You Are Strong Enough

After all we’ve been through as individuals and a nation, we’re all tired. Even if we have hope, we’re stress fatigued. No matter how tired you are of all that’s happened. You are strong enough. Yes, we have months to go before we have a handle on the pandemic. Longer for economic and racial injustices to be corrected. Even longer to restore some sense of national unity. It’s exhausting. But we are strong. All of us—You are strong enough to get through this. Strength is one of those things you’re supposed to have. You don’t feel that you have it at the time you’re going through it. Joan Didion Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem. Virginia Satir Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Karamo Brown Strength and compassion are not mutually exclusive. Robert Kiyosaki Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have. Norman Vincent Peale But standing up to […]

The Fearless First Female Professional Balloonist

Picture this: it’s 1811. They publish Sense and Sensibility. Ludwig von Beethoven works on his seventh symphony. Napoleon Bonaparte is the First Consul, the Emperor of France. People used horse-drawn carriages to get from one place to another. They teach women a little reading and writing. Women wear modest, long flowing dresses and are expected to have a long life of motherhood and wifehood. Manned flight, balloonomania has the world’s attention. Then the fearless first female professional balloonists took to the air. Early Life We know little about the Marie Madeleine-Sophie Armant childhood or early adulthood. She was born March 25, 1778, near La Rochelle, France. Some records claim she was tiny, nervous, and had bird like features. Most claim riding in horse carriages terrified her. She was born before the first hot-air balloon existed, but it would soon be her professional life. The Birth of Hot Air Balloons The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne, were paper manufacturers from Annonay, in Ardèche, France. In 1782, Joseph watched the fire and wondered what force lifted the sparks and smoke. He began experimenting with balloons made from paper, then sackcloth and taffeta.By 1783, Joseph and his brother devised a thirty-eight feet paper-lined […]

Your Creativity is Born of Your Vulnerability

You’re at a cocktail party or talking to a new acquaintance. The response that person makes when they learn you are a creative, is someday I’m going to (insert your type of creativity) too. Most people never get around to it. Why? Because they are afraid to be vulnerable. But your creativity is born of your vulnerability. With apologies to Brené Brown, the only way to be creative is to go through your vulnerability. What is Vulnerability? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines vulnerability as “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.” In this case, you need to go deeper. To be vulnerable is to expose yourself to physical or emotional wounds from your past or present or future. And it means to expose yourself to failure and fear and shame. Vulnerability Sounds Scary It is scary. It’s the thing many of you avoid as much as you can. You numb yourselves so you won’t feel the fear, the pain, or the shame of not being enough. Some people numb themselves with drugs or alcohol or even food. Other people numb themselves with being too busy to be vulnerable. Some tell themselves that being vulnerable is weak, so they construct psychological and physical […]