It sounded like my house was hit by a train! But, in fact it was just the biggest ice dam on the front of my house slipping off down two stories and smashing into the foundation, the ground, and a number of my shrubs, including a very special pencil holly (very narrow, upright holly bush) I looked out the window and thought, well that was just totally decimated. Each day I would watch to see how this enormous chunk of ice was beginning to melt and what the condition of my pencil holly was. Day after day, I was stunned by the way the holly began to right itself and find its way back to being strong and erect. Not one branch broken.
I make a commitment to myself at this time of year to take walks about my yard to see anything that might be pushing its way through the warming soil of Spring. I am in awe with the resilient nature of plants, shrubs, trees all around me, doing exactly what they need to do, once again, to blossom into the beauty they are meant to be. They are grounded and they stretch, and that’s what I need to do as well.
A favorite clump of Hyacinths which had been buried by my Christmas greens that I just tossed out my back door (because I couldn’t get to the compost in the woods!) have become strikingly beautiful in their shades of purple, with a scent that makes me swoon. They don’t take no for an answer and continue to find their way through the maze of brush that hovers on top of and around them. It’s breathtaking to me.
Nature seems to always have it figured out, offering us lessons in beauty, gratitude, growth and resilience.
For me the ability to call upon my resilience is similar to the experience of the holly and the hyacinths. I need to remember to harness my strengths that served me during previous rough patches. What did I do to find my way through? Harnessing my strengths, recognizing the value they have to serve my highest good is a powerful ally for me through just about any of life’s experiences.
Who can I turn to? I have community, sometimes I need a team, and occasionally, I just need to pick up the phone and have a chat so that I have a confidante, a friend that can support me in sorting things out. I need to remember that to be resilient means that I ask for a listening ear instead of going it alone when there are people there for me.
Removing myself from stress and chaos, creating daily experiences of mindfulness, strengthens my inner resilience. This is like water for me when my well feels like it’s beginning to run dry and sometimes I feel so thirsty! Changing the scenery through a walk, a retreat, a weekend away or a new experience creates those moment to moment forays into being conscious, contemplative, and aware. When my life starts to feel to full, busy instead of productive, I need a time out.
Being sure, trusting that all will be well, grounding myself (like the pencil holly) to the strong roots I know I have and stretching with my heart and soul to the heavens to be nurtured over and over again by the sunshine. I can find my resilience there as well.
I falter at times (ok, maybe more than I’d like) but at my core, trusting that I have a resilient nature, because I believe as humans that is what got us to where we are today, makes everything go a little smoother. It creates excitement, hope, and possibly invites me to venture off into some crazy direction or be radical in some way knowing that I have developed a strong foundation, whether I succeed or fail I can get up and start again. You just might have to hand me a tissue now and then.