"Let us praise softness. Let us seek a heart that is not hard, but soft.
Let us seek a heart that is not hardened like dry land, but a soft soil tilled over again and again. To break open a soil, parched dry and cracked, takes effort. How much more effort it takes to till a heart open after it has been dried up, walled up, stored away. How patient must this love be, to till, water, break open." -Omid Safi
What do you think of when you read the word strength? Is it a towering wall of stone? Rugged cliffs staying sturdy while the sea breaks against them? Robust mountains bursting from the Earth? Why is strength so commonly associated with being rigid or unyielding? If a willow tree were made from stiff, unmoving branches it would topple in the face of harsh winds. If a bridge could not yield into ocean currents, it would collapse. When you face adversity, do you find yourself stiffening? When we are tensed, it's harder to breath and release stress from our bodies. While strength is encouraged, I urge anyone reading this to find strength in softness and bend with the wind. The holidays can be a stressful time for even the jolliest of us, so I suggest you all practice releasing your breath, relaxing your body, and staying soft and pliable.