Embracing the totality of your experience

a red "angel" rubber duck and black "devil" rubber duck facing each other

“You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself.” ~Pema Chödrön

It’s so tempting to try to reject the difficult parts of ourselves, our lives, and our experiences, but learning to embrace all of who we are and what we experience (even as we may work to change it) is a much more self-compassionate way of being that leads to wholeness rather than living in constant rejection of parts of our reality.

The strongest oak tree

oak tree standing alone in a field with setting sun behind it

“The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” ~Napoleon Hill

Like an oak tree, we grow stronger by having faced life’s challenges. That’s one of the many forms that our kintsugi gold can take.

True power

woman facing camera with fists up in fighting position and boxing gloves on

“Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~Lao Tzu

It so often feels easier to try to control others in order to create the life we want, but true power and maximum control over the life we create comes from learning to master ourselves instead. Where would you benefit from shifting your focus from trying to control others in your life to learning to master yourself?

How to gain strength, courage, and confidence

woman in white dress climbing high, sheer rock formation

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Strength, courage, and confidence come in doing the very things that scare you. As long as you let fear hold you back, you’ll keep giving yourself evidence of how you don’t have these things. The only way to change this is to get into action in the face of fear. Action comes first; the increase in strength, courage, and confidence come as a result, not as the initiator!