"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~ Maya Angelou
As spring casts her lustrous spell, I feel a sense of freshness, newness and sweetness in my days. After a long, dark, wetter-than-usual winter, I feel truly blessed to wake up to sunshine through the window most mornings and the return of butterflies and the serenade of the sparrows, finches and doves and my favorite hooting owl.
While we find ourselves living in a time of deep shifts and enormous change, I am realizing more than ever the importance of resilience in our lives...
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after change, hardship and loss. It is what gets us through the dark times and most painful moments. It is the mojo deep within that says, "every little thing is going to be alright."
I'm contemplating all the ways we try to find a shortcut to happiness and cancel out the idea we have to "be happy, be this, have that." When in truth, that never has been the goal.
Like the butterfly, we, too, are transforming. Transformation is never easy. It means leaving behind one growth stage to arrive at the next, which requires resilience and something we aren't necessarily born with. It is a strength we can build just like our muscles, and like most everything in life, it has to be practiced to be learned.
I am learning there are types of resilience – physical, mental, emotional and social – and the more we practice them, the better life will feel and the freer we will become.
The way the body deals with change and recovers from injury and illness is vital to our health and well-being, and it is something we can improve daily through all the ways we nourish and move our bodies with mindfulness.
Mental resilience pertains to how we adapt to change and uncertainty. It begins in the brain, and we control the thoughts we feed it. With a solid mindset, we can remain flexible and move forward positively.
Emotional resilience is being able to regulate emotions during times of stress. The practice of tuning into your inner life, honoring your feelings and trusting that you have the capacity to deal with any challenge one step at a time.
Social resilience is being part of the community for support, friendship and connection. The value of a support system is limitless, whether it means coming together after a natural disaster or being surrounded by fellowship after the death of a loved one. Our friends, family and community are the fabric that supports us in times of crisis.
How can we live with more resilience in our lives DAILY?
• BELIEVE in yourself, your importance & your abilities
• PRACTICE self-awareness & observe how you feel
• Pay ATTENTION to how you behave - Are you responding or reacting?
• Hold onto a sense of OPTIMISM - Reframe negative thoughts
• Take RESPONSIBILITY for your feelings, actions & choices
• Make time to CELEBRATE the positive
• LET GO of grudges - Forgive yourself and others
Resilience is a precious skill that helps us find meaning in life's challenges. When we are resilient, we are able to look at negative situations realistically and in a way that does not insist on blame or focus on what could have been.
"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails." ~ Elizabeth Edwards
As we adjust our sails, remember that "every little thing is gonna be alright."