Twelve months ago, rather than a list of resolutions, I picked one word to describe how I would be at the end of 2013. My one word for this year was resilient. I set the course and knew what I wanted. At the time, I had no idea how far I would come and my road map was blurry. As I approached the year, I was intentional about where I wanted to go, but open to how I arrived at destination resilience. The truth is that, much like life and happiness, becoming resilient will be a life long process. I’m happy to say I have taken more than a few steps in the right direction on this journey. A few people and experiences were instrumental along my path to learning to be more resilient and I’ve taken some time to capture them here.
Running. Setting goals for myself and growing, stretching, and reaching these goals consistently reminded me what I am capable of physically. Getting sick when being within arms length of a big running goal physically and emotionally set me back. Knowing that I am able to bounce back the second my sneakers hit the pavement, has been a significant contributor to my ability to be more resilient. Running has been a great teacher. I recently read a book on the life-long lessons of running (thanks Amy!); resilience has been my most powerful and valuable lesson.
Open, honest, driven, and courageous people. Melissa gave me the courage to be honest with myself and the courage to reach realistic goals. Lisa taught me that not reaching the goals is not the same as failure. Amy taught me to be realistic with myself while still reaching for the stars and setting the bar high. Evan reminded me in tough situations to ask, “How can I be resilient in this situation?” The women from WLI reminded me dream big and work doggedly towards these dreams. My dogs taught me that some playtime and genuine love and kindness can help me bounce back from even the crummiest of days. Hallie taught me to ask for help, trust in the goodness of others, and the importance of staying centered during the commotion of life. Amber challenged me to believe in my skill set, give self doubt the boot, and know what is important to me professionally. It was one of these same individuals that encouraged me to participate in the next significant experience of cultivating resilience.
The Gifts of Imperfection Oprah Life Course with Brene Brown had a profound impact. An entire section of this creative and reflective course was dedicated to cultivating resilience. The course focused on being kind and compassionate to myself and others. So many of the creative exercises in this class allowed me to reflect and develop a resilient mindset.
Resilience has meant crawling out of the hole when I feel miserable and bouncing back rather than laying flat. Resilience has meant knowing I’m never in this life alone. I can withstand cruelty, bullying, and hatefulness and still love and thrive. It means continuing to run, trusting my abilities, nurturing and cultivating amazing relationships, being kind, and dreaming big. Running, connecting, and growing have been instrumental in becoming my one word 2013.
Did you become or work towards your one word? How?