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Resilience



Hello, again. I hope this finds you well. I have a confession to make. I didn't know what I was going to write about this week. I was wracking my brain for a topic that might suggest some information or assistance for you, dear reader, as we all continue to navigate this thing called Life. 


I walked around my apartment, I sat down at my desk a few times, I got a snack, I drank some water -- nada. I truly felt like I had nothing to say or offer. Then, I looked over at the windowsill and there it was ...

Let me take you on a journey. It starts a couple of years ago when I left my African Violet (AV) with my sister in Virginia. I was going to be on the road and even when I finally got an apartment in Boston last June, I kept forgetting to retrieve my plant. It had thrived in her care and a couple of months before I finally picked it up she had even transplanted it into a slightly bigger pot and it had bloomed. It was gorgeous and I was so happy to bring it into my living space this past December. 


As I unloaded my car and started making trips up to my little abode from the parking lot behind the building, I deliberately waited to bring the AV up last. There were just a few things left to grab and I carefully (or so I thought) handled the items and brought them in the back door ... and the plant went crashing down onto the cement floor. Its beautiful, new pot smashed into pieces and the clay shards cut many of the stems and leaves. I. was. devastated. This mishap triggered some old trauma within me about past behaviours, that I am not proud of, and I started to cry. After a bit, I scooped up what there was of the dirt and what was left of the roots, leaves and stems and brought it upstairs. I went out to a garden supply store and found another pretty pot, bought some planting soil and did my best to create a new environment for what was left of my once flourishing African Violet. This is what it looked like.





Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a picture of it when I got it at my sister's. Trust me, the contrast was astounding. 


For the next three months, I cared for it. I wasn't sure if the shock of the fall and the "limbs" being severed would be too much and it would wither and die and I was afraid I might have lost it all together. And this, (drumroll, please) is what happened.




She has not only grown new leaves and stems -- some of the leaves have regenerated and repaired themselves and she is about to bloom! There are six buds poking through. How did this happen?!? I treated it like anything or anyone who is injured and who we would like to see heal. 


  • I created a new, beautiful environment. This included fresh soil while leaving in some of what was already familiar that I was able to "save" after the fall. I bought a sweet, lovely new pot and I watered it with room temperature water whenever it got dry. I made sure she was in the sunniest spot.

  • I brought over other plants that I have in my home to share the space and to provide "company" and community. 

  • I talked to her every day. I told her how beautiful she was and that I loved her and I introduced her to the others (I talk to them, too!).

  • I didn't let her fall again -- I protected her. 


You see, my plant exhibited resilience. Google defines that as, "the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness". I believe that we all can tap into this resource IF we have the right circumstances. Just like my African Violet, in order to make a comeback, to be better than ever, we need help and encouragement. 


  • My dear friend, mentor, author (Undressed), and Mojo recovery specialist, Deborah Kagan, talks about cultivating our Oasis. I like to think of it as the space we create to support our lives in the best possible way. Where is your windowsill with full sunshine? What does your "container" look like?

  • What is your version of room-temperature water to nourish and heal your body and soul?

  • Do you have community, friends and/or family that champion you and remind you of your strengths?

  • Does anyone ever tell you they love you? Do you look in the mirror and tell yourself? (If not, go do it right now) What other uplifting things can you say to yourself?

  • How are you lovingly protecting yourself?


The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines resilience as "an English word derived from the Latin for springing back or 'jumping back up', [it] took on an additional preventive meaning some time in the last century, in part because it helped to change the focus of research from pathologies to opportunities for supportive action." Seek that out and make room for it in your life and, as always, be care-full. 


Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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