This week’s episode is a solo show. I just finished Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is The Way. This was a great book that seemed to hit at the right time. I was recently laid off from a non-profit where I had just started working. The Obstacle Is The Way is an excellent book about Stoicism.
The part of the book that hit home for me is the concept that each individual needs to have a citadel or a place within themselves that they can go to find inner peace. This citadel is where we can go within ourselves to calm our minds, meditate on the challenges that we are facing, and develop an action plan.
My take on this concept of the citadel is to expand it to a system of three-ring defenses. At the center, you have the keep or citadel that was started as a tower or a structure and placed on top of a hill. As we age and the fortification matures, the owners often add an outer wall. Within this wall, you might find stables, apartments, a blacksmith shop, and the basics that the people would occupy would need if they were attacked. The longer the structure was in place, the more often a second wall or third set of defenses was put into place to provide an even larger protection area for more soldiers, merchants, and essential people.
These three rings of defense can be considered the outer wall, your physical well-being, and your surroundings. The outer wall would include whether you are exercising, eating well, having a place to live, or having access to transportation. The inner wall consists of your extended family and personal and professional networks. Finally, your keep or inner citadel is your immediate family, your close friends, positive books, entertainment, positive podcasts, and other media.
When we are in a period of stability and things are going well in our lives, this is the time to repair our walls or defenses and even look to expand them. We should strengthen ourselves physically, build our personal and professional networks, and work on mending or strengthening our closest relationships.
If you want to learn more about Stoicism or the concept of the inner citadel, check out the links below.
Click here to go to Ryan Holiday’s website and check out his books and articles: https://ryanholiday.net/books-courses/
Here is the link for an article titled, Cultivating Your Inner Citadel by Max Frenzel, PhD:https://medium.com/the-ascent/cultivating-your-inner-citadel-1036023dcd32#:~:text=The%20Stoics%20had%20a%20concept,leaders%20apart%20from%20the%20rest.
Click the following link for a great article: What is The Inner Citadel in Stoicism? https://stoicstore.co.uk/the-inner-citadel-stoicism/