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  • Writer's pictureMartha Calihan MD

Staying Strong and Fluid in Healing

I have been thinking a lot these past few days about a conversation I recently had with a friend about healing.

We were talking about the need for strength; strength to heal, both physically, emotionally and spiritually, and strength to stay well. This is very much the message we receive culturally; “be strong, stay strong”

But to be and stay strong requires something beyond a rigid kind of strength; it also requires a fluidity to ride the wave of what is occurring.

It is not helpful, it seems to me, to be overly rigid; to have specific expectations and not be willing to yield to a different path, a different outcome. Better to allow fluidity to guide us and help get us where we need to be.

But one does not discount the other; we need them both, and like most things in life, we do best where there is a balance. It is the yin and yang of life, the loop we ride.

When I teach people about meditation, I often use the analogy of a boat. Our meditation practices are like a boat’s rudder. The more we practice and have that practice as a readily accessible tool, the stronger that rudder is. And a rudder keeps the boat from capsizing……

We are not likely to avoid all the storms or waves in our life, nor are we likely to be able to steer our boat away from all of them. Instead, as we navigate the storms in our life, a strong rudder helps us stay afloat. The fluidity of the storms, of life, and our ability to stay fluid and to do that dance of rising those waves allows us to come through the storm.

So yes, it is a both/and…we need strength and fluidity for health and wellbeing. It is, I believe, how we develop and maintain resilience, a key component to being well.

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