This month, my writings will focus around the theme of Strength, in honour of my newest (and first permanent!) course: An Email Course for Inner Strength.
I invite you to reconsider strength as a concept, but also as you relate to it in your everyday life. Do you consider yourself to be a strong, weak or neither – or does it depend on the situation? What if I tell you that, you have an immense amount of inner strength? This month, we’ll explore how you can find it.
On feeling weak before you can feel strong
I used to think strength was about being smarter, more confident, more capable… being more of someone that I sometimes wasn’t. That, to me, was strong.
And around the same time, I felt anxious, indecisive and restless. It felt like someone knew what the ‘right’ answers were for me, and I was not that person. I was convinced that that person was someone outside of myself, a third party. When I followed others’ advice about what to do, I felt miserable. Deep down, I knew their advice and my choices weren’t what I wanted, yet I felt torn by the ‘right’ choice feeling very wrong. I felt anything but strong and uncertain about everything. I tried to logically put the pieces of the puzzle together but my thoughts were overrun with noise and self-doubt (I loved hearing others describe this as having caged monkeys in your head. That’s exactly what it felt like!)
Strength is about going back to your roots
The first time I remember really breaking this pattern was deciding to move to Finland. That was kind of a big deal and I didn’t want to compromise on that. That same year, one of my closest friends had died and that shock had left me with the realization that life really could be very short. I figured I’d move to Finland and if I didn’t like it, I could always go back to Canada.
I wish I could say that this decision immediately unleashed in me a sense of inner strength I never knew I had, but the process was much slower than that (though the decision was definitely an eventual catalyst.) What actually happened was that that my strength was called into question, and the desire to find the ‘right’ answers and make the ‘right’ choices was taken to such an extreme that I stopped doing much of anything at all…
On a not-so-unrelated tangent
There’s this great scene in the last episode of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is cornered by an evil vampire (who used to be good and her boyfriend) in a fight scene. He’s about to move in for the kill… I dug up the script from here because it speaks so deeply to what a lot of us go through at some point, abroad or otherwise.
Angel approaches Buffy. She tries to move from the corner, but he moves with her. She’s boxed in. He plays the sword near her face, loving this.
Buffy stares at him, his words hitting home. She looks exhausted, and terribly sad. She shuts her eyes. He lunges, shooting his arm out, the sword straight at her face.
Inner Strength is always with you
Strength isn’t about being more or having more; this is why I talk about self-discovery abroad and not personal development abroad. It’s not about big muscles or an iron will that never bends. Strength is really all about going back to your roots.
Inner strength is always within you, waiting to be acknowledged. I was never weak, but it was the disconnect from myself that made me feel weak. Finding inner strength is the process of starting to listen to what’s been inside us all along that makes us realize our strength.
You, as you are right now, are enough.
You know everything you need to know in this moment.
You, as you are right now, are strong.
I realized this when things got so quiet, and there wasn’t much else left to do but listen.
An email course for inner strength is a 16 day course aimed to bring out the strength that’s been in you all along. During the course (which you can do at your own pace), we work through three themes of inner strength: making space, connecting and taking back the power.
For more details and to sign up, click here.