Resilience is such a popular word today. When I was working as a Learning Mentor, it was one of the attributes we wanted to encourage in the children. If you’re living in a council house with one parent and many siblings where food, security and even having a home this time next month could be at risk, then being resilient and able to ride the wave of one’s life situation with strength to get through it and still have hope for the future intact is a great ability. Some of my pupils could see a way out, and were working towards it…. but others couldn’t look beyond the next meal or the next weekend or (furtherest they would look) the next school year.
Very often these children had a great sense of powerlessness. Life was this way, had always been this way and would never change. Building up a sense that they could help themselves, or trust others to help them, took time, effort and skill. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, and learning to let the failures go was part of me learning and using resilience as well.
Without exception, spirituality — the belief in connection, a power greater than self, and interconnections grounded in love and compassion– emerged as a component of resilience.
It’s not possible to cultivate resilience if you think that this moment, this second now, is all you have power over. You have to think that change is possible, or going to happen and that you can move towards that change without it costing you too much. You have to cultivate hope. Brene Brown describes hope as “A combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.” The work isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, and we can do it.
You also need critical awareness to know whether the goal you’ve set yourself is actually desirable and right for you… or have you fallen for a dream sold to you by the modern world? We live in such a visually driven world, it can be easy to forget that sometimes the camera does lie and that we are perfectly capable of being sold that lie. Recognising what is good, true and will support our wholehearted living is a great gift.
And part of resilience is facing up to our emotions… the good and the bad. Brene Brown talks of ‘numbing the light as well as the dark’ and it is true that if we have a habit that we use to numb our feelings (drink, overeating, avoiding intimacy) it gets between us and the highs of life as well as taking the edge off the lows.
I struggle with overeating. Food has always been my drug of choice. I’m lucky now that I recognise it and can, as long as I’m feeling strong, stamp my foot down and say no. No more cake/biscuit/crisps. I will never be thin, but I can be healthy. And eating well, being healthy, are signs of my resilience. It’s a muscle I need to keep exercising, but I’ll get there in the end.
Other posts in this series:
If you’d like to support me….
My new book, Cosy Happy Hygge is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon now. As you know, I do the whole kit and caboodle myself, from writing to proofreading to designing and I’m very proud of this one. It’s about using rhythm and ritual to make your life a gentler, kinder place. Writing it has been an important part of my mental health recovery.
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.
My first three books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
If you buy any of the books or some of the items through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, as an Amazon Affiliate, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.
Truthfully, I’ll probably never make a living as a writer, but I do make a little extra income that gets ploughed back into books and magazines. One obsession feeds the other…