Life is going to be tough sometimes. Life is also going to be beautiful and full of happy times. Nonetheless, life is also going to test us: unexpected inconveniences, losses, changes, even making choices that we know will be met with resistance or choosing personal growth over staying comfortable. The mosaic of life is going to include some unpleasant stuff. It’s how we meet that unpleasantness, pain, and difficulty that can make our life full of stress and suffering or ease, peace, and happiness.
What keeps us going? What guarantees ease, peace, and happiness in the face of our challenges? Resilience. (I know, you saw that coming!) Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. We all have an internal Resilience Warrior. Think about it, we’ve all survived 100% of the tough stuff in our lives. That’s a pretty darn great success rate! We are all more capable, strong, and powerful than we realize.
In this blog I will address four ways to increase your Resilience Warrior powers. There are many more tools, skills and Mindfulness approaches to do this. (I will actually talk about many more on Sat. Dec 10th at the Becoming A Resilience Warrior free workshop.) The four I discuss today are the tools that I find to be fundamental in beginning to find and empower the Resilience Warrior within. In addition, these are practices that I have used (and still do!) and find them incredibly rewarding and effective.
The first tool is recogne the strength and resilience that already exists. One beautiful result of a Mindfulness practice is that we start to recognize our inherent strengths and our positive characteristics, talents, and attributes. It’s not being smug, it’s just factually observing that we have strengths that have helped us get through our human existence. We have many internal strengths. You might even take a moment now to list some of your strengths and how they have helped you in hard times, helped you grow as a person, and even helped the world become a better place. If you want to take this further, write or let yourself meditate on the times you’ve used your strengths. Let yourself remember how it felt and start to embody the experience of strength and resilience.
The last method I will talk about in this blog to enhance your Resilience Warrior within is to find and lean in to your power pose. Something I have learned is that going it alone often leads you to a narrow view of your self and the world (often based on assumptions, not reality), feeling alone, and it’s just darn exhausting trying to control the world. We weren’t designed to be loners conquering the whole world all by our self. This has been a tough one for me as for years I have really clung to the idea that being super dooper independent meant I was somehow stronger and more valuable.
Resilience means to bounce back. As it turns out, there is power in bouncing off of someone. Bouncing can look a lot like leaning. We can lean into good friends, a support group, or a sangha (a community of folks who are supportive, like at a church, synagogue or meditation center, or a group of friends devoted to being nurturing and encouraging of each others’ self-discovery and growth). Finding the people who love and support me, and leaning in to them, has definitely made this once go-it-alone-warrior a Resilience Warrior.