Nurturing Thursday – Letting Go

Tolle - letting go

“Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Letting go can be more powerful that putting our energy into defending or hanging on… yet it is often hard to do.

Sometimes we don’t realize that we are holding on to something until we notice tension in our body or mind. And even then, our resistance to surrender continues.

I like to think of letting go as a real gift to ourselves.

To let go, we give up the illusion of control, and become vulnerable.

When we become vulnerable we let the love in.

It is an act of compassion and acceptance.

It connects us to the present moment and to our inner being.

  • What can you let go of today as a loving gift to yourself?

Thanks to Becca Givens for inspiring Nurturing Thursday! Click here to find more goodness.

Reflection – Being Strong

woman in body armor

This post begins back in time… when I had a different perspective and experience of life.

I don’t believe that I was emotionally bruised
And I definitely don’t need any help! 
As a child I put my armor on
I built it so carefully. And before you ask – yes, it still fits like a glove.
Its comfortable enough .. and more so in war zones.

You see, I am strong.
Nobody messes with me.
I can take it. It isn’t personal after all.
Others are just stupid. Idiots. They haven’t got a clue.
In my safe bullet proof coat I can judge and put down others in a familiar way.

And then one day I realized that it wasn’t my coat at all,
It was the coat of arms of my family.
And I could change it.
I could choose to let go of being strong.

I see people wearing similar coats .. and I want to help them shed them when they are ready.
Its okay to acknowledge the vulnerable part that hurts.
This takes courage rather than strength.
It is our choice to open our hearts to new possibilities.
It takes courage to be open and vulnerable.
After all, when we are vulnerable, the love can come in

What’s the Difference Between Strength and Courage?

Courage comes from the French word “coeur” meaning heart. Being courageous means facing our fears and coming from our heart rather than our head. Its a place where we face our vulnerabilities and overcome them through compassion and love. As a child in Scotland I was told I had to be strong.

Scottish-LuckenboothThis isn’t just a family legacy, but a whole cultural one! We Scots are independent and strong. But we also have big hearts, often hidden behind the strong exterior. The Scottish Luckenbooth symbolizes our heart and our national pride…. But I’m getting sidetracked here!

Here is an inspirational poem about the difference between Strength and Courage to help you choose for yourself. If anyone knows the author, please let me know. Val x

The Difference Between Strength and Courage 

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains,
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

~ David L. Griffith

Whenever you feel you have neither, may the heart of the universe hug you today with its warmth, and love.

And may the wind carry a voice that tells you there is a friend sitting in another corner of the world wishing you well!


* Don’t Turn Away

inner courage

“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” Rumi

When you are experiencing hurt, especially a wound of the heart

Look directly at this bandaged place

Find courage to face the storm rather than avoiding it or denying it

Be tender towards this raw vulnerability

When you bring compassion to your wounds, you allow them to heal

Be with it so it can transform you beyond fear and pain

Trust yourself to feel and live fully

Practice being present with whatever is alive in you, and you will find this light

* Strength and Courage in Life

Not too long ago I shared a poem from an unknown author about the difference between strength and courage. It is very inspiring. Many of us think of strength and courage as being similar, but in my experience their essence and their impact are very different.

To make this really resonate, take a moment and ask yourself these two questions as I did:

  • What is the strongest thing you have ever done?…..

When I think of the answer .. words that come up for me are willpower, tenacity, stick-to-it-ness, pushing, driving, reaching, perseverance, battle through, grit, not caving in … acts of will.

  • What is the most courageous thing you have ever done? …..

When I think of the answer … its all about facing my own fears… being vulnerable… opening my heart.

woman walking into futureCourage brings about personal change and often leads to profound insights and transformation.

The most courageous people I know are curious, compassionate, accepting, forgiving and open. They have gone through many highs and many deep lows of life and found their Middle Ground to nourish, replenish and inspire themselves and others. They are life’s thrivers.

Strength strengthens and often reinforces the existing structure.

The strongest people I know are single minded, headstrong, know what is right,  are somewhat inflexible and usually intense. They have persevered through the highs and lows of life yet find it hard to connect  to their own Middle Ground and a sense of peace. They are life’s survivors.

Bring courage and strength together however, and we can change not only ourselves, but the world.

change the world  Namaste

* Inspiration in the Pendulum of Life

Today I want to slow down and feel a need to linger in my Middle Ground. When I recognize I am out of balance, its time for me to come back to what’s most important. Some days are easier  than others … its part of the pendulum of lifependulum of life

I decided to see which words of my own would center me and bring me home.  I found this piece about the essence of spirituality:

Spirituality isn’t dogma or the beliefs we have about life, ourselves and the world. Its about how conscious we are in living these beliefs from moment to moment. How we actively live life in connection with ourselves and others. Living with an open heart.

This is my spiritual practice.

Please join with me and take a moment to consider these words and photographs. Pause at each one. Make this a moment of mindfulness and connection. This is an opportunity to get in touch with our feelings and the connection between us all.

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

we are all vulnerable and need love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

loving kindness dog

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

need for love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

young hand giving flower to old hand

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

mother daughter conflict

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

How can you bring these words to life today?…

For your self …

For someone you care for …

For someone you are having difficulty with …

For your community and our world …