RESILIENCY

Written by Natasha Burke

March 25, 2020

As we all are going through this challenging time with the Corona Virus, having to stay home, social distancing and not much human contact may cause people to feel fear or anxiety. More than ever, this is a time to practice resilience. I know that I had a couple of days of feeling off. What has helped me go get through the uncertainty is meditation. When I meditate I am present. I slow my thought process down. My breath slows down, and when I am done I feel good. I have taken walks in nature, which always makes me feel good. Having conversations with my family and friends also helps me get through this time. I also receive positive affirmations. I pick an angel or goddess card and have it near my monitor and when I write, I look at my card several times per day. It makes me feel good. I love my angel cards. When I pull one, I ponder if it’s something I need in my life now or already have in my life. These are a few things that are helping me as we continue to live my day in a positive manner.

Having resilience through challenging times is so important. It’s how we keep going or bounce back after going through difficult times in life. What is resilience? Resilience is when one goes through a difficult time and come back stronger then before. 

Do we learn resilience or do we naturally have it? Some people are inherently more resilient than others, however, we can all tap into what resilience looks like to us. A positive outlook is one of the keys to being resilient. Of course when you are in the middle of pain and suffering, it’s hard to tap into resilience. This is where using tools can help someone. 

Resilience relies on different skills that we have which include rational thinking skills, physical and mental health, and your relationships with those around you. When I ponder if I am resilient or not; I find that  I am.

2017 was the most challenging time in my life. My stepson killed himself, my daughter was in the Las Vegas shooting and then we had to evacuate because of the wildfires in Sonoma County. 

I was numb through all three situations. One trauma after another threw me over the edge. I lived life in the fog and detached for a long time. I had panic attacks, which I had never had until this last year. It was a slow two and a half year process to bounce back. 

What did I do to bounce back? I saw a therapist. I tapped into my resources I have built over the years. I held onto my faith, which is strong. I relied on my family and friends to talk when I needed to. I changed my mindset from fear and anxiety into hope, love, being present and not stay stuck in the past. I took baby steps. All of this was no simple task. It was a slow process. There were times I didn’t want to do the work but I had to in order to bounce back, because the truth is, it was one of the most challenging times in my life. When I look back, I am so grateful I did bounce back. I am so grateful I did what I had to do to get out of the dark murky waters and returned to the light. 

We all have difficult times in our life at some point. Sometimes we have trauma. What are ways we can build our resilience? We can stay positive. We can open our hearts. We can take care of ourselves. We can have humor. We can have compassion for ourselves and one another.

The big question is how do we build resiliency, adapting quickly in times of stress. The stresses of family, relationship problems, health problems, loss, problems in the workplace or even financial problems are a few stressors. 

How do we bounce back? Developing resilience can help you cope and bounce back after changes, challenges, setbacks, disappointments and failures.  There is always a silver lining in the worst times. At some point during your process, there will come a time when you can see the positivity in your situation. 

Resilience is the ability to roll with the punches. When you’re stressed, or trauma happens, you will experience all the emotions of anger, grief, and pain but the key to resilience is to be you are able to function both physically and psychologically. When we don’t have control over our situation, it’s really important to be in acceptance. 

It’s important to have a balanced emotional approach to dealing with challenges when we go through them. Staying present is key.

It’s important to pay attention to where our mind is. If we can be mindful when we are in negativity, pause for a moment, take deep breaths, and ask yourself what are five things you are grateful for. Being in gratitude is so important. Being in negative self-talk isn’t going to help nor change the situation. Ask yourself how can I turn my negativity into positivity. GRATITUDE IS HUGE! Look at all the things that are good in your life. We all have them. 

We all experience pain in life. One way we can become resilient is to look at the situation, try to find a solution to help you find a way to be resilient. It’s so helpful if you have someone you can talk to. Someone who will listen to you with an open heart. Someone who can give you some positive insight. There can be times if you don’t reach out that your mindset is stuck in negativity just like a hamster running in a continuous loop. It doesn’t stop. 

It’s so hard to stop that loop without the help of others. It’s important to open our hearts up and reach out. You don’t have to feel alone. Just talking about it gives the problem less power. It feels good to talk about things to a trusted person. It feels good to know that you are being heard. It feels good to be acknowledged. Strong social connection!

Another way you can become resilient through difficult times is be of service to others. Studies show that serotonin the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being is used more efficiently by people who engage in an act of kindness. It’s getting yourself out of yourself. Acts of kindness have a cumulative effect. Volunteering can be a real good solution to get you out of your negativity and be more positive. Human connection is so important. 

I read that for every heart-wrenching negative experience that you go through, you should try to experience at least a few heartfelt experiences that will lift you up. I am a believer in affirmations. I read affirmations on a daily basis. It really does help to read something positive, which can shift your mindset from negativity into positivity. 

Most important is taking care of yourself. Having good regular healthy habits is the foundation for both mental and emotional resilience. Get enough rest. Eat healthy foods. Stay hydrated. This can help with being resilient. Take regular mental breaks.

