Resilience Thinking

I have been thinking a great deal about resilience–it is the nexus point between my two most salient studies: healing and ecology. Both psychotherapy and ecology talk about resilience as our capacity to bounce back, to recover after change, shock or trauma. This happens for people, and this happens for the earth, in lots of different ways.

Spider web against sky September 28 03

Photo credit: Martin LaBar

While certain people appear to have more “resilience” than others, it turns out that there are skills in resilience thinking and resilience practice that everyone can gain. This is good news, as change is the name of the game, and coming to balance and center amidst all the changes we cannot control is part of living a fulfilled, happy life.

Here are some strategies for resilience thinking:

Recognizing and honoring change for what it is: perpetual, enlivening, an opportunity for growth

Feeling gratitude for what we have: gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving — the more you feel it, the more grateful you are for what you have.

Strategic thinking — within the problem lies the solution. How can we turn this experience to best advantage? What can we learn from the experience?

Acceptance of what is — when we are in difficult circumstances, one of the best ways to deal with it is to accept it as it is, and not fight against it.

Like all new skills, these take some practice. Gratitude is something you can commit to practicing every day — at the end of the day, do a little inventory of what you were grateful for. Even better — share it with someone else, especially if they are part of your gratitude circle. This will deepen your relationship and your experience of how gratitude works.

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