“Look Mary, how great Michelangelo is. This man, who has created a host of mighty giants out of marble, can be sweet and gentle in the extreme. What a good illustration Michelangelo’s life is of the fact that real strength is the daughter of gentleness, and that flexibility is the offspring of true resolve.” – Lover letters, Kahlil Gibran. Nov 3 1923.
In the fire of inner strength, the seeds of greatness are born.
Irrelevant of fitness levels, my core muscles are weak; my flexible back hyper-mobile, my body vulnerable.
To compensate, to protect it – I incorrectly adjusted with rigidity.
More often, through inactivity. My hip and lower back have let me know it.
Now that my core muscles are strengthening, I have a greater freedom in my body beyond what would normally be possible.
Similarly, in my life, my mind and heart swing through extremes. I hadn’t yet cultivated a true inner strength.
I didn’t know the value of structure. Nor that creativity and love can blossom in the foundations of self-discipline. Not hard forced discipline…
…but the kind that does what’s before it without mental anguish.
I discovered strength is not born from force but from gentleness. It is a natural urge within us, that when nurtured, can sprout seeds of limitless possibilities.
The cultivation of my inner physical, mental and spiritual strength teaches me patience and compassion.
In martial arts, before flight begins, there are many years of waxing on waxing off. Before rules can be broken, first we must know the discipline of it, as if it’s our very breath.
Our world is such, that many of us, so yearning for a sense of freedom, are breaking out before we have an inner strength; before the discipline is learned; before the art of it is mastered. The result. We hurt. We hurt and blame the world.
To become a master we must train with earnest humility, patience, resolve and compassion.
5 Tips to Cultivate Inner Strength
Meditate: There are many kinds of meditation that can assist you plug into source. Explore what is right for you. Seek a Master.
- Exercise: Any exercise will do it. Make sure you build your core muscles and flex your body. Yoga is excellent for this as it cleanses, strengthens and flexes the mind and body.
- Practice gratitude and faith: Write it, think it, most of all notice it. There is so much you do have. What you give attention to expands.
- Inquire into the truth of your stories: What we think is only our perception. Look into the stories you tell about what is happening and ask. “Is it true?” You may discover that what you think is the reason you suffer.
Only eat/drink/watch peaceful, healthy foods and movies: You are what you put in. Harmful foods and television cause agitation and internal conflict. Be vegan make peace.
This is what has worked for me. You may have other things that help you. Whatever it is – do it!
With the expansion of strength on the inside, I find on some days I can drop the rules all together. What a peaceful space to be. It’s called being free.
You deserve to thrive. What you can concieve you can achieve. Now is the time to believe. Make yourself at home.
Copyright Jo (Hazelhurst) Ntsebeza 2013