blog 240520 revival

Have you ever noticed how a rubber ball bounces back after hitting a hard surface? That’s resilience for you—only, unlike the ball, we get to choose how high we soar after the bounce. Life’s curveballs can either ground us or help us launch sky-high and today, we’re choosing the sky.

We all have our unique resilience narratives. Here’s a snapshot of mine: My journey began at 22, unexpectedly marked by an HIV diagnosis. Quite the unplanned plot twist! It certainly wasn’t the life I had sketched out, but it was the life I was ready to paint in bold colours. My resilience was further tested by a series of relationship breakdowns, a career setback when I lost my job, and a deeply transformative moment with the recent loss of my father. Each of these challenges was distinctly tough, but they were less about just surviving and more about thriving. This sharing of my story isn’t to spotlight me; it’s to provide the ‘why’ behind the ‘wow’, setting the stage for a deeper discussion on the essence and development of resilience.

Now, let’s talk about resilience: it’s not a birthright but more like a craft. Resilience is like a muscle in your body—it doesn’t just magically appear fully formed and robust; it develops and strengthens through continuous exercise. Each time we face a setback or challenge, it’s like lifting weights at the gym. Initially, the weight feels heavy and our capacity to lift it might be limited. But with regular practice, what once seemed insurmountable becomes manageable, and our resilience grows stronger.

Building resilience isn’t about dodging every fall; instead, it’s about making the landing softer and gearing up for a strong comeback. Here are the strategies that have transformed my setbacks into setups for success:

Mindfulness: Tune Into Your Inner Radio – Imagine your mind as a radio that’s always on. Sometimes it plays static—those nagging thoughts and worries. Other times, it plays your favourite tunes—moments of joy and clarity. The trick is learning how to tune into the stations that uplift you and turn down the static. This isn’t just about sitting quietly; it’s about actively engaging with your thoughts and surroundings to curate your mental playlist. Dance to the good tunes, and switch the channel when life’s static gets too loud.

Routine Re-invention: Choreograph Your Day – Think of your daily routine as a dance routine. When life throws a wrench into your rhythm, it’s your cue to choreograph a new sequence. This might mean introducing ‘themed days’ where each day has a unique focus, or ‘power hours’ where you dive deep into a hobby or passion project. It’s about making everyday activities feel fresh and exciting, turning the mundane into something spectacular. This helps rekindle excitement in your daily life, making recovery not just necessary but enjoyable.

Inspiration Stations: Set Up Your Emotional Pit Stops – Build several ‘Inspiration Stations’ in your home or workplace—these are dedicated spots that house collections of items that motivate and uplift you, such as inspirational books, artworks, quotes, or even scents and sounds. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or drained, visit one of your stations to refuel your spirit. Rotate the items regularly to keep the inspiration fresh. This strategy creates physical reminders to take mental breaks, re-energize, and continue your journey with renewed vigour and a positive outlook.

Self-Compassion: Celebrate Your Blooper Reel – Embrace your mistakes and setbacks like they’re part of a blooper reel in your personal life movie. Laugh at them, learn from them, and love the quirks they bring to your character. Showing yourself compassion means more than just being kind; it means celebrating your whole self—flaws included. By recognizing that everyone has a blooper reel, you remind yourself that setbacks are universal and not a reflection of your worth. This helps cultivate a light-hearted, forgiving approach to personal growth and resilience.

Resilience isn’t a destination but a continuous journey, a lifelong lesson that unfolds uniquely for each of us. As we navigate this path, it’s important to remember that each of us has our own resilience story, painted with our personal challenges and triumphs. These stories are not about comparison but about understanding and embracing our individual journeys of growth and transformation.

Let’s celebrate the diversity in our stories and the common thread that binds us—the relentless spirit of resilience. Each day offers a new page, a fresh opportunity to add to our story, to learn a little more, and to grow a little stronger. Embrace your journey with open arms and a resilient heart, knowing that with every challenge comes a chance to enrich your life’s narrative. Here’s to the why and the wow of resilience, to understanding our chapters and looking forward to the ones we’ve yet to write.

Originally published by Mitchell Payne at The Glass is Half Awesome blog.

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