Into the mud. A lesson on resilience

After ten days of self-isolation due to travel in the current Covid19 circumstances, yesterday was the first day of “Feeedooom“… my brain was singing George Michael’s lyrics as I left the apartment to go to the park for a loooong walk in nature. It felt amazing to be outside. Fresh air in my lungs, frozen strawberries on my cheeks, a big smile on my face and my feet jumping with joy. With my head completely in the clouds, vividly energised I went on my usual routes into the woods…. and in the mud. The first step on the muddy road and I landed my happy butt directly into the mud 🙂 In a split second I could hear my mind deciding wether to start whining for the unfortunate event, focus on the disaster and go back home or lift itself up, laugh at myself and continue the joyous walk in the new brown outfit. Luckily nothing hurt. I jumped out of the mud, straightened the crown on my head and gracefully continued.

Resilience, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. I believe emotional resilience, the psychological ability to adapt to the significant challenges, misfortunes and set-backs life throws our way, while maintaining or returning to a positive view of oneself during and after such turmoil is absolutely essential for everyone.

One might argue the mud story is not such a big misfortune because when you fall you might also end up with bloody knees or a broken shoulder, but I tell you it is quite a metaphor for life. What one does when the fall is more catastrophic? One will go to the doctor, disinfect the wound or end up with immobilisation to heal the body. But, what happens with the psychological fall? When you fail? When you lose your job? When you don’t get the promotion you worked for so hard? When you don’t land that client? When you spend your days trapped at home due to a global pandemic?….

2020 for me was a year filled with lessons on resilience. I ended jobless, homeless, with a broken relationship, diagnosed with cancer and the Covid19 pandemic happened. I had it all! “I am a rich person” I usually say – rich with experiences, energy and love. Trapped into the mud and barely holding my head above it to breathe, I needed to find ways how to pull myself out.

Research says that individuals who are low in resilience are at risk for experiencing stress, depression, anxiety and interpersonal difficulties. We all have resilience in us, but resilience is more accessible and available to some people than for others. The good news, everyone can strengthen their resilience. It is about learning to maintain your state, regardless of the outside conditions. Having the state of the sky. When you fly in a plane, even on stormy days, the sky is blue above the clouds. Because the sky sees the impermanence of the clouds and rainbows.

So, what we need is to develop an inner state that is immune to the good shit and the bad shit that happens. Here are some of my suggestions how:

  • Spend at least one hour in nature each day. Go for a walk. A run. Move. When possible, increase the dose.
  • Enjoy your own company, be alone and allow yourself to get in touch with your Self. Meditate. Do something with your hands. Create. Dance. Exercise. Do that walk alone.
  • Nutrition is of extreme importance. Food and thoughts. What food and what thoughts do you feed yourself with?
  • Hugs! Yes, I know we are in the middle of a pandemic. But, you have at least one person you live with or see on a regular basis. Give them hugs, lots of hugs. Virginia Satir, one of the best therapists in the world, says: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
  • Allow yourself to receive. Help. Support. Love. What is it that you need?
  • Talk to someone. Get a coach or a therapist. No one can do it alone. Even I, who have 10 years of coaching practice and experience can not always help myself. The fact is I cannot see my back and for this I need someone’s professional help and a different perspective. Sometimes, even one session is enough.
  • Personal development is a must. Learn about your patterns. Learn techniques that will help you in difficult times. There are many NLP tools and techniques that helped me eliminate the negative and produce resourceful states on demand. Communication, congruence and alignment with the unconscious are key to state management. If you want to learn NLP get in touch, a new group is starting in February and I will be happy to share all my knowledge with you.
  • For every negative thought produce 3 or more positive ones. Yes, the bad is possible and what else is possible to happen?
  • Love yourself in the size and shape you are at any given moment. Repeat the mantra: “I am who I am, not more, and not less.”

There are for sure many more things one can add to this list and I am happy to hear opinions in the comments. The important thing is was it a bad day, a bad life or bad 5 minutes that you milked the whole day? You have a choice to choose your state in any given situation and get out of the mud.

What I want to leave you with is an advice from the essayist and publisher Elbert Hubbard – but remember, perusing it only won’t do you any good unless you apply it:

“Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual. . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.”

Get in touch now for more information on the Internationally Certified NLP Practitioner.