Resiliency Through Curiosity, Creativity & Gratitude

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I took this photo, for whatever reason, this perfect little heart rock wasn’t swept away even though the sea kept washing over it. It, unapologetically, held its love in place.

In an article, featuring an interview with Brene Brown:

“Emotion is in the driver seat, with cognition and behavior riding shotgun. So when something difficult happens — a colleague shoots you an awful look at a meeting, a partner breaks up with you, you fail on a project — there’s an emotional response. Before you can articulate why, you have the urge to punch somebody or devour a dozen donuts or hide in bed for a fortnight … you need to wade into the discomfort of that reaction. You have to get curious about it…What is going on? What am I feeling? What’s driving it? How am I responding to it?This doesn’t come naturally. Some brain hacks will help: write it on a Post It note, type it into your phone, send yourself an email with what happened. Then, over time, you can actually have enough notes on your own unhelpful behaviors so that you can spot the places where you participate in creating your own suffering before you act out those same destructive or avoidant behaviors for the zillionth time.Resilience is more available to people curious about their own line of thinking and behaving”

In my personal experience, I find there are 3 components to practicing resilience: Curiosity, Creativity, Gratitude. There is so much around this topic that there are many other angles but for simplicity sake, let’s just focus on these.  Try these steps for yourself:

Curiosity

When you dig deep and question your thoughts and beliefs (which fuel your reactions and behaviors) you can find some pretty enlightening answers. If you’re finding blame and finger pointing you can pretty much bet you haven’t found the root yet. For me, when I ask a question that brings me to tears I know I’ve found the question that led me to answer I’m either avoiding, don’t want to accept or feel released. My curiosity ALWAYS leads me to a physiological response when I have found my answer. It’s usually an overwhelming emotion. Next time you come across a road block — get curious.

Creativity

This is a great way to channel your curiosity and emotion. Whether it’s writing, singing, painting or making. Finding some creative way to express yourself will not only give you an outlet but a way to tangibly explore your own battleground. Maybe it’s a letter, a poem or a journal entry. Maybe you painted with color, wrote a song or started building your house. It can be anything, just don’t do it to escape, do it to loosen up and be more open to curiosity. When your give yourself the gift of joy and you feel safe, you’re much more likely to be open and honest with what is truly going on.

Gratitude

After I’ve over-analyzed curiously examined my own emotions, and subsequently my behavior, I tend to want a lot of comfort and nurturing. I used to look for that in a partner, and sometimes I still do, but mostly I’ve learned to create that warmth in myself through gratitude. By appreciating other people I feel appreciated. By giving to others I feel full. By loving others wholly and unconditionally, I feel loved wholly and unconditionally. I find I get more out of expressing gratitude towards and about others than I do material things. I strongly value connection and I’m so grateful for the connections I have and have had in my past. A funny and strange thing about gratitude … my circle changed. Not so much the core group but the judgmental, gossipy and blamey ones seemed to fight. Eventually they started to disappear and happier people, interested in curiosity have gathered around me.

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity and procrastination broke down my door today


Whenever I’m in school or taking classes creativity becomes like one of those baseball pitching machines. It hurls so many ideas at me that my head spins. Today, rather than knocking, procrastination kicked in the door and creativity set one those machines in the doorway and cornered me. I drank coffee, I thought, I texted, I read, I wrote, I drew, I colored, I daydreamed, I researched, I listened to music, I cuddled the cats…annnnd I finished nothing. I had so many ideas for things that I couldn’t stay focused on any one thing before something else popped in my head. So much for my poor math homework. On the plus side, I was reminded that I can actually draw pretty well — even if is only half a face. I told you, a bunch of half thoughts, but with lots of gusto! Not too bad considering I haven’t sketched anything for probably 5 years. That is all. Carry on.