Perseverance…Fighting or Flowing?

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I love turtles…I pretty much love most animals, but turtles and dogs are my favorites. I believe turtles are a perfect representation of the human spirit…the part of us that wants to be exposed…our peaceful inner self.

Now, I am not an expert on all things turtle; I just know that I feel peace and happiness in their presence. Symbolically, turtles have a hard shell that protects a fragile heart, just as many humans have reactively created a hard shell to protect a wounded heart. Turtles adapt and persevere. They slowly and methodically float through life…surviving on land and in the water. They are slow and serene…watching them float or sunbathe rewards me with a calming and peaceful feeling.

IMG_0989When I was in graduate school, we had to choose a word and write it on a rock that described one of our peers. The word that my peer gave me was “persevere.” I still have that rock…it means a lot to me and keeps me mindful of a part of who I am and what I’ve been through. It also reminds me that, although I do believe persevering has served my life, it’s not a place that I want to visit often. If I am persevering, then I am struggling, trudging through life, not accepting my current situation, getting through, or “fighting to get ahead.” If I’m resisting my current situation, I’m not flowing…I’m not in acceptance of this moment…I’m discontent…I’m putting one foot in front of the other to get to the next moment as fast as I can.

How can we manifest the flowing and peaceful perseverance of the turtle? With connection and compassion, for ourselves and for others. The ability to persevere shows strength in character…resilient spirit…adaptability. It positively serves in times where you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other…in times where you’re walking through the dark tunnel…in times where you have hit that wall. It absolutely serves your resilient nature. Persevering might mean inching along, crawling at times, then slowly walking, until we are running and eventually able to soar. There are times when we might be soaring, only to hit a wall (like the hummingbird) and have to inch along and persevere again.

I am of the belief that many of us are persevering through the current state of non-connection, of seeing our differences and not embracing our similarities, of hoping that we will get through this current time where civil unrest and retaliation is occurring. For me, persevering only serves if we can notice it and integrate positive change towards love, compassion, connection and peace.

Lastly friend, my hope is that you (and I) would persevere only as long as we need to. That we would channel our inner turtle…be adaptable…slowly, methodically, and peacefully move and float through life. Sometimes life can be painful, we get defensive and the hard shell wants to thicken with yet another layer over our fragile heart. Maybe keep that shell only as thick as it needs to be for true survival…maybe recognize when it wants to thicken and have compassion for yourself…maybe visualize floating and flowing and take a deep breath. After all, the turtle can breath and the turtle can float…and the turtle does all of that with peace and ease. Here’s to your inner turtle!  Until next time my friend…much peace and many blessings.


Karen Solt is an Advanced Holistic Coach who helps others discover the areas of their lives that are creating imbalance, discomfort, confusion, or dis-ease. She holds a Masters in Psychology (Counseling), works individually with clients and also presents lectures, workshops and classes to others seeking inner growth, better relationships, addiction help, and ways to uncover hidden sabotage patterns. A retired Navy veteran, Karen has had various life experiences that have created her unique style of coaching of all walks of life. To contact her or to book a Holistic Coaching appointment, please visit karensolt.com.


Copywrite 2016 by Karen Solt, all right reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Solt and karensolt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be a Connection Activist

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I feel hopeful…a part of me is afraid to admit that…maybe I’m crazy. In a time where so many terrible and challenging things are illuminated in the media, how can I feel hopeful? One reason is that I am acutely aware that the media does not show all of the good happening in the world and that the good far outweighs the bad. For today, my truth is that this is a critical period for us to unite, see our commonality and activate goodwill and compassion. The process and the communication required to get us there is not something for which I have all of the answers, but I believe it starts with me and it starts with you. So I guess I’m searching for hope and clarity and I would guess you might be too.

I have my unique perspective on my life only. I know what it feels like to be discriminated against and afraid of losing my profession because of who I am; what it’s like to go to foreign countries and be afraid because of what my service uniform represented to others; and I know what it’s like to be glared at with disgust for what I represent to another person. I also know how good it feels to give and receive love, to connect with others and find parts of me in them, to walk with and experience nature with my dog, to work with many who have overcome extraordinary challenges, and to keep learning about this fascinating life that I share with all of you. It’s my perspective only…what it’s like to live my life.

How do we find the perspective of others? By empathizing or placing ourselves in their shoes to connect to and feel how it would feel for us. And just so you know, not one person has lived this life without struggle and pain. Empathy for the other is so valuable to expand our consciousness and open our hearts. When we only see people for the color of their skin, the uniform that they wear, the person that they love, the political affiliation they choose, or their religious or spiritual views, WE DON’T SEE THEM. We only see what they represent to us. We don’t see their heart, their joys, the love they share with their families, the good they do in the world. If we can open our hearts and connect to the other person’s joys, fears, sorrows, or dreams, we just might find that they are the same as ours. My goal is to stand in their shoes…to understand my version of their challenges…to not be afraid of connection and discussion…to truly listen. I’m not always great at it but it’s my goal.

You and I have a wonderful opportunity here…an opportunity to connect to the perspective of someone who lives a different experience, which is everyone who isn’t you. It’s an opportunity to be a connection activist…to treat others with the compassion, dignity, respect and empathy that you would like to be treated with. You and I also have an opportunity to look the other way, blame the other side, and keep living in fear of someone who doesn’t walk your exact path, which is everyone who isn’t you. It’s a choice.

My hope is that we all will continue to manifest peace, love and respect for each other. I will never understand your pain, as it is uniquely yours. I connect to my version of your pain, as I have definitely experienced pain and know what my pain feels like. Respecting others and creating curiosity and compassion for their unique journey is liberating…it’s necessary…it’s peace. I feel hopeful…maybe I’m crazy…I just see this time period as such an opportunity to bring the light in to eclipse the dark. I think it’s a time where many of us are thinking, “enough is enough.” I sure am. Since you are human and reading this, you are my brother or sister…I hope to keep connecting to that and that only. Until next time my friend…much peace and many blessings.

p.s. For more on connection, check out my blog: We Seek Connection…Yet We Fear Connection


Karen Solt is an Advanced Holistic Coach who is dedicated toward helping others discover the areas of their lives that are creating imbalance, discomfort, confusion, or relational problems. She holds a Masters in Psychology (Counseling) and is passionate about inner emotional wellness. She works individually with clients and also presents lectures, workshops and classes to others seeking inner growth, better relationships, addiction help, and ways to uncover hidden sabotage patterns. A retired Navy veteran, Karen has had various life experiences that have created her unique style of coaching of all walks of life. To contact her or to book a Holistic Coaching appointment, please visit karensolt.com.


Copywrite 2016 by Karen Solt, all right reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Solt and karensolt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.