"Some people think it's holding on that makes us stronger;
sometimes it's letting go."


Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a runner, and as such I draw several comparisons between running and various life experiences.

And one of the parallels I’m drawing currently is based on a mantra my high school cross country coach would use whenever he saw one of his runners tiring and mentally giving up on herself. “Stronger as you go! You’re stronger as you go!”

I’ve applied this simple four-word phrase to several situations. It’s been my rock in the middle of a grueling marathon and a half challenge to climbing a particularly steep hill while mountain biking with my husband. And now, I’m applying it to the high-wire balancing act I find myself caught up in as I seek to find contentment in the chaos. And it’s made me take a closer look at my definition of strength. Where I once thought “strength” meant to work harder, do more, push through, I’m learning it is really a state of being. Think of it as a tree, a tree that is rooted and grounded in who it is. When harsh winds blow, it’s roots dug deep beneath the earth prevent it from being tossed back and forth or—worse—snapping in two. Likewise, when we are rooted in who we are, it is easier to tap into that inner strength and weather life’s storms.

When I stepped into Project 180, I stepped out of my fitness routine. I stopped running. I stopped going to spin class. And that yoga class my friend invited me to would just have to wait. I’d reached my goal of running 5 marathons before turning 30 and reached my time goal of sub-4:00 hours. I deserved a break. And to be honest, that break from the gym and the bike felt good...for awhile. But then I started to notice subtle little changes physically, emotionally and creatively. Life just wasn’t working right. Everything felt...rusty. My thoughts were scattered, and in the rare moments where I was able to concentrate they were foggy at best. My body felt felt run down. My creativity was lackluster.

I tried working harder. Longer. I felt worse. Then I sat down and had a long heart to heart with myself, carefully examining all the things I’d changed in the past couple of months. It didn’t take me long to see the correlation between my physical health and my creative health. I’d stopped moving my body. I’d stopped the activities I’d always banked on to clear my thoughts. My physical self had become stuck, and as a result my creative self had, too.

Today’s Wishcasting Wednesday question over at Jamie Ridler Studios asks, “What do you wish to tend?” I wish to tend to the Creative Trifecta: Body, Mind and Spirit. You are only as strong as your weakest part, and so I’m renewing my commitments to being strong in all three areas. Yoga on Mondays, spin on Tuesdays, writing on Wednesday, strength training on Thursday, art on Fridays, and the weekend free to engage in some old-fashioned play. On each day I’ve carved out some quite time to read, reflect and reconnect with my faith. Last week, I cleaned out the cupboards and cabinets, eliminating our home of all artificial and over-processed foods, chemically-infused cleaning products and paraben-laced toiletries.

I still feel and hear a few creaks, but we’re working them out one step at a time.

Live Creatively,

Your One Step:

How about you? What’s the balance of your Creative Trifecta look like these days? Is everything working in sync, or do you feel a bit of a hiccup in a certain area? This week, I encourage you to pick one area that’s feeling a little rusty and do one thing to bring it back into balance. Perhaps it’s trying a new healthy recipe that uses all whole, clean foods (foods that are in their most natural state).

Perhaps it’s setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier or using 10 minutes of your lunch break to pray, meditate, practice yoga or journal. Perhaps it’s trying a new form of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. Just adjust or try one thing and make note of how you feel either in your journal or here in the comments.

4/20/2011 08:40:27 pm

As Sara Rae wishes for herself, I wish for her as well.
This week we met with an incredible nutritionist. She helped us create a plan that I believe we can live with to start eating healthier. The step I left out was journaling about how I felt after making the changes. I think a trip to the store for a new journal is in order today. Thank you for the suggestion.

4/20/2011 09:38:45 pm

I love this - creative trifecta...and your definition of strength!! I do pilates and love it! I wish I would have discovered it years ago. Eating more healthy has really been weighing on my mind lately. Must do!

Here's to your creative trifecta! As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you!!

4/22/2011 04:10:26 am

As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you as well.

4/22/2011 08:55:25 am

Loved the quote about strength. Thanks!

4/22/2011 09:38:42 am

Scrumptious! As you wish for yourself so I wish for you as well!


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