I have a friend who is researching resiliency as part of her Ph. D program. In a world with more changes and challenges, it seems important to develop resiliency for both individuals and communities. My garden and nature remind me to be more resilient.
According to psychologist Peter Kramer, resilience is the ability to cope with life’s frustrations without falling apart. And reslilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression.
According to the CARRI, community resilience is the ability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back rapidly through survival, adaptability, evolution, and growth in the face of turbulent change.
According to an article in Daily Good, these are the key qualities of resiliency:
Realistically optimistic- meaning we have optimism, tapered by realism, and critical thinking applied to our lives. We don’t simply gloss over things with a rose-colored paint brush!
- Fully experience all our feelings from happy to sad. This develops our capacity to feel and relate to ourselves and other people in their challenges. Compassion grows out of understanding, acceptance and care.
- Appreciate the small blessings. We sometimes fail to realize that a good life is built on simple actions and joys.
- Practice gratitude. I’ve written about this many times, and still need to practice more!
- Receive or create support. I need a better support system. That’s one of my goals for 2015!
- Take care of our physical health with diet, sleep and exercise. Thankfully, my health is pretty good. 🙂
After some big challenges the last few years, I’m learning to be more resilient. I bought a house, lost my job, and then realized I didn’t even like the neighborhood. At first, I spent a lot of time complaining about the situation, but not taking any action to improve the house or sell it. Slowly, I accepted my situation and started working to improve my home and yard. You’ve seen some of the gardens. Similarly, my investments turned downward, and I went into resistance and fear, unable to take effective action. The combination of poor choices and living off my savings has resulted in losing the vast majority of my life savings.
Slowly, I’ve worked back from depression and overwhelm to acceptance. Now I’m working on action and evolving. Blogging has been a part of my rebuilding process, discovering and feeding a new passion. My journey has also required practicing self-compassion and self-care. Trust and action are skills I’m wanting to improve. Trust is connected to confidence, attitude and just about everything in our lives. For me, action and attitude are inter-related, helping to build trust.
Overall, I’d say my attitude is a little better. I’m more determined, taking action, and developing trust, along with resiliency. Right now, I’m working two sales jobs, and it isn’t working, so I’m looking again! Understanding there will be losses, I’m more prepared, willing to make ‘mistakes’, experiment, learn, and move on with new choices. I’ve also been reminded of the value of accountability to help keep me on track for my dreams and goals.
To me, this is the essence of a good life: how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust as we can. And remembering that what matters most is love.