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Posts Tagged ‘resilience’

The cracked bowl with gold infill, reminds me how beautiful we all are.  That is, we all have a history, we all have suffered at some time.  Yet, the beauty of who we are still manages to shine through, no matter what life has thrown at us. An example of how resilient we can be.

When something has suffered damage.....it becomes more beautiful.

When something has suffered damage…..it becomes more beautiful.

“It’s important to know that any emotional damage we face in life is something that can be fixed and mended.
It’s a choice to want to heal those hurts that have made us broken at one point in time.
As we restore ourselves…we emerge with a stronger and more beautiful spirit, ready to take on life once again.
from Read, Love and Learn”

If you have suffered emotional trauma or any life challenging circumstance, now may be the time to take some time for you, rediscover your beauty and create the space for healing. The Healing Your Life Program at Quest for Life helps to do just that. Click here for more information.

Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia’s career began in banking and then moved via advertising to a major career change in 1980 to Adult and Transformational Education.  She has been privileged to share this incredible journey with 1000’s of like minded souls through her extensive experience as a facilitator, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor.  She managed her own training company in Victoria during the 1990’s, and during this time was the Course Leader for a training program from which the Banksia Environmental Foundation formed.

Alexia has acquired further education in Adult Education in Training; Somatic Psychotherapy; Life Coaching; Conflict Resolution; plus Accreditation in many behavioural and culture change models. She is an Associate of EcoSTEPS, a niche Sustainability consultancy, which supports her love of the natural environment.

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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 Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

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.

 

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There has never been a time in history where children are so subjected to information about and pictures of, suffering. Some families are eating dinner while there are images of great suffering on the television news and both print media and radio news can conjure up pictures that children may find anxiety provoking.

Children can often be overlooked when there is a world tragedy, family or school upset or when adults around them are dealing with relationship breakdown, separation issues, illness, grief or depression. Some people think that children are mostly oblivious to these peripheral stresses in their lives but this is a great error in judgment.

Science has now proved what intuitively our grandmothers knew: a happy stable loving child grows up in a happy stable loving environment. The neurochemistry laid down in the first three years of life has a profound impact upon the child’s growing brain. While children don’t understand the intellectual underpinnings of many adult conversations, they are acutely aware of the ‘sound’ or tone of the voices around them. There is a tone of voice that conveys judgment; there’s a sound conveyed by resentment or despair and a sound around blame, frustration and anger.

Children don’t understand the beliefs that adults may hold, but they can certainly ‘read’ the feeling being expressed and will associate that tone of voice with the subject of the adult’s judgment. In this way children learn to close their hearts and minds to whomever their family sees as ‘the others’ – those that are richer, poorer, better educated, less educated, from a different religion, sexual orientation or cultural background.

Children’s bodies and brains react to these sounds by secreting increased amounts of adrenalin and cortisol. The secretion of these chemicals is necessary at times when we need to run away from a valid fear or to front up and deal with it and these physical activities use up the benefit of these chemicals. When a child feels stressed a good deal of the time, these chemicals negatively activate and speed up some processes in the body as well as suppress the capacities of the child’s immune system.

Young children have a natural capacity to be still and enjoy the present moment. As babies and very young children, we were content with very simple pleasures derived from our senses. Just taking on all the new sounds, sensations, smells, sights and tastes was a full time job! This ability to be happily absorbed in whatever activity is at hand gradually wanes as a child becomes caught up with the busy-ness of life and its challenges.

It is natural for young children to be compassionate and caring. A young child doesn’t require knowledge of your bank account or your educational history in order for them to bestow upon you their bountiful love.

As children grow and realise there are things to be achieved and challenges to be overcome, they may lose this capacity to find pleasure in the simple things of life. In addition, many children become sensitive to the upsets in their loved-ones or the wider world.

We can build resilience in our children by giving them practical skills and strategies to utilize whenever they feel anxious or upset. We do this best by being a living demonstration to our children because as we all know, children watch what we do rather than follow what we say! When we bounce back from life’s challenges and disappointments we can share with our children how and why we did so. This is something that needs to be taught to children and is a vital part of them learning to be capable when life’s unexpected disasters or disappointments happen. Spending time with children explaining to them how they can build resilience and reading them stories where children demonstrate these qualities helps children understand how they can embrace their difficulties in life with skill.

Over the past twenty five years I have listened to thousands of stories from adults who were physically, sexually or emotionally abused as children. Paradoxically, many of these people find that once they integrate these past emotional wounds, they find some of the strengths that they developed because of these painful experiences. They may have developed resilience, self-reliance, capabilities and determination. I have also heard many people say that they had such a happy experience as a child that it never prepared them to deal with difficulties and disappointments when they encountered them! Either way, as parents, we can actively promote and teach resilience skills to our children or grandchildren and equip them as adults to grapple meaningfully and creatively with the challenges they will encounter in both their personal and global lives.

Petrea King

Petrea King

Petrea is conducting a one day seminar on Resilient Children on Sunday 26th September, 2010 in Sydney. Book here.

Author of You, Me & the Rainbow, Rainbow Kids and The Rainbow Garden published by Jane Curry Publishing and Rainbow Connection CD for children and five books for adults including Your Life Matters and a dozen meditation CDs.

Founding Director and CEO, Quest for Life Foundation www.questforlife.com.au

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There has never been a time in history where children are so subjected to information about and pictures of, suffering. Some families are eating dinner while there are images of great suffering on the television news and both print media and radio news can conjure up pictures that children may find anxiety provoking.

Children can often be overlooked when there is a world tragedy, family or school upset or when adults around them are dealing with relationship breakdown, separation issues, illness, grief or depression. Some people think that children are mostly oblivious to these peripheral stresses in their lives but this is a great error in judgment.

Science has now proved what intuitively our grandmothers knew: a happy stable loving child grows up in a happy stable loving environment. The neurochemistry laid down in the first three years of life has a profound impact upon the child’s growing brain. While children don’t understand the intellectual underpinnings of many adult conversations, they are acutely aware of the ‘sound’ or tone of the voices around them. There is a tone of voice that conveys judgment; there’s a sound conveyed by resentment or despair and a sound around blame, frustration and anger.

Children don’t understand the beliefs that adults may hold, but they can certainly ‘read’ the feeling being expressed and will associate that tone of voice with the subject of the adult’s judgment. In this way children learn to close their hearts and minds to whomever their family sees as ‘the others’ – those that are richer, poorer, better educated, less educated, from a different religion, sexual orientation or cultural background.

Children’s bodies and brains react to these sounds by secreting increased amounts of adrenalin and cortisol. The secretion of these chemicals is necessary at times when we need to run away from a valid fear or to front up and deal with it and these physical activities use up the benefit of these chemicals. When a child feels stressed a good deal of the time, these chemicals negatively activate and speed up some processes in the body as well as suppress the capacities of the child’s immune system.

Young children have a natural capacity to be still and enjoy the present moment. As babies and very young children, we were content with very simple pleasures derived from our senses. Just taking on all the new sounds, sensations, smells, sights and tastes was a full time job! This ability to be happily absorbed in whatever activity is at hand gradually wanes as a child becomes caught up with the busy-ness of life and its challenges.

It is natural for young children to be compassionate and caring. A young child doesn’t require knowledge of your bank account or your educational history in order for them to bestow upon you their bountiful love.

As children grow and realise there are things to be achieved and challenges to be overcome, they may lose this capacity to find pleasure in the simple things of life. In addition, many children become sensitive to the upsets in their loved-ones or the wider world.

We can build resilience in our children by giving them practical skills and strategies to utilize whenever they feel anxious or upset. We do this best by being a living demonstration to our children because as we all know, children watch what we do rather than follow what we say! When we bounce back from life’s challenges and disappointments we can share with our children how and why we did so. This is something that needs to be taught to children and is a vital part of them learning to be capable when life’s unexpected disasters or disappointments happen. Spending time with children explaining to them how they can build resilience and reading them stories where children demonstrate these qualities helps children understand how they can embrace their difficulties in life with skill.

Over the past twenty five years I have listened to thousands of stories from adults who were physically, sexually or emotionally abused as children. Paradoxically, many of these people find that once they integrate these past emotional wounds, they find some of the strengths that they developed because of these painful experiences. They may have developed resilience, self-reliance, capabilities and determination. I have also heard many people say that they had such a happy experience as a child that it never prepared them to deal with difficulties and disappointments when they encountered them! Either way, as parents, we can actively promote and teach resilience skills to our children or grandchildren and equip them as adults to grapple meaningfully and creatively with the challenges they will encounter in both their personal and global lives.

Petrea King

If you would like to join Petrea to hear more about building resilient children you can join us for:
eSeminar (online):  8pm – 9pm Tuesday 20th July, 2010 www.questforlife.com.au/eSeminars
Day Seminar (Sydney): 26th September, 2010 www.questforlife.com.au/day-programs

Author of You, Me & the Rainbow, Rainbow Kids and The Rainbow Garden published by Jane Curry Publishing and Rainbow Connection CD for children and five books for adults including Your Life Matters and a dozen meditation CDs.

Founding Director and CEO, Quest for Life Foundation www.questforlife.com.au

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