"To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one's own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one's own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I had a great day yesterday! We went to a town called Totnes. It's not very big but as our village has one pub and one shop/post office and that's it, any town is a big town to us! We did our groceries and I was able to spend time in TWO bookshops! YAY!! I came home with an ancient copy of Alice in Wonderland and a collection of Collette's essays on gardens. I am working in a lovely garden this summer so I thought I could read it then. Second hand bookstores are amazing.
Unfortunately for them, my new old books will have to wait! Yesterday after writing about reading Women Who Run With the Wolves I was inspired to pick it up again and start reading it. It's like curling up at the feet of and old woman and learning what you need to know. It's become almost a cliche in some circles, but I am an unabashed friend of it.
I came across the quote about strength this morning, and I had to write it down - both here and in my notebook. As I said in my first post, I am so interested in what power we would have if we stopped worrying about our weight and our wrinkles and how we looked. Imagine how much money and time could be spent on our dreams and our children and becoming strong if women (and men) stopped spending money on surgery and potions and pills and diets. So many people are living with the belief that if they could just be different on the outside that they would feel different on the inside. But as Debbie Ford says, "if we put ice cream on top of poop after a few spoonfuls we will taste the poop again."
I used to be like that. I used to think that when I was thinner I would be okay, that when I reached a (frankly) impossible weight that I would also get a personality and confidence transplant and I would be okay. Yuck.
Now I just want to be strong. I want to make my body strong enough to be able to handle anything physical I want to do. I want to be strong enough to take care of myself, to have kids when it's time, and to keep up with anyone. I want to be strong enough to do the Inca trail someday. I also want to be strong inside. I want to be strong enough to fight off the invading media images that show aging as the enemy. I want to be strong enough to be a great aunt to my almost niece or nephew. I want to be strong enough to be an equal partner in my relationship. I want to be strong enough to make the choices and the decisions that mean a creative and honest life.
Can I do it? I think so. Each choice, each decision, each gentle nudge or kick in the ass is a step forward.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.