it messily; do it clumsily; do it red-faced and stuttering — but do it anyway. At the end of the day, you’ll find that the rewards far outweigh the risks.

December 19, 2013

Get on that train (before it leaves for good)

Life offers countless opportunities for each of us to grab on to new adventures and experiences and see where they lead. Often, as we head out in some new direction, we do so blindly, with no idea of where we’ll actually end up. All we can do is decide to board that new train (unfamiliar as it is) and place our faith in the journey ahead.

Yet many people shy away from new adventures, activities and relationships out of a fear of the “unknown entities” that might lurk along the way. Without having proof that these entities actually exist, people worry that these phantoms will somehow overpower them, or derail the journey altogether. But each of us is stronger (and braver) than we think. And each of us is clever, resourceful and capable enough to overcome any obstacles that might loom ahead.

The real crux of the situation is this: when an opportunity comes your way and you let it pass, it may never come your way again. Never. Would your life be fuller, richer — more magical — if you summoned the courage to embrace more of these proffered adventures and experiences before they slip away forever?

To quote the train conductor from the 2004 movie The Polar Express (in which children must choose whether or not to board a magical train that will transport them to the North Pole):

The thing about trains is, it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.

The next time an enticing opportunity comes your way, decide to get on. Ride the magic, and believe in your own ability to see the journey through.

November 23, 2013

It’s the storms that make us stronger

I just finished reading Katherine Palmer Gordon’s new book We are Born with the Songs Inside Us, a collection of stories profiling 16 successful and inspiring First Nations people living in British Columbia. One of the persons featured, First Nations educator Anne Tenning from the Chemainus First Nation, now a resident of Penticton, shares my exact perspective on the cyclical nature of life and the benefits of surmounting hardship. Says Anne:

Yes, life has highs and lows. But sometimes the most valuable teachings come from the lows. You just have to hang on, hunker down and ride out the storm. No matter how tumultuous it may be, the storm inevitably passes and the sun comes out again, and you will be left stronger and wiser for that storm you just weathered.

My opinion — and my experience — exactly.

It can definitely be hard to recognize the potential for sun when you’re stuck in the middle of a long, dark night. But nothing lasts forever, not even the worst storm imaginable. Relief — and light — will come again, and you will be so much stronger for it.

November 12, 2013

You have your own unique niche to fill – be proud of it!

Today, a great quote from Oscar Wilde:

Be yourself; everyone else is taken.

You are unique and beautiful just as you are. Let those qualities shine forth into the world. No one else gives off light quite like you do!

February 1, 2013

February challenge: Make an “I rock!” list!

This month, I challenge you to:

  1. Find a nice piece of paper.
  2. At the top, write the phrase “I rock because . . .”.
  3. Underneath, write at least five reasons why you think you’re totally awesome.  That’s right!  Five things you love about yourself — five qualities or characteristics you possess that, in your eyes, totally rock.

Call this your “I rock!” list.  Hang it in a place where you can see it every day for the rest of the month (on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on the steering wheel of your car, etc.).  Then, every day this month, look at your list, read it, and respect what it has to say — i.e., that you rock!

So many of us find it hard to acknowledge and celebrate the good in ourselves.  We say “I can’t” or “I’m not good at” more often than we say “I can” or “I’m awesome at”.  We find it easier to put ourselves down than to prop ourselves up, to dodge compliments than to welcome them, to devalue our own worth than to stand proud in who we are — before others and before ourselves.

This month, let’s break these patterns.  Make your “I rock!” list and display it proudly.  Because you do rock.  There are so many fabulous qualities you hold, so many things you do well, so much good inside you.  You are an amazing person.  And it’s time to acknowledge and celebrate that fact.

November 24, 2012

This is your life: Live it

A little inspiration on this late-November Saturday, courtesy of Louise Carey:

This is your life.  Find a passion and pursue it.  Fall in love.  Dream big.
Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends.
Laugh every day.  Believe in magic.  Tell stories.
Reminisce about the good old days, but look with optimism to the future.
Travel often.  Learn more.  Be creative.
Spend time with people you admire.
Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves.
Love with all your heart.  Never give up.
Do what you love.  Be true to who you are.
Make time to enjoy the simple things in life.
Spend time with family.  Forgive, even when it’s hard.  Smile often.
Be grateful.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Follow your dreams.  Try new things.  Work hard.
Don’t count the minutes, count the laughs.
Embrace change.  Trust in yourself.
Be thankful.  Be nice to everyone.  Be happy.
Live for today.  And above all, make every moment count.

November 19, 2012

The strength of a woman

A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.

This quote from Eleanor Roosevelt reminds me of several women I know — many of whom had no idea of their own strength of character, mind, body or resolve until challenging circumstances were upon them.  Today, let’s celebrate the strong women in our lives.  They deserve our unfettered applause.