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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you believe in Magic? 🎼

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Option Institute

 I can hear the song as I write this. Seriously though, do you? Do you believe that truly extraordinary things are possible? Things that you never saw coming or anticipated? I do. While processing my shocking divorce I went to the Option Institute above, it was a healthy reminder that I could choose however I wanted or needed to feel. I chose every emotion I could, it was liberating and exhausting. Boy did I go through it. I laughed cried, yelled and blamed. And not one damn person judged me for it. During that time a friend said to me, ” Do you believe in Magic? I do, it’s you.” I immediately told him how cheesy he was, at which point we both laughed our assesses off from the realization. He started to explain what he actually meant. 

Children have a certain magic to them because they are full of wonder and curiosity. 

Apparently, even as a grown woman, I have that. I was going to improv, hiking, meeting new people, letting go of old ones and stepping outside of my dark sadness that was my divorce. I’ve seen some serious shit in my life and THAT, my friends, is my coping mechanism. Oh, I wallow too. But I always come back to “where’s the magic?”. I start listening to my inner light, listening to my inspiration and coach myself out of pain and despair. I start reminding myself that the universe is benevolent and really only wants the best for us. I think of Pablo Picasso’s quote:

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

When I was teenager and later when I went through my divorce it was curiousity, tenacity and hope that separated me from the herd. At 15, I was an overweight dropout, severely depressed, that smoked a lot of different things. By 19, I graduated with honors, I had quit smoking, and I was a mentor and leader to other at-risk kids. I refused to be a statistic. I would magically have checks show up in the mail when I was dead broke but working my ass off to reach a certain amount. Old friends would always re-appear when something painful was about to happen and I always seemed to find myself a mentor. So, now, it’s time again for another chapter and while this whole flying-in-the-air-but-waiting-to-pull-the-ripcord-until-I-know-where-I’m-landing feeling is exhausting, it also reminds me I’m alive with wonder, curiosity and magic. Wherever I land, it will not be because I had too but because I picked my landing zone purposefully. ☺️❤️💜💚💙