Reflections on Resilience

come to your senses

Baby Ways As newborns, we explored the world and learned primarily through our senses. With no ability to communicate through conversation, we grasped the outreached fingers of our caregivers and clung to colourful toys. We drooled as we gummed on teething rings or our fingers and toes. We rolled our bodies on soft blankets on the floor and dabbled in a variety of vocal experiments.   Toddling On Then, as toddlers, we left no stone unturned to crawl all over our environment, climbed on furniture and repurposed ordinary cardboard boxes for creative play. While using words became more common as ...
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soothing manoeuvers

  The School of Life has an absolutely lovely post titled “How We Crave to Be Soothed”.  The simple act of reading it was a refreshing as an afternoon nap.   Or having an unexpected day off.   Within the lines of this gem is where the phrase “soothing manoeuvers” tugged me by the ear to come closer, lean in and listen to the poetry of calm.    I enjoy reading the School of Life essays and not just because I'm a fan of British-speak like "having a small lie down" for resting or eating something as "taking a tray".  I ...
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feel helpless, be a helper

  If I Only Knew Then When I decided to take early retirement last October from my role as a high school counsellor/ teacher, I couldn’t have predicted the pandemic or its impact on the education system.  Especially the untenable situation my longtime colleagues, friends and close family members who are educators, students and parents are facing today. Many are experiencing an enormous amount of fear, anxiety and overwhelming stress in light of unsafe re-entry plans that could burst every bubble that has helped flatten the COVID curve to this point. I know of teachers who are: Updating their wills ...
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oh, how you shine!

As the fuss and fluster of the end of school season settles, a calmness that comes from being back in the quiet space of my own making moves through me, like a welcome summer breeze. The rare treat of a second, unhurried cup of morning coffee is accompanied by reading a work of fiction while snugly wrapped in a cotton blanket.  The blanket was recently gifted to me by my sister because she thought it looked like a blanket that belongs to a writer. Warmed by the coffee and my new blanket, I also spend time engaging in backwards and ...
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walking wounded

  They sling uninformed arrows from empty quivers. They find fault in everyone else but themselves. They sting others quickly to prevent themselves from being stung. They tend to see themselves repeatedly as the victim of someone else’s crime. They fail to see kindness, compassion or joy. Or if they do see something even lightly tinged with grace, it is quickly taken over by a heavy grievance against someone or something.   So they walk and they wound. They tend to endlessly pick at and pester others, they control, complain, argue and hurt those around them.   Hurt people hurt ...
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why i sit

  I sit. Intentionally. In silence.     It is certainly not because I’m a calm, balanced person who lives devoutly among the pure and the pious. Nor it is because I exude self-discipline. Far from it. Sitting started out simply as my way to overcome the overwhelm, to quell the tsunami of thoughts and lower my oft-rampant heart rate for a sense of overall well-being. It was basically a physical solution to a spiritual problem.  But that has transformed into something more akin to falling down the rabbit hole where the experience has become curiouser and curiouser. While I ...
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ride on

  unusual paths Even though it’s February, my path to work did not look like this.  In fact, I had the incredible joy of cycling to work this week.       Along with the sheer lack of snow and ice along the bike path that weaves through town, the biggest motivator for me to commute by bike that morning, was an amazing morning light. The kind of light that radiates hope.   It was as if I was looking through the shadowy tunnel of a dim, distant winter and seeing soft yellow-orange rays of sun peeking through.  For this reason, it’s ...
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everything is practice

    On the mat. On the cushion. In the kitchen. In relationships. Everything is a path.       These paths are an education in how to be:   responsive instead of being reactive open to what’s really happening less fearful of how things might turn out less clingy to how you wish things were more skillful in communicating more compassionate to self and others   Diligence in one area impacts the others like ripples on a pond.   From downward dog to doing the dishes, each path is a route that can lead to deep awakening with awareness ...
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rewiring thought patterns – hidden beliefs exposed (part 4)

  Once upon a time, it was believed that our brains were wired by our early experiences as young children and then hard-wired by the time we reached early adulthood.  We bought into this with our exclamations of:   “I can’t help it, that’s the way I was born.“ “I’ve always been this way.” “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”   Neuroscience research has now discovered that our brains are much more adaptive than that.  Based on new experiences, the brain can create new neural pathways and revise current, outdated ones that are no longer useful. The discovery ...
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words in action – hidden beliefs exposed (part 3)

  Richard Rodgers of the Rodgers and Hammerstein songwriting duo was the creative force behind the sentiments in the Sound of Music classic, Something Good, a song that was not in the original stage version but was written additionally for the 1965 film. Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood. I must have done something good.   It doesn’t take a mind reader to see wisps of underlying beliefs and assumptions rising like a gentle fog from the lyrics of this refrain. The words suggest that “good things happen to good people” or ...
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