Monthly Archives: March 2014

Resilience

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I’ve come to realize that, other than loving yourself, the best trait you can have is resilience. Living a happy, joyous life doesn’t mean you’ll never have bad things happen. There’s no way to avoid everything you don’t want in your life. Nor would you want to. The contrast is what makes you clarify what you do want. I do believe, though, that the contrast doesn’t need to be a tsunami that drags you under, threatening to drown you. It can be more like getting knocked down by a big wave. That’s where resilience comes in. Being able to get back up and really look at what just happened and be able to learn and grow from every situation is what is going to make the difference in your life. You start to figure out who you truly are and who you want to be. All the “bad” things that happen in life can build your confidence, if you’re strong enough to look them in the eye, look yourself in the eye, and see them for what they are: an opportunity to grow. The more you do that, the less afraid you’ll be to do it in the future. That’s resilience.

It’s a heady feeling to know you can handle anything that comes your way. Not just survive but thrive. Surviving is actually much easier, at least for a little while. You just keep your head down, suppress everything and keep your life small. Some people can live a lifetime like that and they’re fine with that. I’ve often envied them that. I’ve never been able to be fine with small. I just suppressed everything for so long that I reached the break point. If you really cultivate resilience, there’s a lot more flexibility, and it’s a lot easier to stretch beyond your comfort zone and still know you’re going to be OK. It’s the difference between stretching a rubber band and trying to bend a pencil. The pencil might seem stronger, but only until it breaks. Then it’s much more difficult to return it to its original shape.

I never thought I was that resilient. I knew I was a survivor, but the pressure was still there. They do have aspects in common, but being able to adapt and work through your emotions instead of suppressing them makes a huge difference. My friends and I process emotions really quickly. I’ll have some huge emotional breakdown and then a week later think, was that really only seven days ago? It feels like a year. That quick turnaround is resilience. It doesn’t make everything all sunshine, butterflies and rainbows, but it helps you live there more of the time.

I do remember the days when it took weeks or months to move through emotional issues, and there are still some core issues that I fight with and don’t want to give up, so I’m not completely unsympathetic, but for me, living in that negative energy is excruciating. I’d rather look at the emotion and move through it, no matter how painful it is, than sit with it for months or years. It’s the difference between lancing a wound so it can heal properly or letting it fester under the surface. Neither are pain-free, but allowing the poison out means the healing takes less time in the long run.

 

Book: Drunken Botanist

Drunken Botanist

After reading Amy Stewart’s very academic and well researched Flower Confidential, picking up The Drunken Botanist reveals the sharp sense of humor the author has. The full title The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks gives you an idea of the content, but though the background is as well researched as Flower Confidential, the information included for each plant is more the juicy bits of gossip. Scandalous asides and humorous anecdotes fill the entries, which range from the obvious grapes of wine and barley of beer to the decidedly less obvious Monkey Puzzle tree. Huh? I’d never even heard of a Monkey Puzzle tree, much less knew that there’s a drink made from this Chilean national monument. Tons of other tidbits make this book a joy to read. Even if you don’t drink, the stories that accompany the alcoholic ingredients are fascinating.

Also recommended: Stewart’s Wicked Plants. It’s an intriguing trip through the world’s poisonous, deadly and intoxicating plants.

 

Book: Passionate Marriage

Passionate Marriage

A friend recommended this book to me, and I’m amazed that after years of reading self-help and spiritual books I had never heard of it. Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch is an essential read for everyone, particularly those who are either in a relationship or those who want to be. I find it mind-boggling that this book was written twenty years ago. Everything he says remains relevant today. But that’s what happens when the information is the truth from the highest source. It holds up even as the values and beliefs of society change, because it’s universal truth outside of cultural beliefs. Abraham-Hicks is the same way.  The channeled information is the same now as it was back in the early 1980s when Esther first started channeling Abraham.

Passionate Marriage comes at relationships mostly from a psychology perspective, though he does touch on spirituality, but the essence is the same. Look at your reaction and clean up your beliefs and your energy so you can be a better participant in the relationship and ultimately create the relationship you want. I learned and shifted so much just by reading this book. It really makes you reassess how you think a relationship should be. That’s any relationship, whether it’s a romantic one, your family dynamics, or your interactions with coworkers or a random person on the street. How you conduct yourself in those moments is how you are proclaiming yourself to be to the world. It’s you defining yourself and who you want to be. This book highlights that it’s imperative that you hold on to yourself, to be your true authentic self, if you really want a deep intimate relationship.