Strength training for the soul


When we’re building muscle in the gym, we gain strength by breaking the muscle down with exercise and the body then rebuilds it. It’s the same with us.. we gain strength through the breaking, through the challenges, through what life throws at us.

One of my favourite authors (and genuine crazy lady) Martha Beck writes:

“I see life as a cosmic gymnasium where we have come to be broken and healed, broken and healed, for the joy of the process and because we have decided to become strong. But our bodies are just rented instruments; the part that’s here to get stronger is the Stargazer. This is how strength training goes in the soul’s gymnasium: Life breaks us. We hurt. We find the path to our North Stars and know instinctively that following them will lead to healing. We act on that instinct. We heal. we learn to trust that the path we’ve taken is the one we’re meant to take. And with every experience taken through to its conclusion, we become more able to experience joy.

There are so many ways to lose the perspective of the Stargazer. Maybe right now your inner sight is clouded by the opinions of others or the horror stories of your inner lizard. Maybe you’re sun dazzled by a perfect looking surface, projecting the trappings of success but hiding the sense that you’re lost, directionless, hollow. It could be life has given you the chance to walk into the darkness, and you’ve been starting terrified at the ground beneath your feet. And maybe – quite likely in these days of dizzying change and unprecedented possibilities – no beaten path exists.

Look up.

Look up.

No matter how clouded, sunblind, or terrified of the dark you may be, your Stargazer self is always gazing calmly at your destiny. Follow it forward, expecting to break things – rules, conventions, precedents, your own vulnerable heart – but knowing that you’ll heal strong.”

But always.

Look up.

Find out more at

Martha’s books are simply amazing and I have found them really helpful in my life. She’s been a regular contributor to Oprah and O Magazine. The quote above is from “Steering by Starlight” – but I also love both “Finding your own North Star” and “Finding your way in a Wild New World”


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