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Resilient Means Taking Care of You

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

— Groucho Marx

Somehow, we’ve gotten it into our heads that resilient people are never down, never sad, always up for a challenge, and capable of leading the rest of us out of our funk into the sunshine.  If that’s the definition of resilient, it ain’t me.

Although there are people who seem to always be up, we need to remember that some people are just blessed with a sunny disposition – dang them!  One of my good friends is like that.  Very seldom is she down or even subdued.  This is good and bad.  There are times when I would like to Continue reading » Resilient Means Taking Care of You

Christmas: Santa with Elves

7 Keys to a Happy Holiday Season

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I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.

— Harlan Miller

On this blog, we write a lot about resilience – the ability to come back from adversity.  The more I study about resilience, the more I’ve realized that:

  • Most of us are resilient whether we know it or not.  Very few of us give up permanently.  Admittedly some of us do, but the majority eventually get back up and into the game.  That is resilience.
  • Our self-image around resilience has more to do with how quickly we recover rather than whether we recover.  Many of us are too hard on ourselves about our rate of recovery.  Our self-judgment is that we don’t recover quickly enough.

Each time that we come back from an adversity, we learn something – usually we learn about ourselves and how to encourage our recovery – which is a good thing because the Continue reading » 7 Keys to a Happy Holiday Season

Crash 3 of 5

Surviving Setbacks 101

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Have you ever been so mindlessly into auto pilot that you miss the obvious and find yourself face-planted in the middle of an oopsy? Ouch. How do you recover and roll on when that happens?

Apparently my niece-in-law Rikki knows.  Currently an out-of-country graduate school student, she relies on her bicycle to get around town. Recently she posted this Facebook remark:

What goes through my mind, on my bike ride home, while staring at the ground to make sure a pothole doesn’t sneak up on me again? Well the reason I hit the damn pot hole in the first place… “If you’re too focused on what’s ahead, you forget to notice what’s right in front of you.”

And then, in reply to a friend’s remark, “you just can’t win, can you?” she added: Continue reading » Surviving Setbacks 101

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Resilience and Crisis

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If you don’t have a spiritual practice in place when times are good, you can’t expect to suddenly develop one during a moment of crisis.

— Doug Copeland

All adversities are not created equal.

There are days when nothing really big happens, but lots of little stuff seems to get you down.

  • Your keys aren’t where they should be.
  • You have to drive back by the house to make sure that you closed the garage door.
  • Traffic is bad and you’re late to work.
  • In a meeting, you ask what seems to you to be a reasonable question and get a curt answer implying you should have known the answer.
  • On top of all that, you’re feeling out of sorts and less than grateful for your life and your job and you feel guilty about your lack of gratitude.

You might call these Continue reading » Resilience and Crisis

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Walls Bound, Do You Re-Bound?

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What happens when you “hit the wall?”

So much wisdom in such a simple sign. When thrown against a brick wall, tennis balls and baseballs both bounce back.  But the baseball isn’t quite as resilient as the tennis ball, and neither is the wall.

Here’s how Daniel A. Russell, Ph.D., of the Graduate Program in Acoustics, Pennsylvania State University, explains the phenomenon:

When an object, like a ball, is thrown against a rigid wall it bounces back.  …If the collision between ball and wall is perfectly elastic, then all the incident energy and momentum is reflected, and the ball bounces back with the same speed. …If the collision is inelastic, then the wall (or ball) absorbs some of the incident energy and momentum and the ball does not bounce back with the same speed.

Which is a fancy way of saying that Continue reading » Walls Bound, Do You Re-Bound?

Cup o’ Inspiration

cup with steam swirl

Take a short break and consider the following:

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

Jorge Luis Borges

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