Talk about being resilient. Oh my my my…. are we ever.
You know we had these crazy wild fires in California, right?
Friends have lost their homes (miraculously, my home in Kenwood made it through!), businesses burned down. And to top it off, our friends and family in Southern California went through their own firestorms, then land slides not two months later.
These are tumultuous times, indeed.
And yet, we remain resilient.
As I drive around our (still) beautiful wine country, I'm reminded of this daily.
Not just because I see actual signs of gratitude everywhere.
I see the people. People moving forward (pun intended).
One of the local banks actually posted a billboard along Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, with the definition of "resilient", big and bold. Of course, I did not snap a photo of it while I was driving, so I captured it here from the online dictionary. It touched, moved, and inspired me. I think that kind of inspiration is what helps us humans find hope, which contributes to our resilience.
Resilience is often hard-won. In one form, it's a flow of energy. In other ways, it's forced upon us. And yet, I've seen miracles as human beings come together, regardless of the thrust of their circumstances.
During the fires, my 2nd most critical concern, after my own survival, was that my siblings and their children were safe, along with our friends, and the local businesses, who were greatly affected. Our local economy has definitely taken a "hit", especially since the fires came during our harvest season.
I see personal stories every day of people losing family and friends. Many have gone too soon, tragically, and others as a natural occurrence in our circle of life.
I'm encouraged by the resilience of people who face daunting circumstances, and seem to be able to rise above them.
A Facebook friend posted that his 47 years-young best friend (of 34 years!) died suddenly of a heart attack. There are so many "reasons" for us to despair. Circumstances like that, I can't even imagine. Anyone would have good reason to collapse under the weight of that kind of tragic event.
When I did the Landmark Curriculum For Living, back in 1996, one of the quotes stuck with me: "Be the author of your life, not a victim of your circumstances".
There are reasons to become victims every single day. I consider myself an optimistic realist. I make every effort to see things as they are. This became especially evident after my mom's ovarian cancer diagnosis. After the first year passed, I hired a coach to help me through my first-ever case of PTSD, which was causing me to lose sleep, back in 2011.
My coach helped me distinguish, by asking myself questions in each moment, like: "is this true right now?". What a difference it made for me to be able to put the facts into compartments, focusing on the present, rather than all the "what ifs". It was a gift that continues to work well for me today. It's how I got through my mom's death, and the fires, as I continue to move through the grief process.
Jack Canfield, Co-Author of "Chicken Soup For The Soul" reminds us that what we "focus on grows" in his short video about goal setting.
So, the focus needs to be on what we have, rather than what we lack.
The Wall Street Journal posted an article in November, 2017, on resilience, posing the question: Does early hardship in life keep children from becoming successful adults? (sadly, this article is gated, unless you are a WSJ subscriber, so I included the link here, just in case you'd like to delve in)
It's an interesting inquiry, for sure.
When I hear people's stories and see their actions around overcoming, and coming back from life's challenges, great and small, it inspires me to keep asking questions. I'm wondering how YOU deal with your own circumstances. What kinds of thinking, phrases, tools do you use to be more resilient?
Thank you for reading this far. I appreciate any comments you might have on this subject. Ultimately, we are all in this life, and business, together.
There are more circumstances and traumas to come, that's a given.
I'm a student of these occurrences, and of the human beings I'm in community with.
I am always interested and often encouraged when I hear personal stories of others who have overcome adversities.
Please share yours here, and let me know how you are doing along the way. We are all in "this" together.