One day, Tricia walked into my office, frustrated and full of complaints. She felt weak, inept, and out of the extra juice she needed to enjoy her life. She was overwhelmed by the vague sense she was frittering her life energy away with duties, responsibilities, and fulfilling her goals of getting ahead and saving for her retirement.
Tricia confided, “I’m just hanging in there, every day, doing what needs to be done from a never-ending ‘to-do’ list. This isn’t the good life I was hoping for. It’s more like a prison. I obviously can’t stop and I can’t keep going.”
Tricia loved the outcomes of her hard work. She had some retirement saved, lived in a nice home, liked large parts of her work as a Manager at Microsoft, meditated every day and worked out 3 times a week. But … she was tired because she had no time to slow down and smell the roses.
Tricia believed she should be strong and energized all the time, and never bow to fear, frustration, or simple exhaustion. So she always kept going and felt proud of her ability to stay on course.
But she was tired and not feeling particularly at peace, centered, or happy. It became clear she thought personal power came from strength, courage, and huge stores of energy with a continual focus on the goal – no wavering allowed.
It can be quite a challenge to balance your inner quest for personal growth and transformation with your outer responsibilities to health, finances, work, family, and friends. Do you ever feel like you’ve also lost the strength to keep going? Like you’re caught in the trap of believing what you feel is the actual truth about who you are? Feel discouraged or depressed because you can’t seem to find the courage and focus to stay with the tasks at hand?
I’ve worked with hundreds of folks caught in this very dilemma: ‘Do I strive to keep up with the demands of my life or do I put them aside, rest for awhile, and enjoy my life?’ Neither choice ever makes the problem dissolve and go away for good. Obviously, creating and sustaining life balance isn’t quite as simple as it might seem.
I suggested to Tricia that perhaps she was forgetting one basic fact of human life: Everything changes. She nodded her head and said, “Yes, of course! I know all about that! But I want the change to go the way I want it to go so I can reach my goals and finally relax.”
As we talked, I pointed out to Tricia that for strength to remain available to her, it had to have time to renew itself. And the presence of feeling weak and exhausted was in fact the signal that this renewal was in progress. All she had to do was support this natural process instead of rejecting it.
Strength re-energizes itself, paradoxically, through what we call the experiences of weakness and tiredness.
When she learned to relax with these experiences, she would have more personal power than she had ever contemplated possible. Why? Because personal power needs both strength and weakness to sustain itself and grow.
Tricia looked stunned as she saw how she was clinging to strength, clarity, and focus as if they were the answer to her personal growth and spiritual awakening. Without them, she believed she was a weakling and off course.
As I taught her to actually manage – in daily life – the reality that personal power, of necessity, requires both sets of experiences – positive and negative – pleasant and unpleasant – she reported becoming more focused, steadier with her daily challenges, and definitely happier.
Tricia woke up to the fact that her negative feelings did not need to influence her sense of personal power and identity. Learning how to manage this dilemma allowed her to correct her misunderstanding, one that runs fairly wild throughout the world of personal growth and spiritual awakening.
Tricia came to perceive both strength and weakness, as well as clarity and confusion, as essential ingredients comprising the personal power she longed to create and sustain throughout each day.
TIPS TO HELP YOU EXPLORE
YOUR INNER TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN STRENGTH & WEAKNESS
- When you’re actually feeling weak, frustrated confused, or scattered IN YOUR BODY, take a step back from what you’re feeling so you can observe it with a bit of distance.
- Imagine you can place the feelings of weaknesses to the left or right side of your body and the desired strengths on the other side.
- Notice IN YOUR BODY which set of experiences your body is either straining to move toward (clinging to) or pulling to move away from (avoiding). You can get your answer most easily and truthfully by staying focused on your body and staying out of your mind (thinking).
- This answer tells you where YOU are positioned in regard to this inevitable and unavoidable flow between these opposite energies IN THE MOMENT.
- Now think about letting go of the side you’re pulled toward and moving into the side you’re trying to avoid. You are now in the presence of your own personal inner tug-of-war.
Helping you learn how to navigate this personal inner conflict is my goal. To learn what Tricia learned, you can check out my book, Unflappable – 6-Steps To Staying Happy, Centered, and Peaceful No Matter What. I will lead you through the same 6 steps that helped Tricia to change her ‘problem’ into a natural and unavoidable life predicament she could more consciously and lovingly navigate.
Grab this opportunity to learn this essential mystical guidance for embodying and living your spiritual values in daily life!
*Article appeared in Volume 1 of Ragini’s Waking Up To ‘What Is’ Newsletter