This Blog post, from Margie Braunstein is in response to a question asked by Sue Adams at a recent webinar on Your Life Matters, with Petrea King. We hope you find this useful.
I reckon that to teach anything, one probably needs to learn it first (or at least be in the process of learning it) so if you accept that, and you still want to ‘teach’ your children or anyone else how to become resilient, then maybe it would be good if your first learn what you need to do to become resilient. That is: lead by example.
If you think about the greatest teachers you know (dead or alive) you will find that they embodied their work. They were shining examples of what they were teaching i.e. love, forgiveness, compassion or whatever it was.
Can you imagine a history teacher who didn’t love history being very good at his or her job? What about a cooking teacher who could not cook? It’s the same for resilience.
So, do you know how to support and nourish yourself in times of extra stress? If so, what do you do? What works? Teach from that place.
Another thing about teaching is that you can only really ‘teach’ to people who want to learn.
The most passionate guitar teacher (or auto mechanics, or neurosurgery or you name it teacher) in the world will be most useful and effective for the fully engaged students.
Sometimes you need to put some time into enrolling the person (or your kids) into wanting to learn how to develop resilience. Enrol first, teach second. You can’t teach the kids that don’t come to school but kids that love school and are ‘enrolled’ (literally) are the easiest to teach!
So, back to resilience. It’s about developing an ability to ‘bounce back’ and you do this by including the traumatic experience, rather than trying to exclude it. It’s about feeling all you have to feel until you have allowed it all to pour out and to find great support from people who will not judge you when you do this. Then you might begin to incorporate the experience and allow it to become a part of your history (or her-story)…
If you want to teach children that have been through a hard time (or a flood) resilience, then helping them to express their feelings is a good place to start. Words like “you felt pretty scared when that happened” and “I reckon you must feel quite angry about that” can help them to identify the feelings and also offers them permission to express without being judged.
Trauma needs to unravel at its own pace and if we allow the feelings to arise and do not judge ourselves or others and give the space and time needed for healing, our own bodies and minds generally know what to do and will lead us there. Trusting that process is the essence of resilience.
The other obvious question is: How do I learn resilience? But for that you might need to find a teacher…
NOTE: Petrea is conducting a free webinar on Resilience, in the wake of the recent natural disasters in Australia. Monday 21st, February 8pm (EST) click here to register.
Margie is a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor providing psychotherapy services to the people of the Central Coast and Sydney. Margie lives on the beautiful Central Coast with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.
Over the last 12 years, Margie has also been engaged in the design, delivery and marketing of transformational learning programs. During this time she has regularly facilitated personal development programs for up to 50 people on weekend workshops, week-long intensives and advanced programs of 3-4 months.
Margie has a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from UTS, Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy and qualifications in somatic therapy, executive coaching and relationship counselling.
Margie has a passion for personal development and regards people with respect, empathy and compassion in the belief that while we all do the best we can, a little bit more kindness and care can lead to even greater peace and joy in life.