Help yourself find inner strength

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~ Swedish Proverb

As an independent, self sufficient woman, it is not always easy to express emotions that could be considered feminine. Where I come from, it is generally accepted for girls to cry whereas for guys it can be seen as a very unmanly thing to do. When you choose to walk the path of the strong independent woman, you also fall prey to the pressure to always keep it together and to stand more on the masculine side of the emotional spectrum thus you find yourself having to suppress those feminine emotions. Of course, life is not so black and white with each of us having the full rainbow of emotion available.

I recently spoke with a friend who is another strong, independent woman and we shared the opinion that sometimes the weight of independence and self sufficiency can overwhelm and everything can feel heavy. When these moments present themselves, we find yet another opportunity to connect to our breath and look for strength within.

Overwhelming thoughts and feelings live in the mind. All suffering is born of what we think about the situations at play. Connecting to your breath, your life force, in these moments can create some space from which to observe the preoccupations of the mind. From this space you can turn curiosity towards these thoughts. I find Byron Katie’s four questions a very effective way to bring the needed curiosity:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you be absolutely sure it is true?
  3. How does this thought make you feel? (Physically and emotionally)
  4. How would you feel in this situation without this thought?

If you are struggling with something or suffering the pain of negative thinking, take the time to stop, breathe and be curious. Allow the emotion to be there without judging, without criticising. Just notice that its there whilst remembering that you are not your emotions. Whatever situation is happening in your life right now is just something that is happening, it is not you. Allow yourself to cry when you need to. Maybe you will ask yourself the four questions and realise that you don’t need to cry, not because you are suppressing your emotion, but because you have found your strength within and realise that you are fulfilled and happy, independent of everything outside of you.

More on Byron Katies work:
Photo compliments of Abdul Shukur: