The author on a morning run.


What does resiliency really mean? Or perhaps more importantly, what is it I intend to relay with the concept? Basically, the ability to change shape as a result of internal or external drivers, and either return to original form or retain desirable modification.

Think of water:
* In liquid state it can flow, and reform, to fit any shape into which it’s poured; a bottle, a cup, or a teapot. It’s fluid.
* In a gelatine-like state: it’s malleable in a way that it bends to stress but rebounds, i.e. after an insect glides along surface tension. It has structure.

Strength is also a component. When directed, water can affect change. Power produced by the muscles has this effect. But the other tissues of the body must be able to withstand this force without breaking. Resiliency of mind provides the ability to stay the course, as needed or when under duress, and to remain aware and alert in order to actively redirect, instead of passively react.

Nature is a considerable teacher of resilience. Life moves, always existing in the present moment.  For me, this is a key component of being pliable. When frozen in time, or hardened in mental or emotional state, I become breakable, frangible and tenuous, unable to recover quickly from difficult situations; certainly, not pliable, supple or durable.

Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan write that, “If you really want to build resilience, you can start by strategically stopping.”
How do I strategically “stop”?
* Meditation: time in which to just ‘Be’; experiencing presence, and raising awareness of the subtle, continually retaining this as my default form.
* Spending time in nature listening to its sounds, watching its motion, and feeling its vibration.
* In my training, I cycle between hard and easy workouts, like a sinus curve. I also weave in days off, thereby allowing healing, recharging, and rebuilding.

Stress helps us grow and mature.
Time & space allow for aligning & balancing.

The dictionary lists vulnerable and sensitive as antonyms for resilience. I understand the intention behind this classification but I submit that they are actually a part of the picture I’m painting. In order to care and be cared for, it’s important to open ourselves: support comes from without as well as within. Perceiving slight changes and responding appropriately (perhaps quickly), necessitates tenderness, intuition, receptiveness and acuity.

So instead of burning energy trying to overcome, be water. Return to present and flow…. with awareness, personal responsibility, vigilance, care, and intention.