Day 4~~Create Your Symbol of Strength

The Be Gentle Be Love  Class is on Day 15. I am dilly-dallying on Day 4: Strength. At the beginning of the course, Amanda, our teacher said we could take our time. And, I took that as sacred.
So I am. And I like taking my time.  :)
Thinking about Strength and its attributes. Amanda encouraged us to “focus on your strength symbol. Is it an animal, a plant, a shape, an inanimate object? If you don’t have one, maybe you should make today the day you begin your search for one. Look within yourself, try to find a symbol that you can draw strength from in an instant, something that makes you feel like you can do anything.”
Perhaps in a rare collision of gender and navigation, I thought for several days and chose my map of Idaho as my symbol of courage. This map hangs on my gratitude wall.
Idaho map
At the time, in my business I traveled extensively for clients and events. I logged 1 million miles just in flying, just in one year. I had visited clients in almost every state but 5. Idaho was one of those states. And from the internet and travel channel and visits with the client, it was ruggedly beautiful and serene.
I am directionally challenged. For the directionally challenged like me, the only way, the absolute only way navigation is possible is with a team of navigational helpers. Sometimes the helpers are friends, clients, a mate, mapquest, onstar, and fervent prayer. :)
But in a series of unfortunate and abandoning events, I took this trip to Idaho alone.
To Idaho.
In the mountains.
And I hail from California. Behind the Orange Curtain.
It was a stretch of strength, a leap of faith, a whole yoga host of poses toward growth and reliance. And toward contractual obligation, truth be told. So, in Idaho, not long ago,  this map never left my lap. I was in Idaho, but it felt like Timbuktu.  
This map reminds me that I am never alone. It reminds me that strength for me is found by taking a deep breath, taking the right road and staying on course, asking for help from trusted guides, and having faith in THE best guide. The guide of grace.
Back to Amanda and our course. She suggested we “Create your symbol of strength & then put it in a place where you can see it, or carry with you, so you can draw from it when necessary. “
When I read this part, it was obvious that carrying this map around would be cumbersome in its unfurled state and no one in Western civilization can fold a map correctly back in place. Certainly, my life could not be folded currently back in the place I had envisioned. New things needed to be created.
Instead, I created a business-card sized mini-map to carry with me. On the front, it has the word, strength on it. On the back, “I will never leave you or forsake you” from Deuteronomy 31:6
There is plenty of room in my wallet right for my card of strength. And I won’t leave home without it.

4 Responses

  1. Wow. I’m so impressed by your courage to go out to Idaho alone and the symbolic power that the map has for you. It truly is a strength symbol for you. Incredible post and you seem like an incredible woman! (I’m also moseying along on the course, so you’re not alone in that.)

  2. Oh, Helen, this is just beautiful–you clearly are a woman of strength. How brave to go out on your own like that…although of course we are never truly alone, as you said about your “guide of grace.” I love this.

  3. I love your post and I am glad to know I am not alone in taking this class at my own pace. I haven’t had a choice at times as physical pain keeps me down so often lately. But I love what Amanda has given us. I love your strength card and the beautiful meaning behind it ! You are a Brave Girl !!!

  4. Thank you Raven, Amanda and Kristy: It is your strength that I absorb and adore!
    Your comments mean a lot to me!
    helen :)

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