Endurance

Endurance is sometimes underrated but it shouldn’t be. To endure is to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilien

Endurance is sometimes underrated but it shouldn’t be. To endure is to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.

To bring your dreams to life you must think long term and pay no attention to the fluctuations in the current tide of your existence.

You are committed. In for the long haul.

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Joy and disappointment coexist with opportunities, so there is no need to fear the occasional obstacle.

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You have endurance, strength and fortitude to carry you all the way.

 

Featured Artist

@aykutmaykut

 

 

The Softer Side of Strong

There is a softer side of strong that is unbreakable. Madeline Johnson

When I was young and silly I thought that being strong was about being mighty, powerful, outspoken and relentless. Ungovernable.

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I thought being strong was about being in control. Standing firm and determined, demanding, forceful and willful.

Ridiculous.

 

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I have uncovered a softer side of strong that is unbreakable.

This style of strong is still, calm, clear and confidant.

Solid.

Collected and rooted deep in love. Yet freely open in spirit. A soaring type of strong.

Both solid and fluid.

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Recommended reading

Keeping Your Thoughts Strong As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Keeping Your Faith Strong  Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox

Disciplined & Strong Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Featured Artist

Nancy Friedland, Gallery on Instagram

Controlling Your Own Climate

Better to learn how to adapt and overcome and to face ordeals head on, while watching carefully, what conditions shape your heart.  Madeline Johnson

Warning, this is not another conspiracy theory on climate control. This is about navigating the storms that can soak your soul with sorrow, harden your heart in a hailstorm of hatred and parch your mind until it’s baked and fried.

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What interests me here is understanding what we can control in ourselves as we face our daily struggles. Like the weather, we can control some things.

Nothing new, cloud seeding is the process of adding particles to clouds to force them to rain or snow.  The goal is to increase precipitation in places with water shortages. Snow to pack the slopes of Colorado, rain to grow the crops in Texas and water to fill the damns of Idaho. While a helpful advancement, cloud seeding doesn’t give us the ability to control all weather.

The Weather (like life) is Unpredictable

Most days, the winter weather conditions here in Delray Beach are really unpredictable. Visitors think Southeast Florida is always warm and sunny. Not the case, the weather is also quite localized.  Depending on where you are change can come on quite suddenly.  All in a single day – one can experience strong, blustery gusts of wind, then momentary clear, blue skies. Within minutes a sudden warm sun shower followed by a soft breeze and puffy passing clouds, until. . .thunderheads in the distance – a threat of a down pour.

Now, life normally doesn’t move along this quickly, but just like the weather life is always changing. The conditions, whether good or bad, come and go.

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Life brings on all types of conditions. Some we can control like cloud seeding and some we might have predicted if we paid closer attention. Then, there are the conditions that take us completely by surprise.

Life. Half the time we spend time doing stuff and the other half cleaning up our own messes. Sometimes we create our own storms. 

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I wake up sometimes wondering- what kind of dramatic weather will I be subjected to today? How will I be prepared to prevail -to move forward in the face of anything?

Who knows what today might bring?

There’s no such thing as being completely ready for whatever life throws you. You are never going to feel that you’ve got everything sorted and all figured out. If you get to the place where you’re just a little bit more excited than afraid, that’s when you go for it. That’s when you go all in. To hell with playing safe.

Better to learn how to adapt and overcome and to face ordeals head on, while watching carefully, what conditions shape your heart. 

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Read

The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Featured Artist

David Altmejd

 

 

Who Knows How Strong You Really Are

Strength comes with facing what you have to contend with as a living adult on this planet.

God only knows what the limit is of you. You will only find out by pushing yourself against the world. By ploughing through life, observing and making adjustments along the way, knowing that you can make a difference, but that you can never play God.

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Strength comes with facing what you have to contend with as a living adult on this planet.

Lucky and blessed, facing the world with a heart that is ready for anything, most days the game of life seems/feels like the object is how to stay grateful.

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In the words of Tara Brach. . .

If our hearts are ready for anything, we can open to our inevitable losses, and to the depths of our sorrow. We can grieve our lost loves, our lost youth, our lost health, our lost capacities. This is part of our humanness, part of the expression of our love for life. As we bring a courageous presence to the truth of loss, we stay available to the immeasurable ways that love springs forth in our life.

 

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Confucius

To be honorable under conditions that cause us suffering, situations that are extremely challenging, is a testament to the human spirit.

Life is really hard and can be brutal at times.  The fact that we can still remain honest, generous and loving under unbelievably difficult circumstances.

Those I admire, under the worst threats imaginable, never sacrificed their character.

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How about starting with getting comfortable with your feelings. Sad, angry, furious, happy, joyful, The only way to get through uncomfortable emotions is to go through them.

 

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

 

Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.     

Yasmin Mogahed

 

 

Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all you were intended to be.     

Charles Jones

Read Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Read The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

 

Featured Artwork

Alexandra Levasseur

Alexandra Levasseur was born in 1982 in Shawinigan, a city located on the Saint-Maurice River in the Mauricie area in Quebec, Canada. Aged 18, she left Canada and moved to Costa Rica to do a one-year student exchange. She eventually decided to stay there to pursue her studies in Fine Arts and Graphic Design at the University of Costa Rica. Additionally, Levasseur went to Spain to specialize her career by completing a postgraduate in Creative Illustration and Visual Communication at EINA – School of Art and Design in Barcelona. From 2007 to 2010, she worked as an illustrator and art director for several advertising agencies in Costa Rica. In 2010, Levasseur moved to Montreal, where she started working as a freelance illustrator and on her personal projects. From 2012 to 2014, the talented creative studied Film Animation at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema of Concordia University.

Resiliency Quotes from Wise Old Sayings

When Your Struggles Become Your Strength

Reflecting and learning from painful experiences is how you turn your struggles into strengths. by Madeline Johnson

Like many of you, some of the most challenging moments in my life have been the best for me because I have learned so much from them and I have grown so much confidence through fighting and finding my way through each problem.

Confidence comes from over coming problems you thought you couldn’t handle.

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For example, I learned that I am a very strong, determined and persevering human being after helping my middle daughter Ariel through a traumatic brain injury. She was in a terrible car accident and on life support and those seven years of helping her and watching the doctors bring her back to life, taught me never to give up, to fight for life, to ask for help and to continue to ask questions and seek solutions even when everything seems impossible.
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Having to close my marketing and PR agency during the process and begin consulting during her recovery had me learning new skills, like how to build WordPress and Shopify websites, video production, editing and reaching out to clients through platforms like LinkedIn, Upwork, Clarity and Angel List, basically – starting all over again.
You can learn more about my work here.
Evolving and growing, while remaining humble, that’s what we must do as humans.

We either evolve or we die.

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Being my mom’s advocate during her fight with stage four lung cancer taught me that relationships are everything and it is an honor to see someone pass through this existence, to be able to have the time to tell them how much they mean to you and that their life was very, very important to you.
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Getting back together once again after divorcing my husband, the love of my life, taught me that we should always be open to forgiving. Forgiving ourselves and those we love because it frees the heart and actually strengthens you. Whether work or personal or both, relationships in life are everything and relationships won’t grow unless you do. It’s about becoming self-aware and open to change.
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I have learned that painful experiences when reflected upon properly offer so much in the way of lessons and self-improvement.

What have you learned from your most painful moments?

 

Featured Art

Polish artist, Zdzisław Beksiński, who made a name for himself with his dystopian surrealism paintings, filled with post-apocalyptic imagery and creatures that come straight out of nightmares.