The Top 5 Ways to Build Resilience During Difficult Times

Photo by Alex Ibe on Unsplash

At this point in the world, we must all realize that we’re living in very challenging times and yet at the same time, a very profound transformational period. It seems everybody I know is going through something on a personal level-illness, fatigue, sadness, depression. grief, and or loss.

In addition to your personal journeys we are being threatened by, political breakdowns, mass shootings, devastating earthquakes, merciless wildfires, severe storms- with mass flooding.

Humanity is in the throes of an ever-growing collective consciousness that wants to evolve, yet old ways of being and outdated modes of consciousness are struggling to hold on to the known.

So, the big question today, is ‘How do we build resilience so that we do not collapse under stress, grief, loss, and fear and at the same time keep our hearts open to others and take care of ourselves?’

Awakening is no longer a luxury or an idea. It is critical.

It is also critical that we deal with our own anger, feelings of separation, addictions, and fear.

Mayo Clinic reports that Resilience is the ability to adapt well and recover quickly after stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy.

I believe I have developed fairly strong resilience over my lifetime resulting from my childhood and the traumas I experienced as well as the tools and spiritual practices I have taught and engaged in over the years.

I have had losses that have taken me to the underworld of darkness but I have always been able to rebound.

The eye of a hurricane is a place of calm, around which spins the storm. We become the eye when we pull ourselves out of the chaos and into the present moment.

Here are several ways that I recommend to pull yourself out of the storm and into the calm of the eye of the storm that will help you build resilience to deal with emotional and physical pain during these difficult times.

Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

Five Daily Practices to Build Resilience

  1. Mindful Awareness of Thoughts 
    Stop and experience what you are doing-driving, doing the laundry, or walking. If you are thinking thoughts of the past or future bring your mind into the now. Focus on your heart, breath and come back into the awareness of what is around you.
  2. Heart-Brain Coherence Meditation
    New research indicates that you do not need to meditate for long periods of time to have a positive effect. You do have to connect the breath to the heart and the brain. Start by sitting and relaxing for 5-15 minutes. Inhale from the heart to the head and exhale the breath from the head to the heart. When you connect the heart and the brain you develop less resistance to meditate.
  3. Spiritual Support Group.
    Join or start a spiritual or a healthy living group with at least 4 people who come together live or remotely to support each other in moving through these difficult but transformational times.
  4. Gratitude
    Start your morning by saying what you are grateful for. If you think you have nothing to be grateful for being grateful for your breath and that you woke up today. Gratitude for your life will change your life.
  5. Extreme Self-Care and Compassion.
    During periods of stress, we often fall back on old patterns of relating to ourselves and the world. We can be harsh and critical, and not care for our body. To build resilience we must support our body and mind to heal with healthy food, water, and exercise. You must care for yourself!

These are just a few of the ways to develop tools that help you become more resilient. How have you become more resilient? Let me know, I am always interested in learning what helps others.

Let Go of Clutter and Free Up Your Life Energy

It’s Springtime… time to bring in the new in all areas of our lives! I’m finally opening my windows, opening my closets and opening myself to letting go of the clutter I find in them!

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you’re like me, you may be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of your stuff that demands to be managed. For example, are you keeping clothes that still have the price tags on them? What about that “nice, but not my style” gift you received from your aunt last year? Does your office look like a white (paper) tornado hit it? Do you realize that the cupboards and closets in our homes that harbor our physical stuff are often a reflection of the closets in our minds?

Our mind is where clutter actually accumulates first, before it manifests itself as excess physical things in our homes. Here is where old thought patterns, emotions and anxieties that keep us confused, stuck and unhealthy (mental clutter) must be “busted” first, particularly the guilty or shameful feelings that made us acquire the things in the first place.

Our outer clutter reflects a degree of our inner clutter. The mind is where the real work begins, where change must happen before any home closet can be purged.

Clutter is all about feeling “stuck,” experiencing fear of or difficulty making change, letting go and moving on. It’s about not feeling good about yourself, and possibly wanting something that has passed. Clutter keeps your energy either in the past or the future, yet prevents you from living in the now.

So what makes us collect, keep and manage excess stuff in the first place? What personal void does our stuff fill? And how does our addiction to stuff, particularly excess stuff, affect us psychologically?

Brooks Palmer, author of “Clutter-Busting: Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back,” says that we try to give our lives significance by filling it up with things, which doesn’t work. Only a feeling of personal significance will replace our need to acquire things. Peter Walsh, host of TLC’s hit show Clean Sweep, and Oprah’s organizer, adds: “Stuff robs people of so much. If your house is full of stuff, all the blessings that could fill your house can’t get in. The stuff takes over. It robs you psychologically. You can’t be at peace.”

Stuff management wastes time and creates work that works against us in our homes and offices. Melody LeBaron, Home and WorkSpace Expert, says “We each have a relationship, a partnership, with the spaces we live and work in. And that partnership is either working for us or against us. Your space is either raising your mood and physical energy level because it’s clean, efficient, and pleasing. Or it is lowering your mood and energy level because it’s not.”

So how do you tackle that mental clutter that forges our strong emotional attachment to things – owning too many things – so that your peace of mind can be restored as well as your motivation and acceptance of change and progress? I suggest that you start by taking an inventory of your excess things which will naturally lead you to taking an inventory of your life. Become aware of your thinking and behavior patterns. Recognize how your thinking shows up in your life and your things. What emotions do your things satisfy?

If it’s sentimentality, ask yourself if those long-held thoughts and behaviors are still serving you today? If not, are you willing to let them and those things go, and to replace them with clarity, insight and happiness? This mental inventory exercise should help reduce your stress and simplifying your life by making it easier to let go of things that create excess work for you, things that you must manage beyond a reasonable degree, things that no longer give you joy, or serve you here and now. Stop suffocating yourself with stuff and watch your energy flow into your life!

So, how does your stuff serve you, or enslave you? How do you decide what supports you, and what steals from you? Write to tell me about how you manage your letting-go process and how that translates into a happier, healthier you!