How do you find your strength? That unique essence that says you exist, you matter. Maybe you know it’s there, inside of you, solid and powerful, a compact source of energy. Like the fastball that resides within the pitcher’s body-mind-arm-glove, setting up for release. But sometimes, this inner strength is harder to locate and retrieve. We struggle and feel frustrated, out of sync, weary, maybe even depressed and anxious.
How can you settle back into your groove and connect to that innate knowing inside you? Focus and practice are essential. Being able to commit to your truth requires these two elements—sustained focus and returning to practice. Some call it mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn offers a great short introduction to mindfulness and the benefits we get from cultivating it. Some might say mindfulness is as simple as paying attention and being present with heart. And some of us might prefer more strategic terms: concentrating, focusing on a single point—your truth—and then practicing to get there. And then redirecting, focusing and practicing some more.
It sounds hard. Not like the instant gratification we are so used to seeking. And it is a little hard, but most things worthwhile require some effort. Once you start making a conscious and deliberate habit of returning to yourself, focusing on your present moment, your inner truth will rise up in you. For some, this happens by taking a walk, meditating, quieting your mind, being still or running fast, doing yoga or a crossword puzzle, dancing or curling up with your pet. Whatever lets you notice your essence and brings you back to that unique core of your being.
It takes dedication and discipline. The skilled athlete, artist, musician, scientist, chef, fill-in-the-blank expert all set goals and believe in a philosophy that drives their practice. Their focus lands again and again on their intentions and that single point of energy within themselves that they understand as their truth. They commit to knowing themselves.
Once you start exploring and visiting this steady strength within you, you’ll begin to notice other things too. Like your identity becomes more certain and more interesting. Oh, that’s who I am, and you can let judgment slip away more easily. This helps relieve feelings of depression, anxiety, lack of purpose. You’ll start to gravitate toward others who are more like you too, and share in the journey of knowing their truth, following and discovering their passions. You suddenly start to people your world with those who care about being present and kind.
When you show up for yourself and focus on that seed of truth inside you, growth happens. Step up to the mound, commit and practice. Prepare to be amazed.