Grit and the Human Spirit - Rancho La Puerta
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Grit and the Human Spirit

When I think of grit and the amazing capacity of the human spirit, I think of when Covid-19 first hit the stage and swept through Italy at lightning speed. The Italians opened their windows and stood on their balconies every evening. They banged on pots and pans, played music, and sang in solidarity with their neighbors, expressing their capacity to love and connect with each other. I think of the beauty of the human spirit. It reaches for hope, compassion, love, and connection even when our world and our lives as we know it becomes unrecognizable almost overnight! All the horror, devastation, pain, loss, terror, and uncertainty ravaging the world still did not stop us from carrying on. I think about all the early TikTok posts of families making the best of being stuck together. Remember all the talented and clever choreography and performances put together by so many people. Remember everyone making sourdough bread? The human spirit is truly amazing! I think of all the healthcare providers who went to work every day, possibly risking their lives, to care for others and tend to the dying, putting their own lives at risk. I think of all the essential workers who kept our grocery stores open, from the farmers to the store employees. Talk about grit and the human spirit to carry on!! Wow. They risked their lives for me, for us. I am so grateful!

And I think about all of us still standing, having survived lockdown, isolation, getting Covid, losing loved ones, a job, and financial security. And let’s not forget all the collateral damage that lockdown and fear created. Our mental health, already perhaps shaky, took a deep dive for so many of us. You don’t need to look far to find those who suffered and continue to suffer from anxiety and depression. The statistics on the rise of eating disorders, addictions, marriages that collapsed and died (mine did!), and other painful and challenging human traps are through the roof! And yet, for most of us, we are still determined to carry on, and even beyond that, to live a fulfilling, meaningful, happy and joyous life. We don’t give up. We are amazing.

When I think about grit and the human spirit, I think about the history of human beings. As a species, we have survived through unspeakable manmade atrocities and the inevitable cruelties that can arise in nature, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, diseases, epidemics, starvation, etc… And yet here we are, having just reached 8 billion people on this planet. We are survivors. Even when things look and feel hopeless, our capacity to dig deep for the strength it takes to meet the challenges we face is awe-inspiring. Even when hit with a hopeless or seemingly hopeless situation, we will still reach for hope and persevere through the challenge. Perhaps “resilience” is the word that may best describe our capacity for grit in the harshest of circumstances, with our spirit that helps us find hope in times of hopelessness. We build our resilience every time we meet these challenges. It’s so important to not give up!

As a side note, “not giving up” can also work against us in times when we need to surrender to what is actually happening. This is where discernment between what can and cannot be changed comes into play. At times, surrendering to “what is” will reinstate our power to meet the challenge we are faced with. It also takes grit and a deep connection to our spirit to “let go”. Only then can we really meet the situation head on, take deeper ownership and responsibility, alter our course appropriately and move forward.

Although I would define grit and human spirit as being different, with different energies, I believe they often go together. Grit is that digging deep within for the determination and will to get through something incredibly challenging. Our human spirit lifts us up and keeps us moving toward greater light, love, hope, and connection. And what makes sense to me is that our human spirit works in close partnership with grit, and together they speak to the incredible beauty and miracle of who we really are. We are stronger than we often think we are. We are not perfect, and we are amazing!

A great example of grit and the capacity of the human spirit to survive and even thrive comes from Dr. Edith Eger, whose online course I am currently taking (Unlocking Your Potential, with Dr. Edith Egar.) As a survivor of the holocaust, she was faced with the unthinkable task of surviving the actual experience and then rising above and healing from one of the most horrific atrocities of our lifetime. She is 94 years old and is my current role model for grit and human spirit at their absolute best. She became, and still is, a guide for those who suffer and need guidance to find their power to choose… to choose to live, to dig deep for courage, to create meaning and purpose, to love, to be loved, to feel, to grieve, to put the past behind us, and to choose joy. If she can do it, so can I, and so can you.

The invitation today is to now think about yourself, your own grit and capacity as a human spirit to meet what comes your way. What challenges have you been meeting, and how have you met them? Did you let yourself fall into victim mode at times? I know I did. Big time!

When I was lying on the ground, wailing in pain over the loss of my 38-year marriage, feeling like I might die of grief and rage, feeling like I might never recover from the loss, I heard a voice deep inside that said to me, “Yes you can, and you will! You will do whatever it takes to heal and recover from the loss, and even beyond that, you will thrive in ways you hadn’t even dreamed of!” I am well on my way.

How did you dig deep, carry on, and find your hope and determination? The invitation for you today is to explore and celebrate your own grit and human spirit.

Exercise:  Pause now, and name one or more occasions of your own life, recent or old, that exemplify your own grit. What did you get through? What are you going through now that demonstrates your strength of character and determination? What choices did you make to carry on powerfully? Take this moment to see the amazing human spirit that you are, that we all are. Like all other species, we are wired to survive. What may differentiate us in some way is that we also seem wired to reach for even more to thrive.

We have a deep DNA drive to survive and, even beyond that, to thrive. May this next year be a reflection of the amazing, resilient, determined, caring, and loving human spirit that you are.

I hope to see you back at The Ranch this year. Join me or the other Inner Fitness coaches who passionately share their techniques, skills, practices, and philosophies for how to live this life that we were gifted with more authenticity, skill, grace, joy, and love. My dates for presenting the Inner Fitness Program are located on my website.

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share what you discovered about your grit and human spirit. Please feel free to email me at

You are amazing. Namaste. May the light in me see and honor the light in you always.

That’s the spirit!!

Emily has been coaching since 2001 and is the founder of The Inner Fitness™ Program and is a monthly presenter and Life Coach at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. She maintains a phone and video based private practice with clients and students from around the world.

For more details about Inner Fitness with Coach Emily: Watch Emily explain The 5 Lessons of The Inner Fitness Program.