The term resilience had been coming up a lot in my circles in the past couple of months. I had a desire to take a deeper look into what it means to be resilient, to what it means to have resiliency, and who is resilient?
I’m going to answer that last question first…
WE ARE ALL RESILIENT!!
By definition, resilience is 1.) The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. And, 2.) The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. -(both)Oxford definitions
“When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of The Human experience.”-Jaeda DeWalt (photographer of survivors)
From DeWalt’s quote above, as well as the definitions for resilience, it caused me to think how when we learn how to recover, how to come back to our “shape”, this is resilience! By “shape”, I mean our true essence; who we are in all our various forms, ideals, beliefs, and truths! How exciting this was for me to bring this into the Yoga practices a week ago, especially in moving the shape of our body into different shapes (poses)!
And how perfect to speak to Marsha P. Johnson’s quote when are shapes got a little crazy that, “I may be crazy, but that don’t make me wrong.”-Marsha P. Johnson
We used some shapes of our body to support courage and strength. Courage to overcome that which is testing our resilience and testing our strength. We use shapes of our body to forge solid foundations within our selves so that we could embody our resilience! We even worked up to practicing a variation on “bowing with respect pose”, so that we can always honor our resilience and bow to our own capabilities within our self to be resilient and to overcome.
We also used resiliency mudra, known as Sivalinga mudra. It very much resembles a pestle and mortar, as you can imagine grinding down those things that are challenging in your life right now and testing your resiliency, leaving you left with the Light of your power!
Audre Lorde said, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” How powerful. And in my classes I would follow up that quote with Andrea Gibson’s quote, “It is untrue that bravery can be measured by a lack of fear. It takes guts to tremble. It takes tremble to love”. May we all continue to be taking actions that are in service of our visions even when we are scared. may we all continue to be taking actions that are in service of love. May we be willing to rise even when we have fear.
Taking actions towards our visions, being able to get back up when we have fallen, not giving up when it feels as if we’ve taken two steps back, and to continue to see that every step along our journey has meaning, this is resilience. Even those steps that feel like we are faltering and falling, may we continue to see the purpose that everything is leading us towards our visions. Everything is leading us towards our collective desire for all beings to be loved and cared for; and that every Human Being will have their basic needs met so that they can thrive instead of just simply survive!
And may we also remember how taking time for rest, and to replenish our self, is also an act of resiliency. For only then, when our own well has been refilled, will we be able to stand up again, move forward again, to sustain our energy that is needed to manifest our visions (that’s this week’s intentions in classes, manifesting visions, Haha)!
I closed all of my classes with this meditation upon these words that come from Diana Fosha, “The roots of resilience…are found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned, and self-possessed other”. I invite you now to bring to mind a person who supported you in your life to being resilient. Who listened to you, who loves you, and who continually supports you, whether they are still alive or not.
And, this song kept coming to my mind, enjoy…. “we shall over come” !
Take some time this week, if you like, to consider moments in your life when you were resilient. Let these memories remind you of those powers within you that are still there. Use them as tokens that will forever remind you of your resilience in the future!
Breathe and Believe.