What does it take to be a woman in space? Quite a lot of persistence, I imagine.
Persistence comes from Latin meaning "continuing steadfastly." And Dictionary.com adds: "...especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc."
We persist in growing professionally, striving for the next level in our career. We persist in becoming better friends, better managers, better partners, better _____________ (fill in the blank). We persist in our diets and in our exercise routines. Opposition comes from many places: bosses, co-workers, family, friends, our culture and we even get in our own way much of the time. Nevertheless, we persist.
We continue steadfastly. But can we stop feeling like it's a struggle? Can we persist from a place of self-love, from a place of compassion for self and others? How do we persist from a place of peace when the opposition smacks us, overwhelms us?
I start with a deep breath. Then I get curious. Am I persisting in something that no longer serves me? Am I persisting in something because it makes me better, makes my world happier? Am I persisting in something that I don't really want now? How can I see the opposition or obstacle as an opportunity for deeper growth or learning?
The answers to those questions sometimes lead me to let go of persisting in something because the end result is no longer wanted or needed. Sometimes the questions lead to renewed invigoration for the goal. Sometimes I learn most when I relax into the process.
The peace thing can be harder. I have begun a meditation practice. And through that practice, my persistence resembles flow more often. My "continuing steadfastly" feels less like a struggle and more like a dance. I move to and fro depending on the situation and don't get all worked up or overly attached to the outcome.
2018 will be here soon. Let's continue steadfastly in our support of each other. Let's persist in what brings us joy and peace.