The key to building resilience is increasing our responsiveness to change. It’s our resistance to change that gets us into trouble.

No amount of training courses will develop your resilience. When life knocks you down rising up from the dark and making those life experiences count builds resilience. Finding meaning in the pain lends strength to walking a new path. A path that we may never have discovered had ‘that’, whatever ‘that’ is, hadn’t happened.

That pain can be present or past. It could be a significant relationship that failed, a career move that never materialised, a relative or friend has been diagnosed with a serious illness, a longed for child never comes along or the legacy of a difficult family history. Whatever it is, our ability to embrace the situation and work with life rather than against it ensures that we swim rather than drown in disappointment holding onto a vision of life, or ourselves, that is no longer true.

There is a deep interconnection between the mind and body and any unresolved pain will leave its mark. Often it is not until the body starts to complain that we recognise something within ourselves is not at peace. Everything around us and within us is constantly changing, always in a state of energetic flux. Our acceptance of that fact is crucial to our psychological and physical health.

I practice Vipassana meditation, a Pali word which means to see things as they really are, not as we would like them to be. It is a process of purification of the mind to achieve greater peace and balance by becoming aware of the sensations arising and passing in one’s body without attachment to those sensations. As the mind becomes sharper to these sensations, unfinished business often appearing as physical pain or intense emotions arises seemingly from nowhere. There is no way to avoid these experiences, nor do I want to. By allowing these sensations and emotions full expression while mindfully paying attention to them, I become free of them. My natural energy increases, I can see more clearly and navigate through life more wisely.

Often we don’t know what we are made of until we are broken. Only looking back do we see the courage, strength and new perspectives we’ve found having braved a storm. There is a centuries old Japanese method Kintsukuroi (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer, understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. We need to break in order to be remade with deeper hearts and so become more beautiful human beings.

So, have patience with yourself. Be determined. You may falter at times and when you do, be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Trust yourself.

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