Resilience is top of mind right now. On my mind because I chose the word as my theme for the month of July! On everyone else’s mind because it is beginning to be recognized as a very important strength to cultivate in order to live a flourishing life in today’s world.
Some definitions of resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
“Character can not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.” Helen Keller
Because you are reading this today you can deem yourself resilient. You have already been through some hard, challenging things in your life. If you hadn’t before 2020, you have now. And you are still here to read this and to tell the story.
You already have a level of resilience. How do you expand it?
Just like with strengths, it operates without you paying much attention. The magic comes when you recognize it and call on it on purpose. In fact, using your strengths on purpose is one way to be more resilient. (Side note- take time to find out what your strengths are- VIA Character Strengths are what I use with my clients- if you would like a strength session to learn about your strengths and how you can use them in a powerful way in your life- get in touch with me. Once you know and own your strengths, they are instant go to’s in times of stress and challenge.)
As I write this, I am on day 4 of a 10 day cleanse. In doing this cleanse- holy cow!- I have realized how valuable cleansing is to building resilience.
First of all, any time you challenge yourself on purpose you get stronger and build your reserves and capacity to handle more. (More on challenges next week.)
During this cleanse I have been asked to eliminate certain foods from my diet. That is just a part of it. The cleanse also included a daily workout that is anywhere from 30-60 minutes. It also includes morning and evening rituals that support you in taking care of yourself, daily encouraging messages, a playlist and tips. It is a whole package deal- one piece is fine, but the power is in the combination of things done together.
My reason to do the cleanse is for a reset, and to come out stronger and clearer than I was before I started. When you are strong and clear you have a better capacity to bounce back from every day stresses. Resilience.
Along with the cleanse activities I am continuing my habits of meditation, prayer and writing every morning. These help me to build my resiliency day by day. The cleanse takes it to the next level.
I’ve just told you about my cleanse, but I want you to know that you can apply the word cleanse to any area of your life that helps you to remove something or things that hold you back and you will increase your resilience factor, too.
Here are some ideas- add your own to the list:
Cleaning your home, office or car.
Getting rid of unwanted, ill fitting or broken items.
Restructuring your financial habits.
Overhauling your use of time.
Spending more time with certain people and less with others.
Reading, listening to and watching anything that adds to your well being, and cleansing what doesn’t out of your life.
Cleansing a negative mindset by intentionally setting out to gain a more positive perspective.
Your spiritual practices may want a refresh.
It may be time for a new workout routine.
What would you like to cleanse in your life?
The clearer you make things around you, in your life, relationships, mind, habits, the better access you will have to your resilience when stress and crisis hit. In fact, the impact you feel from these may be much less on you because of where you are at in your level of resilience.
Stagnant things are stuck and ripe for cleansing. In a relationship that might even be a great conversation. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
This is a lifetime journey- there is no destination to get to, and there are endless levels to go to. That being said, it is important to enjoy the process, to be lighthearted in your process, recognize your progress and key your eye on the reason you are cleansing and building your resilience.
There are several great books that can also support you on this journey- every Sunday I send out a newsletter with lots of good stuff, including books- this week I will feature some of these books. Please go to the home page of my website to sign up and I will send it to you, too.
If you are thinking that doing an actual cleanse of food, I am not a doctor, but I suggest looking for something/someone with experience, credentials and skill to guide you. Also, doing it with a group is nice because you have community to tap into and to bond with during the experience- and maybe after, too, if you meet some like minded people.
Lastly, remember- a great coach can help you to move forward in this area faster than you would likely do it on your own. A coach will ask you great questions, help you to set the right actions and hold you accountable to what you said you wanted to do. If you’ve never experienced the power of coaching, I suggest you do- it has meant everything to me and the success I have had in my life so far.