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How resilient are you?

By June 16, 2011 - 11:36pm

Do small challenges discourage you? And big ones devastate you? What is your capacity for “springing back”, which is the meaning of resiliency?

I took a walk along the creek today to observe every instance I could of resiliency in nature. When I paid attention to this, I realized that it is the very nature of nature to be resilient! I saw 200 year old juniper trees scared and damaged by fire, but still alive and growing. A cottonwood, gnawed down by beaver was shooting up several new sprouts from its stunted trunk. A beet-colored dogwood bush had several branches waving in the rushing creek, bending and giving with the crash and boom of the water, but never breaking. Thistles popped up everywhere and I marveled at the tenaciousness of weeds! Spring wildflowers popped up here and there, having survived another winter. A swallow flew against a wind squall, determined to make its destination. Everywhere I looked, I noticed how resilient nature is. It must survive all of its own challenges, fire, wind, flood, heat, and it does a remarkable job.

Because we are part of nature, resiliency is part of us. It’s why we can fight off colds and recover from broken bones. The life force in all living things is incredibly strong and resilient. Next time you are feeling discouraged or broken by life’s occurrences, take a moment to consider your strengths, all that you know and all the experiences you’ve had in your life, and weigh these against the challenge before you. Create an affirmation and approach your challenge with the wisdom you have within. “If I can do XYZ, then I know I can figure out this problem.” Then do it. And pat yourself on the back for once again tapping into your resilience.

By June 20, 2011 - 11:29am

Great post Susie... and I have thought about this topic plenty over the years. After Hurricane Katrine when I was still in Portland OR the performing artists in the community did benefit. I spoke on Resilience. quoting from the terrific book by Anne Deveson called Resilience. The last chapter of the upcoming Personal Magic book has a small section on Resilience and the Future.

All of us have the capacity and all of us at one time or another to a great or lesser degree cal upon that resource within. Thank you for the reminder that it is a nature-al aspect if our being Alive!

(and have pasted in the Resilience piece from the book below.)
Resilience can be (simply) understood as the capacity to overcome fear, helplessness and anxiety, in the face of great difficulty and challenge, without resorting to violence, escapism or victim-hood. Studies of people who do well rather then those who did not, reveal common attributes of wellness.

One of these is resilience, a normal human quality, not a rare thing for some. It can be learned. The opportunity and skills of living in community assist in evolving resilience. A personal relationship/experience of Spirituality seems to be related to levels of resilience.

Likewise, as medical practice began to reconnect the body-spirit again, the link between resilience and the individuals’ interaction with their environment became clear.

Resilience is also apparently related to the ability to connect with others, deal with the present as it is, and to take responsibility for oneself and those immediately in your circle. Ultimately the resilient person has a strong, personal Self.

In order to cope with the changes, challenges, difficulties and unknowns ahead of us as human beings on this earth, resilience is a key factor to navigating that well. Personal Magic is an expression of, as well as key to resilience. When you are an empowered individual with the skills to maintain your balance - body/mind/spirit – your resilience becomes a powerful piece in your personal tool-box.


June 20, 2011 - 11:29am

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Who we are and how we Be in the world, has a direct impact on how we handle our health and wellness issues. Any real experience of our health encompasses the trilogy - the physical aspects, how we think about it, and that intangible 'other' that gives us grace and gets us through. This applies to mental and physical health equally. if we can cultivate our spiritual aspect of the triad, it will be there when we most need it, as we face our own aging and illness as well as when assisting others. This group is here to share resources and avenues to connecting the three, most particularly to embracing and articulating our personal appreciation of Spirit. This group does not advocate for any particular brand of spiritual practice or religion. Simply by sharing your stories, pointing us toward books, articles, poems, art, workshops, or other expressions of Spirit and health you will contribute to each individual's personal journey.


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