We are kicking off 2022 thinking about the theme of “strength”. In particular with relation to creativity, sensitivity, and gentleness – words not associated with traditional notions of ‘strength’.
I love thinking about the subversive strength of sensitivity. We can find great joy from noticing, feeling, and experiencing the world at a deep sensory level. And this is a great strength when it comes to nurturing creativity, compassion, and connection around our lives.
But you don’t need me to tell you how uncomfortable and difficult this can also be at times. It might not feel like we have much strength on the backdrop of a harsh and hostile world.
Strength isn’t always the obvious course of action. It is essentially the capacity of something to endure without disintegrating. To maintain its character in the presence of stresses, strains, and tensions. This doesn’t necessarily mean always forcefully resisting or fighting things.
Bowing and Flexing
Last year we thought about the image of the ‘bow’ and how a tree flexes in respect to the force of wind. Not to submit or cede power it, but to absorb the impact, and strengthen itself against it.
People often talk about “holding their ground”, “not giving an inch”, and “standing firm” as forms of power. But in many circumstances these can actually lead to fragility and weakness.
What if real empowerment came from nurturing more space to choose our response and use the appropriate tools in any given situation?
In this episode of the podcast I share the recent conversation I had with Kendra Patterson. We introduce some of the ideas we will be exploring around Strength this month in The Haven.
I hope it helps remind you that sensitivity, gentleness, play, creativity, vulnerability, collaboration etc, can be huge sources of strength in our world. And that the episode gives you some ideas for how you can fuel your gentle burning core with more of who you are deep down as you step foot into 2022.
In The Conversation We Discuss:
- Why true strength is underpinned by vulnerability
- Integrity and Strength – how strength is an emergent property of the diversity of a thing’s parts (aspects working together within an integrated whole)
- The potential harms caused by simplistic and aggressive positivity
- What it means to have a creative Burning Core that helps us build resilience in the face of external feedback, criticism, and rejection
- Sensitivity and Strength – why we don’t want thicker skin, and what we might do to ‘strengthen’ our skin instead
- Strength Through Social and Creative Connection – how isolation, separation, and disintegration from unprocessed thoughts/feelings like envy and resentment can leave us weak and dis-empowered (plus ideas for countering this)