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Strong Back, Soft Front

It takes a strong back to uphold values, set boundaries and be a disciplined human being. Yet it takes a soft front, to be open, vulnerable and juicy, ready for each moment to unfold without fear. I’m sure I can speak for more than just myself in saying that 2020 tested these ideals. Let’s move into 2021 with less fear and more hope.

I recently listened to a podcast that resonated deeply and inspired me to share Brené on Strong Backs, Soft Fronts, and Wild Hearts, Brené Brown, researcher and best-selling author, quotes in her book “ Braving the Wilderness” a piece from Roshi Joan Halifax:

“All too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open. How can we give and accept care with a strong back, soft-front compassion moving past fear into a place of genuine tenderness? I believe it comes about when we can be truly transparent, seeing the word clearly and letting the world see into us.”

Brown continues to explain her concept of ‘wild heart’. Fitting in is easy, but belonging, true belonging is in a category all on its own.

True Belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self the world and find sacredness in both being part of something, and standing alone in the wilderness, True belonging does not require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

The courage to stand alone, belong to myself first and betray myself last, that’s the mark of the wild heart.

Here’s to 2021! Let’s choose Love over fear, soften our “armour” and be our curious, highest, most authentic selves!

Dr. Donna McAllister, BSc, DC

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