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What does being strong mean to you?




Most often, when we think of strength - it is a physical phenomenon; having an above-average ability to shift heavy items, to be able to run fast or far, or even have the aesthetics of a defined muscle-structured body.


This past year I have been craving weightlifting. I have been pushing myself to get stronger physically. It has been the thing my body and spirit has needed the most and I have rarely missed a strength class here at Sanara. This focus has made me feel more capable, it has given me a sense of purpose, and it has been exactly what my mind and soul has needed at this time in my life. For those of you who know me…this isn’t like me. I am usually a yoga girl. Something softer and more flowing and heart-centered has been my normal go-to.


As I have been reflecting and being curious on why I was craving this physical workout in my life, I had an aha. This has been an intensely challenging year for me emotionally and mentally. We all have inevitable ups and downs, but I feel like there has been a string of consecutive personal challenges for me this past year. There have been times when I have felt knocked down and didn’t believe I was strong enough to stand back up or keep going. There have been many days when all I wanted to do was run away, disappear, or stay in my bed. 


Thankfully, on a deep level (very deep level some days) I know that it is the standing back up part that actually makes me stronger in the end. So I would try to find a way… sometimes with shaky knees and a tear-streaked face… to stand back up and keep going. 


The standing back up part is where we strengthen our internal infrastructure and build the internal muscles that make us stronger, sturdier, and less afraid of that dark space. Once we’ve seen it and felt it, the only option left is to rise from it. We have to dig deep inside, breath, and remind ourselves that it will not always be this way. Every situation is unfinished and life is always changing and evolving. These feelings and challenges will pass and tomorrow holds new hope. 


This was when the true aha came to me. The need for my outward physical strength this past year was matching what I needed and was craving from an internal perspective. The two forces were working together at the same time for the same divine purpose. To strengthen me from the inside out. 


Building our internal foundation takes just as much time and consistent diligence, as building our outward physical strength. It just looks different and requires different exercises. However, it is just as powerful and empowering from the core of who we are.


Internal strength enables us to bounce back from adversity, learn from failures, and persevere through really hard things that come our way. Physical strength, on the other hand, helps us develop discipline, consistency, and the ability to withstand physical demands. Together, they create a resilient mindset that can tackle any obstacle that comes our way.


So as you encounter the obstacles in your life ask yourself… am I focusing on my emotional and mental strength as much as I am my physical? If so… what does that look like for me? What can I add to my life that would strengthen me from the inside out? There is no one size fits all. The relationship you have with yourself is personal and intimate and it is vital for our overall well-being, happiness, and peace. 


My hope is that we all find the courage to talk about things in our lives that are hard with the people we love. That we find comfort in our vulnerability and realize that we are all struggling in different areas of life but we are doing the very best that we know how to do. The more we open up about life’s ups and downs, the more we realize that we share so many commonalities with people we know and love. We remember that we don’t have to go through these feelings alone, and when we share our story… we give others the courage and strength to do the same. 


With much love,

Allison

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