How You Respond to the Issue…Is the Issue
I’ve had time now to reflect on how I responded to dumping my computer in the ocean. [See Giving Thanks – for Losses and Lessons]
I can offer this summary of what I think helped most (to be included in The Resilience Handbook I’m writing now, forthcoming September 2018, New World Library); what I think could be helpful to anyone coping with anything:
* My own mindful awareness – knowing what I was experiencing while I was experiencing it, and tracking shifts in those experiences, both outer and inner, moment by moment
* Prioritizing calming my nervous system (hand on the heart, soles of my feet) so I could function, so I could discern options
* Choosing to acknowledge and shift my inner reactions as skillfully as I could
– consciously practicing my self-compassion phrases over and over to avoid sinking into feeling badly; disappointment about the loss of my computer yes, but not pitying or devaluing myself.
– focusing on everything there was to still be grateful for, and there was more than enough
– refusing to catastrophize (that was a minor miracle), dealing with my anxiety about the future by parking it in the future and practicing trusting that future as best as I could
– opening to a sense of vast Being and the benevolence of the universe (residing in a spiritual community for four days certainly encouraged that)
* Claiming my own resilience – and that became a source of resilience itself. I’m okay; I’m doing okay; things will work out eventually.
* Reaching out to people for help – and receiving the help that was so generously given. The support evoked a deep sense of safety no matter how things turned out.
* And I learned that I was learning – what to do differently next time; what to do differently right now. Resilience is learnable and recoverable. And it was the integration of many different practices over time that had allowed me to have as much response flexibility as I did.
And so the “gift in the mistake” is a renewed commitment to practice the practices that truly do recover and strengthen resilience. May these practices be useful to you and yours.