I try to have a daily practice of finding moments of gratitude.

The other day I found myself feeling grateful for all the times I’ve surprised myself with how strong I can be. And no, this isn’t me having a #humblebrag. I can think back to many times when I was surprisingly strong.

Sometimes I find unexpected physical strength.  This past summer, for example, I was surprised when I realized how good yoga has been for my body. When I started up with Spartan boot camp, I was in a really good place — my arms and core were strong. I had thought my yoga practice was more for my mind and spirit strength, but it looks like there’s quite a few unexpected physical benefits too.

But the other ways I’ve been surprisingly strong is when I look back to the times when I felt so weak (especially at the time). When I look back to how far I’ve come, there had to be some serious strength in order to do what I did.

It took strength to move from Savannah, GA to Saskatoon, SK. When I think about moving across one country to begin a life in an entirely different country, I don’t know if I could do it today. But I did do it, when I was only 24 years old.

It took strength to leave relationships that weren’t healthy. The other day I found an old journal of mine, where back in 2008 I was very sad and wrote about how trapped and lonely I felt. At that time, I didn’t feel like I had any options but to stay in a relationship where I wasn’t being supported. But, somehow, I found strength to stand up for myself and the needs I have, and leave a relationship where I wasn’t being cared for. It wasn’t always easy (as much of my sad-sack posts of 2014 can attest to), but I did it. Because I’m strong.

This last year hasn’t always been the easiest, in terms of the personal struggles I’ve gone through or have witnessed in my loved ones’ lives. When I look back on some of what’s happened, I’m surprised at how I got through it.

So, for today, I’m grateful for the inner reserve I’ve got within me. Here’s hoping it won’t be tested too much in the coming New Year.