Strong Back, Soft Front

Life is challenging for many people at present. Today I wanted to share a beautiful peace of writing by Roshi Joan Halifax that is often referred to as having a strong back, soft front.


Strong Back, Soft Front…

In her book, Being With Dying Joan Halifax shares –

“All too often our so-called strength comes from fear not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open, representing choiceless compassion. The place in your body where these two meet – strong back and soft front – is the brave, tender ground in which to root our caring deeply.

How can we give and accept care with strong-back, soft front compassion, moving past fear into a place of genuine tenderness? I believe it comes about when we can be truly transparent, seeing the world clearly – and letting the world see into us.” – Roshi Joan Halifax

And in the following Ted Talk, Joan Halifax shares more about this and says –

“It takes tremendous strength of the back to uphold yourself in the midst of conditions. And that is the mental quality of equanimity. But it also takes a soft front – the capacity to really be open to the world as it is, to have an undefended heart.”

You can watch more here…

Over to You…

I hope this has given you some insight in to the topic of strong back, soft front. Feel free to share any questions or comments below. If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Halifax, J. (2008). Being With Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death. Boston, USA: Shambala Publications, Inc.

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