Building Your Resiliency Muscle

The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived. Robert Jordan, American author

Whether you’re recovering from the loss of your mother or another loved one, it’s times like these you must draw on your ability to be resilient. Resiliency is the capacity to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or extreme stress. I found daughters who demonstrated resilience generally had these six traits in common. In addition, many resilient daughters called on their faith in God to sustain them.

1. The ability to sustain supportive relationships with family and friends.

2. A strong self-image and confidence in their strengths.

3. The ability to accept change as a part of living and didn’t see crisis as     insurmountable. 

4. Good communication and problem solving skills.

5. Practiced healthy self care.

6. Built on their past experiences and trusted that what they had survived made them stronger.

Another way to build resiliency is to anticipate difficult times like holidays, birthdays, THE anniversary, weddings. Acknowledging your feelings of sadness during these special times will help you move forward. 

Affirmation: I am resilient.

Coaching questions: If you’re just learning to flex your resiliency muscle, what traits do you need to work on? What will you do today to build resiliency for the future?

Remember and Honor

If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate. Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 92 pilot, Jason Dahl

Yesterday, in the United States and elsewhere, we remembered the 2,977 people who were killed during the 9/11 coordinated terrorist attacks. The day is now also dedicated to community service which, I propose, we embrace everyday. 

I agree with President Obama who said, “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that follows 9/11.”

Affirmation: I remember and honor through service.

Coaching questions: What is one small act of service or kindness you will provide to help reclaim the spirit of unity? How does your service/kindness enrich your life? 

Look For The Helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers’s mother knew that if her son recognized the helpers he would feel calmer about the tragedy, knowing that someone was there to take control and put order to the chaos. Who has helped you in times of tragedy or need? Perhaps it was a teacher or a pastor, a grandmother or a neighbor, a friend or sibling.

As I talk with daughters who have lost their mothers to death, abandonment or Alzheimer’s, the trajectory of their grief recovery is often changed by the helpers who show up. The support and love of older brothers or sisters, grandmothers, neighbors, friends in support groups, hospice workers, or dads, calm the chaos of the moment and become the helpers in their lives.

Affirmation: I’ve been blessed with having helpers in my life.

Coaching questions: Who have been the helpers in your life? How have they made a difference? How have you shown up as a helper in the life of another? What difference did you make?

IMG_2071.jpgEven the famous Julia Child needed helpers…lots of helpers!