BUILDING RESILIENCE | 03
You've been on my mind.
You really have.
I’ve been wondering how are you are, if you tried any of the mindfulness exercises we talked about last week, and what you thought of whatever you tried. Maybe you kept a journal or list of the things you were grateful for each day. Maybe you took a few quiet moments to meditate or chat with God. Or…
Maybe you did some yoga?
I did not. If I had, I might still be stuck in that position (downward dog, I think) or any number of others and you wouldn’t be reading this. Having said that, I also need to say that yoga is a wonderful way to build mindfulness. Just be sure you have someone there to un-stick you if you get stuck!
So Sue, what did you do?
My mindfulness practice is simple. I keep a gratitude journal which helps me remember all the good stuff that happened during the day and puts the “What do you mean you rear ended a coworkers car???” stuff in perspective. Below, three of my journal entries for that memorable day:
My son wasn’t hurt.
His coworker wasn’t hurt.
The damage will cost me an arm and a leg, but no lungs.
I was very grateful it didn’t cost me my lungs.
I also meditate or, more accurately, try to meditate, and inevitably wind up chatting with the “big guy.” I find this combination of meditation, prayer, talking to God, very clarifying. And when we get clear on whatever it is we need to get clear on, we feel stronger and more resilient.
But you knew I was going to say that.
Your resilience building exercise for the next 7 days: Find the funny.
Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash
People often ask me how I can laugh and find the humor in things like cancer and caregiving, death, and raising a child with Autism, and the answer is really pretty simple: laughter gives me distance; it buys me a moment to step back from the situation, get a grip, and get on with it. In short, it helps me be resilient. There are those who would call my response a defense mechanism, and maybe it is, but there’s nothing wrong with defending yourself when necessary and, when dealing with a situation that’s hopeless, laughter – and the momentary distance it provides – is the equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on first, and then helping someone else with theirs.
As Roger Rabbit said,
Why not wield it?
Until we meet again, your exercise is to find the humor in whatever is happening. If you find yourself not laughing enough, prime the pump, so to speak, by watching or listening to stand up comedians, spending time with funny people, and reading funny books.
See you next Saturday, friends. Have a wonderful week. And if you’re finding this information helpful, I hope you’ll share it with others!
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P.S. Here are just a few of my favorite funny reads:
Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now… Before We Forget by Allia Zobel Nolan (Amazon)
Gallows Humor by Carolyn Elizabeth (Amazon)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Amazon)
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (Amazon)
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (Amazon)