Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Resiliency is a tough ass topic and is so unique to each persons experiences and how they move through them that there isn't really a path to becoming more resilient, besides committing to the continual growth of oneself. If it challenges you, it changes you. And the more challenge we experience the more we begin to trust ourselves with the ability to take on challenging circumstances.
I have had several experiences that could have been the end of my life. Those experiences have been what forms my "fuck around, find out" attitude. Part of my process for these events was to imagine worse case scenario and talk myself through that.
I am certain that I know myself, and that I am a survivor and that at the very least I could make any attackers life miserable in the event they attack me.
This is the mentality that I work to teach people everyday. To trust yourself to overcome, regardless of the difficulty. You are stronger than you think you are.
This tool can simultaneously change the way that our nervous system handles stress while building a greater threshold for stress management.
Most of you have heard me talk about the 4 parts of the breath and how each one of them can help balance the nervous system. Pushing the thresholds of our breath is up to us. There may be moments in a practice where panic sets in because it is uncomfortable, and in those moments we have to decide what is best for us at that time.
Do we let go of the ratio because it is stressing us out too much, or do we sit with it and see what is on the other side of the discomfort?
The answer varies from day to day, and so does our ability to recognize the answer. Sometimes we fck it up, and sometimes we will never know if we made the right choice. But the resiliency comes from the ability to navigate the conversation about the personal expectations you have, and whether to give yourself some compassion or push yourself past your threshold, (we will navigate the topic of how to know, next week), over and over again.
Expectation is not the root of all evil. It exists whether we like it or not. However, it can direct us into deeper states of stress when we rely upon our expectations being met too often.
Compassion is a great tool for de-stressing. It can also slide into an unhealthy habit of dismissal when we are not careful with it.
Everything has its boundaries of good and evil, inappropriate and appropriate, healthy or unhealthy. If we are too hard on ourselves all the time then it is important that we learn to exercise compassion and find a gentler approach to our well being. This will create discomfort and push us to grow in different ways.
If we have a lot of expectations for ourselves and not enough follow through on those expectations then we are more likely to project our unmet expectations onto others.
At this point you might be asking what compassion and expectations has to do with becoming resilient... I know I am even asking myself that question. But, the answer is that we are learning to navigate our own mind and have challenging conversations first with ourselves, and then eventually with others. The ability to communicate is a key ingredient to feeling a deeper sense of self worth. And not just communicating your feelings all the time, but processing your feelings and implementing tools that help you process so that when you communicate, it is effective.
This best tool that you can have.
No matter how good you are at it, it isn't always going to be easy. And if you are not good at it at all, then your life is going to be much harder. So it is absolutely worth all the growing pains it brings. There are a lot of ways to improve communication.
Reading books about it is one of my favorites. Then implementing the skills I read about with people I absolutely trust. This helps build confidence in the exchanges you may have with other people.
Resiliency and self trust are a lifelong process, it has to begin somewhere, but it is always evolving.
For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life.