In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.
In Section 2 we embrace the horse energy of strength. One segment of Merriam-Webster’s definition for strength:
…having the capacity for exertion or endurance…
How do we experience strength in our lives? Where do we seem to be strong? Where do we seem to be weak? Where can we use more strength? Where can we use less strength?
- Do we take care of our bodies by working our muscles, doing resistance training to build up strength?
- Do we make our bodies stronger to be able to endure more physical activities?
- Do we use our physical strength to hurt others or help others?
- Do have an inner coach that helps us to keep going even when the task at hand seems daunting, tedious or boring?
- Do we have the self-discipline to do what we need to do to accomplish our goals or do we concede too soon or let our over-thinking squelch the deal before we even start?
- Do we have the mental strength to face and work through the mind chatter that tends to keep us down?
- Do we have what it takes to face our fears, allowing ourselves to move forward or do we back down because it seems to be safer or easier?
- Do we have the strength to face our inner “demons”, freeing ourselves of their hold on us? [knowing full well that our inner "demons" are in fact safety precautions we put in place long ago as a way to protect us and have now outlived their usefulness (they were only doing what we asked them do)...time to thank them and let them go.]
- Do we have the strength to say “no” when we really want to say no?
- Do we have the strength to say “yes” when we really want to say yes?
- Do we over-compensate for our own insecurities by over-powering others to “prove” our strength?
- Do we allow ourselves to embrace ALL of our emotions in a healthy, creative, and positive way?
- Do we allow ourselves to believe that we are strong spiritual beings capable of achieving whatever we want to create in our lives?
- Do we know that asking for help when we need it shows more strength of character than proving that “we can do it ourselves”?
A good exercise to do while coloring this month’s section would be to note our strengths and weaknesses.
- How do they each serve us both positively AND negatively? (i.e.: we like to talk…but maybe we talk too much or fail to listen to others?)
- How can our strengths help us with our weaknesses? (i.e.: great sense of humor and fear of public speaking: consider being a comedian)
- How can our weaknesses be of service to our strengths? (i.e.: have trouble reading and/or memorizing music…love to entertain people: make up your own songs or learn how to improvise music)
When we know and work with ALL of our inner resources, we have the strength to handle whatever comes our way.