Meditation can help with this as it slows down our thought process. It creates calm and peace. Create something. This is a great tool, which helps me be present, and takes my mind off the challenging time. When I create, it makes me feel good. When I create it keeps me focused on what I am actually creating. When I create, I am fully present.

Spend time outdoors in nature or just walk and breathe in fresh air. Research suggests that 20 minutes being outside leads to more expansive and open thinking. It’s a pro-resilient mindset. It can help with anxiety and depression, improves your immunity and lowers levels of inflammatory chemicals in your body. Yoga is a great way to remain calm, and in the present moment. Taking deep breaths. It can calm you. If you can, do at least five deep breathes in one sitting. Breathe in and count to 10, pause for a couple of seconds and slowly breathe out for the count of 11. Feel what is going on with your body as you do this exercise. 

Do your best to remain hopeful. You can’t change the past but you can always look toward the future. It’s important to remember that when we experience a challenging time in our life, when we experience trauma, experience pain and suffering, it’s important to stay positive. I know this is no easy task. However staying in the negativity is not a good way to live your life. 

Humor is important too. I know it’s not what you are thinking when you are in the middle of challenging times. It’s a break from the negativity. Laughter is important. If you can, watch a movie that is funny. Laughing reduces tension. Resilience doesn’t make things go away but it can give you the ability to see past them. If you aren’t as resilient, you can develop skills on how to be more resilient.

Here are some ways to improve your resilience:

Find a sense of purpose in life.

Build positive beliefs in your abilities.

Develop a strong social network.

Embrace change.

Be optimistic.

Nurture yourself. 

Practice acts of kindness. 

Be present.

Develop your problem solving skills and take action. 

Take control of the things you can and try to accept those things you can’t.

Have self-compassion. Be compassionate with others.

This can all be done by taking one step at a time. 

I hope you found this topic insightful and I encourage you to do what you can during this challenging time to keep positive. Know that this too will pass. Know that we are all going through this together. Reach out to others via facebook, facetime, skype; any measure of vitural connection. Call a friend or family member. I am sending you all hugs. Love and light.

YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

Author, Natasha Burke I am Enough, Becoming empowered and celebrating your True self

Being your authentic self is the culmination of a lifetime of lessons in living, learning, growing and changing. It’s all the things that make you unique, and need to be expressed. It is not what you believe you are supposed to be and do.

Being your authentic self is the core of who you are. It’s the real, true, genuine substance of who you are. It’s all of the things that make you unique and authentic.

Being authentic means to be true to one’s own personality and spirit despite pressures from external forces and influences.  It’s hard not to be influenced by external forces, such as what we see on television, social media or experience from our family, friends or peers. It’s not defined as your job, your function or role in the world. When you are not living your authentic self, you can find yourself incomplete, as if there is a hole in your soul.

Let’s step back to when we were born. On the day we were born, we were pure, perfect, innocent, beautiful, precious, amazing, alert, joyful, loving, peaceful, happy, wondrous, trusting, and a divine presence. The list goes on. This was our authentic self! This was our true essence.

As we got older, we inherited belief systems from others. We became aware of what others thought about us, told us what we should be or shouldn’t be. We forgot the true essence of who we really are. We forgot our true authentic self. Living your life through the lens of others, you live your life as your “false” self. You live a life through the lens of how the world sees you. 

When you don’t live your life wholeheartedly, when you ignore your true gifts and talents, you are living your life as a false self. Living through the lens of your false self drains your life force. I believe it’s much easer to live life as your authentic self. 

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are! –Brene Brown

At the end of the day, you are the only one who can look in the mirror and decide if you like the person looking back at you. The more you practice being your true authentic self, the easier it gets. 

I invite you to ponder these questions: 

Are you living a life that is more in tune with your “authentic” self (who you were created to be) or your “false” self (who the world has told you to be)? 

Do you find it easier to fill the roles your family and friends expect of you? 

Do you long to become who you really want to be? Your authentic self. 

Do you want to be like everybody else or do you want to be your authentic self? 

Do I see myself through the lens of others? Am I afraid to show the world my authentic self? If yes, why? Do I have a mask that I want to remove? I invite you to remove your mask. It may be uncomfortable because you have had this mask on perhaps your whole life. Unveil your mask and discover your true essence. 

When someone asks you “Who are you?” What is your answer? Is it, “I am a student.” “I am an artist.” “I am an athlete.” The list goes on and on. Does this sound familiar?

Often the answer isn’t who you are but what you do, what your social place is or how you see yourself function in life. Our roles in life don’t make us who we are. We change our roles in different social situations and act out the character because we think we should. When you realize that you act this way, you are not being you at your deepest level. 

Perhaps you can’t answer who you are because you don’t know. It’s okay. I invite you to be curious and explore who you really are. Give yourself this amazing gift. You are worth it. 

As you take this journey, be compassionate with yourself. Allow your process to unfold. Don’t compare yourself to others or concern yourself with what people will think. What matters is living your life wholeheartedly! Being the authentic you!

The process can be uncomfortable but discovering 

your authentic self will be much more satisfying than being a false self to satisfy others.

The world needs you to show up as your true authentic self. Slowly shed the mask of who you think you are and dive into your real self. It’s time to be real. It’s vital to your happiness.