Cultivating resilience

Cultivating resilience requires the ability to ask tough questions of yourself and to be honest with your answers.

by Ada Porat — 

How resilient are you? Resilience is defined as the ability to return to your original form after being bent, stretched or compressed. It is the ability to readily recover from illness or adversity.

Life’s setbacks and disasters often arrive without prior warning. And while we may not have a choice as to what happens in our lives, we can choose how to respond.

A healthy response requires tapping into our innate resilience to recover from setbacks, broken hearts, shattered dreams, financial crises, loss of a loved one or health problems.

The good news is that you and I can cultivate resilience. We can exercise it like a muscle and, in the process, we can turn the challenging circumstances of our lives into opportunities that deepen our faith and strengthen our very fiber.

Cultivating resilience requires the ability to ask tough questions of yourself and to be honest with your answers. If you had something to do with your loss or setback, it is important to accept responsibility for your share of it.

It also requires a sense of interdependence: the understanding that we are all connected and that your actions — for better or worse — affect others. While you may not have control over the actions of others, accepting full responsibility for your own actions opens the way to respond in a manner that contributes to the greater good.

Resilience also calls for humor to help reframe daunting obstacles and setbacks. When all else fails, learn to laugh at yourself and at the absurdity of your situation. When doctors handed journalist Norman Cousins a grave medical prognosis, he resolved to take charge of the things he could do. He checked himself out of the hospital, embarked on his own healing regimen, watching comedies … and literally laughed himself back to health.

Above all, resilience calls for faith — faith in your guidance, purpose and potential; faith to commit to life daily; and faith to get back up when circumstances knock you down. Once, when life had knocked me clean off my feet, a friend sent me a card that simply read, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” This Buddhist saying helped reaffirm my faith in my life purpose and gave me the courage to keep going.

Every time you get up after a setback and every time you overcome the challenges in your life, you develop more resilience.

May you grow, prosper and succeed despite your current conditions. May you grow stronger and more abundant despite the setbacks you have suffered in life, and may you be resilient always.


Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist and life coach who helps people live their best life. or 602-283-4628.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2011.

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