The Ponder Effect | What makes me feel strong?
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What makes me feel strong?

Yesterday I gathered with a few hundred people to do barre3 in the park. Afterwards, there was a wellness fair, where we hosted a booth. To engage people with this question, we erected a ponder board by stringing twine back and forth between two stakes. People wrote their response on a small piece of paper and then clipped the paper somewhere on the line. The little circles fluttering in the breeze appeared fragile, but what was written on them was so powerful:

Natural childbirth.

Running a marathon every year.

Fighting cancer.

Standing up for what is right.

A community of strong women.

Co-owning my own company.

And more…My favorite part of the day was when a young girl stopped by the booth, saw the question, thought for a minute, and then took up the Sharpie and penned the following answer:

couraGe to Be your self

There is so much in the world…in our lives…in any given day that makes us feel weak. And there is so much that makes us—or can help make us—feel strong. What makes you feel strong?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

16 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    September 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Being able to rock a handstand at age 44!

  • Anonymous

    September 23, 2018 at 7:15 pm


  • Anonymous

    September 23, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Making an insightful observation on a subject during a group discussion.

  • Anonymous

    September 23, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    My husband’s support

  • Anonymous

    September 23, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Being truly still is so hard. It makes me feel strong when I can do it, which is not enough!

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Faith- Trust in the Truth that God is good and despite the swirl/noise/discord around me, He has me no matter what. Seeing His faithful hand makes me feel strong

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Being pregnant and replacing my nightly ice cream with chia seed pudding (it’s the little things yall)

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Standing up for myself

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Living my life well with chronic pain and illness.

  • Anonymous

    September 24, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    YOGA. Getting out of bed without hitting the snooze bar. Laughing out loud. Singing in the shower. Walking every day. Trying new things.

  • Anonymous

    September 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I love the idea of so many women (or men … but especially women), writing down what makes them feel strong and acknowledging others’ strengths alongside!

    I feel strong when I take action. My dad passed away suddenly when I was 29, and in the wake of his death I saw how vulnerable marriage can make someone. My mother had no knowledge of their finances, had probably rarely even changed a light bulb in our family home, much less stored away information on the overall state of the house. My dad mowed the lawn, he fixed the siding, he kept track of when to change out the air filters and give the cars oil changes; he managed the finances and kept bills afloat, never consulting my mother.

    Losing someone you love is heartbreaking, but when the ones left behind have to intuit decisions made and actions taken, but never communicated, the loss is compounded and multiplied. My (new) husband and I were left to sift through financial documents and to have difficult conversations with my mother. She was left with a house she’d never had to think how to take care of, and one that was, all of a sudden, much too big for just one person.

    Since then, I’ve made a special mental note to gather strength from the smallest of action items. All those little things on my to-do lists: changing the light bulbs, even if I have to get the ladder from the garage; writing the checks; dragging out the trash when my husband forgets; exercising for strength at a time when weight loss seems to have left me behind; having the hard conversations about where the money goes; and making responsible decisions based on a mutually acknowledged reality all feel equally powerful to me.

    I get in a funk when a decision lies somewhere out there in the gray, and although my father’s death and the obvious erosion of my mother’s capabilities amplified for me the importance of taking action, I guess I’ve always felt empowered by being decisive, moving forward, and hoping for the best. It is amazing and inspiring to accomplish big dreams, but in the phase of life I’m in right now – three kids, a husband, trying to work a little myself, and support my spouse’s work – it’s empowering to take stock of the little things we can do well and gather strength from even the smallest accomplishments.

  • Anonymous

    September 27, 2018 at 10:09 am

    My faith – Trust in God, belief in Jesus Christ and that He is always with me, and belief in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    That is the source of my strength.

  • Anonymous

    September 27, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Making the frames that will support my canvases, which will support my giant marks. I am strong when I move paint across a surface fearlessly, and in a way that’s bigger than my body. It feels like, for a moment, God lets me borrow His expansiveness.

  • Anonymous

    September 27, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Making someone’s life better.

  • Anonymous

    September 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Admitting my guilt

  • Anonymous

    October 3, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Physically I feel strong when I dance. Mentally I feel strong when I remain present even when I am tempted to succumb to fatigue.