Author and motivational speaker Regina Brett once said, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” But now consider this alternative: What if you could drop your problems into that pile … and just walk away. Would your life actually be better off?
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Recent research shows that we grow into our best and most joyful selves not when we avoid our problems but when we embrace them, confident that we are resilient enough to work through them to an appropriate resolution. Our problems are an important part of our path.
Resilience is our ability to physically, emotionally, and mentally bounce back from adverse circumstances. Without it, we would be down for the count every time we ran into a problem. Stuck in traffic and late for a meeting? It’s your resilience that allows you to make the necessary phone calls and keep moving forward, confident that you can handle this stressful situation as it evolves. Without it, you’d make a U-turn and give up. Recovering from the flu or recent surgery? It’s your resilience that helps you take care of yourself appropriately and look forward to a better future. Our capacity to thrive in life depends directly on our resilience.
Sharing her own fascinating journey, as well as the latest research by neurologists and psychologists, trauma specialist Molly Birkholm shows us how to gauge our current level of resilience and improve from there. In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, you’ll learn how all of our challenges—from everyday stresses to life-altering traumas—can bring wisdom and growth. In 17 fascinating classes and 7 “hands-on” practice sessions, you’ll learn about and experience the process of building the inner calm and clarity of mind that create greater resilience. With Ms. Birkholm’s warm and optimistic demeanor, you’ll feel her encouragement every step of the way as you move toward building your best and most fulfilling life.
Why Do You Need Resilience?
What you may not realize is that you are already resilient! As you read this now, you’ve made it through 100 percent of the most difficult days of your life so far—some of which were extremely challenging. You’ve accomplished that great feat because you inherited a brain and nervous system that evolved an internal resilience in response to stress, you have followed cultural norms that support resilience, and you have actively chosen to dig down to your own inner resources. The great news is that you can proactively improve your resilience to better face any adversity ahead. In fact, we know more about how we can boost our resilience now than we ever have before.
In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, you will learn how to use and strengthen each of the eight themes of resilience, such as:
Your core values and purpose: the fundamental principles you base your life on and turn to for strength;
Finding meaning in adversity: moving from a victim mentality to a new paradigm of post-traumatic growth;
Equanimity: keeping your mind calm, even during challenging situations;
Self-care: maintaining your energy reserves by taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental needs;
Healthy coping skills: building your personal bank of coping skills such as humor, gratitude, deep breathing, good friends;
Positive sense of self: learning to build your inner authentic identity;
Support and connection with others: knowing you have a supportive group of people to connect to whether times are easier or more challenging; and
A proactive worldview: knowing you always have the power to choose how to respond to events around you.
Each of these themes can be developed and incorporated into your everyday life, so you are better prepared to face any challenge, whether it is a stressful day at work or something more unexpected.
Experiencing and Expanding Your Own Inner Resources
In this course, you’ll not only learn about the components and importance of resilience, but you will also work hands-on to increase your own resilience with several classes devoted exclusively to guided practices, including:
Active and relaxing yoga poses to help you more clearly observe sensations of tension and release in your physical body, your feelings, and beliefs;
Yoga nidra to find safety deep within yourself;
Breath work to use your breath to calm your mind;
Techniques to promote sleep to maintain a healthy body and mind;
Mindfulness to observe the experience of your entire body and mind exactly as they are, without judgment; and
Evoking the relaxation response to trigger your body’s built-in relaxation response through the parasympathetic nervous system.
Much like the themes of resilience, these practices will act as tools you can take with you into the world. As you will see, the more you practice and make these exercises part of your life, the easier it will be to call them up when you need them most.
Claiming Your Own Hero’s Journey
Have you ever thought of yourself as a hero? You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest or rescue a baby from a burning building to be a hero. Each of us is already living the hero’s journey as we set out on the unique adventure of our own life—as we face adversity or crisis along the way, struggle to get past those roadblocks, and then move forward as a changed person. Each time we navigate our way through the hero’s journey; we can strengthen our resilience by discovering new vibrancy in life; new sources of wisdom and meaning, and a deeper embodiment of our authentic, true selves. Among the many aspects of the hero’s journey, you’ll learn about:
The call to adventure: When something happens to make you realize “life as usual” cannot continue;
Crossing the threshold: To leave behind the familiarity of your former ways and begin something new;
Tests, Allies, and Enemies: Moving forward as your intuition, faith, strength, and intelligence are all tested and retested; and
The Road Back: Integrating into your new life the insights you’ve learned on your hero’s journey.
In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, Professor Birkholm shares the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of her own fascinating, life-changing journey as she guides us to find the deeper meaning in our own lives. She tells of her own hero’s journey through trauma and how she came out on the other side with a mission to help others. Whether you’re a trauma survivor or someone who is reaching for a more fulfilling and joyful life, your life will be enriched when you proactively increase your resilience.