#11 in a series of wild and precious things that help you become resilient.
TWIL (This Week I Learned.)
This week I learned resilience. I learned it by mistake as I stomped through the woods in a snowstorm on my weekly hike with my husband. Somehow, although both of us had said as we set off that we would like to “go easy” that day, we ended up stumbling straight uphill along what appeared to be someone’s old ski tracks (going downhill). At one point, my husband cried out, “Oh! Now I see why there are crampons on the bottom of these snowshoes!” We needed those crampons to grip the ice and clamber up a seriously verticle section up onto a clearing at what I hoped was the top of our hike. Nope. We debated what to do as we realized we were a little lost. The most logical idea was also the most daunting: Up one more hill, making our own path through deep powder.
That last section, after what I am guessing was close to a mile uphill, felt like a mini-wilderness. I was slightly cold, a bit hungry, getting tired, and, since I knew full well that when we reached the top we might still need to continue on and possibly up, a little sliver of hopeless crept in.
We reached the top and — to our huge surprise — we were not only “found” but we were right at the junction where we had had our picnic last week.
Now — the feeling as we crested the top of this hill, saw familiar trees and even a couple people (!) was buoyant. No longer cold, hungry, or tired and now fully hopeful we found a spot to make our small fire and have lunch.
Resilience in a petri dish this Saturday. I wonder if this physical memory will stay with me and help to remind my body what resilience feels like next time I need it?
“Everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts.”
”Fortune … falls heavily on those to whom she is unexpected; the man who is always expecting her easily withstands her.” — Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life” found in BrainPickings
Wow. Stoicism. It really is Monday morning, isn’t it?
But when it comes to nailing how to live a wide rather than long life, nothing beats it in my opinion.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever overcome? Describe it along that arc from beginning, through your wilderness to the other side and the toughness you gained.
I learned of this exercise in 2015 from a lovely blog called “Baka Desuyo” The Navy Seals and Olympians have 4 steps to increase mental toughness. You should really read the entire post — it’s awesome.
This week, try to use these 4 steps in at least one area of your life that needs toughening up:
Use positive self-talk
Focus on continual improvement
Desensitize by practicing in as near real-life rehearsal as possible.
February 17, 1905 — Geronimo (given name Goyahkla) dies of pneumonia while being held as a prisoner of war. Want to learn more about this man?
POD Poem of the day —
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