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When You're Tired of Being Strong

Dare to Be Soft // 5 Ways to Listen & Lean into Softness

Have you ever told yourself (or been told)… “Just toughen up! Be strong. Keep moving. Stay positive.”? Me too. And then a few years ago…

As spring came to a close, my intention and visions for the summer were straight up wild, free, and alive!

But… with one phone call, my plans went out the window. My mother, who has multiple sclerosis, was back in the hospital with her health & strength deteriorated, dementia rearing it’s ugly face, a move to rehab, and then to a nursing home (again)… with bro & I as sole caretakers and decision makers.

Travel plans were changed. Meetings rescheduled. Numerous drives between Colorado and Iowa were made. Less than 10 days of this summer was spent at home. And less than that with my wild, free, alive plans. My creativity and ability to give fully and freely took a nosedive.

I kept telling myself… “This isn’t going to change my plans. I can muster through this. This is resistance. Great things come from challenges, right? Be strong, Katie. Be tough.”

And I was for a good bit. Then…

I got tired of being strong and tough. And people commending me for being strong and tough.

In a moment of clarity (or desperation), I decided I had enough hardness and toughness. And, in that declaration, I realized…

There’s a time to be strong and a time to be soft.
Both are necessary.

There are lessons to learn in the challenges we face & overcome with strength and toughness. We can develop character, find truth, gain wisdom, and ultimately feel deep joy & gratitude.

BUT – there is a part of us, a softness, which has to be turned off in order to stay strong for long periods of time. A special softness that gives birth to creativity, compassion, intuition, playfulness, ease, and some aspects of joy. A softness that allows us to feel, to experience, to be. A softness necessary for truly coming alive; for living, loving, and giving fully.


++ Leaning into your softness is not giving up or giving in. It’s owning your worth and needs. Remember… our worth is not dependent on how much we take on, accomplish, or say “yes” to.

++ Freedom. There’s freedom in admitting when it’s hard and when you need a rest. Freedom in voicing the truth.

++ Beauty & Humanity. There’s vulnerability, connection, love and support when you allow space for someone else to lend you her strength when you don’t have enough.

++ Patience & Grace. In our fast-paced world it can be tough to ask others to slow down. But, it’s okay to ask for patience and grace. I’ve asked it hundreds of times this summer and it’s been granted generously with hugs and prayers.

++ Permission. If you need rest, softness, retreat, or simply permission to say “no” or make a request, this is your permission. Right here, right now. (And don’t wait for permission next time… or wait until you are completely drained like I did.)

to your freedom + joy

p.s. Want to feel more freedom, confidence, and contagious joy?! Join the free upcoming Live By Design Challenge with thousands of other soulful ladies around the world! 5 days. 5 ways to live more by design than default. Click here to join us!