Lately I have talked to many people about the concept of resiliency. The Webster Dictionary definition of resilient is “flexible, pliable, supple, malleable.” When I think of resiliency I always think of the old toy from the 80s….the slinky!! For those of you not in the know….the slinky was a wire spiral toy that was very bouncy. It could do lots of things. You could play with it in your hands or you could set it off to go down the stairs by itself moving with momentum. It was fun silly and cheap as you can see in this video. The tricky thing was that it would sometimes get all tangled up….you see the metaphor right? And then you would need to work on untangling it which eventually always ended up happening.
So about that metaphor….have you ever found yourself so tangled up that it was INCREDIBLY hard to imagine how you could ever get yourself untied? But then somewhere down the road you find that things found a way to being disentangled maybe even in a way that you could never have imagined? Well knowing that this will happen is the key to becoming more resilient. Being able to acknowledge that we ALL have issues and struggles. We ALL have pain. And we ALL experienced setbacks. That is a given and not even really the issue. The issue comes with HOW we respond to said struggles, pain and setbacks.
Do you find that you say bound up longer than other people and therefore experience deeper pain than some? Realizing that there may be things we are doing that are contributing to our pain can be a hard road for some people. This process means we need to get real and accountable which, at times, can initially bring upon more pain. But overtime accountability can help us realize that there IS hope because we have taken it upon ourselves to find our way through.
During a conversation with someone recently this person shared that she felt that resilience was about building a practice of patience. Hmmmm….well truth be told I have been known to be both VERY resilient and incredibly impatient. But I think I see where she was going with that. Resiliency has been on my mind a lot for many reasons. Partially professional and partially personal. I have been going through a big life transition and thinking more about where I want my life to go as well as where I want to take my business. One thing that has become very clear is what I am here to do and what makes me feel alive. It has to do with the concept of thriving not surviving….let me say that again….
I believe that I am here to help people thrive not just survive.
In order to stay closely connected with the concept of resiliency and thriving, I need to be clear about what my mission is and what it is not. I also need to be closely connected with the vision and mission, meaning I need to actually be thriving myself in order to help others thrive. This means practicing my own self care skills but also claiming my own space in the world not just as a person who is here to serve others but as someone who is here to serve herself. There can be a lot of judgement placed upon social workers who begin to factor themselves into the equation. They are a bit like nurses in that people tend to expect them to be a bit of the Florence Nightingale type. But I believe that the only way to truly be able to help others be resilient, happy and free is to be able to embody that within yourself!
So what helps you to be resilient? When do you feel most ALIVE?
Notice the people you spend time with, the foods you eat, the places you go. How do they make you feel? Is there a friend who generally picks you up or another one who can often bring you down? How about food….oooo I just called it. Yup…..junk food (including any quick simple carbs like breads, pastas, crackers, cookies) pick us up and then bring us way down. They take us on the joy ride of the sugar rush that eventually takes us plummeting into the depths of depression and sluggish energy. Food has energy, people have energy, places hold that energy. Make sure you are noting what works for you and what does not.
Some people are naturally resilient and others need to cultivate it. Either way it doesn’t come easy. Even when it’s a muscle that’s been established it still needs to be actively used. Want to learn more? Reach out to me and let’s talk about how we can help you Bounce back into Resilient you! Contact me here to speak with me further about how I may be of helping in strengthening your capacity for resiliency!
w enjoy this photo of my trip to the ocean yesterday while I was doing some subjective research for this post…