How to Grow Your Resilience

How to grow your resilience comes from many sources including an innate ability. We don’t often hear the word resilience. A Google search results in this definition for resilience – the capacity to recover from difficult circumstances or simply toughness.
In addition, it involves:

  • Connecting to a positive attitude
  • Developing a determination to work through
  • Saying “Yes” to difficult emotions
  • Developing the capacity to allow

Is This Something I Can Develop?

First, it’s nice to know resilience is a common occurrence in most people. However, we need to cultivate more of it. In fact, anyone can develop toughness or build upon it.

A meditation practice is key to developing all the qualities to build resilience. In fact, the capacity to recover (equanimity) is built-in to the meditation practice on Ten Percent Happier. A short meditation by Sebene Selassie is the basis for this article. Furthermore, you can watch a YouTube interview with Dan Harris and Sebene titled “The Joy of Allowing Life to Be”.


Although I recommend a set time for developing the habit of meditation, you can use these steps anytime you find yourself upset about a difficult situation. Allow your intuition to determine whether or not you remove yourself to a private location, safety first, always.

  1. Find a comfortable posture
  2. Either close your your eyes or gaze downward
  3. Begin with slow breathing, in through your nose, out through your mouth
  4. Soften any tightness in your body on the out breath
  5. Connect to the breath or whatever sensations in your body are prominent
  6. Accept anything happening right now; annoyance, distraction, ease, even pain
  7. Say to yourself, “Allow”
  8. Slowly open your eyes

Meditation practice is just that… practice. It doesn’t matter when you lose your way with distraction or thoughts. Noticing and starting again happens for everyone. Make space for exactly what’s here. Saying yes, starting over, allow.

Learning how to grow your resilience, your toughness, through cultivating a positive attitude, determination, and the capacity to allow result in working through difficult times.

Understanding Mindfulness vs Presence

Understanding mindfulness vs presence is my focus this week.

Examples of Mindfulness

I remember when a friend helped me work on being in the moment during a road trip to Aspen, Colorado. On the other hand, more recently I worked toward practicing mindfulness through meditation.

For me, meditation is a daily habit and developing presence is becoming one.

Understanding Mindfulness vs Presence by Example

Mindfulness includes noticing the world around you.
Cultivating presence includes focusing on a physical aspect within your own body.

Food Example:
I made yummy gluten-free almond oatmeal cookies yesterday. It was shortly before dinner when they came out of the oven. I confess I ate four cookies before I realized it.

Mindfulness practice would have me slow down, take one cookie, place it on a plate, sit down, and savor every aspect of it as I slowly took one bite at a time. In fact, I would have closed my eyes to increase my enjoyment and ability to be mindful.

On the other hand, cultivating presence, might result in a slightly different outcome.

My intention for the day included one technique for developing presence – tuning in on breathing. Rather than reach for the first cookie, I might have closed my eyes, and directed my attention toward the rise and fall of my belly. Perhaps then I could have considered ways to combat my familiar habit of eating without mindfulness.

Some alternative behaviors include:

  • Moving the cooling rack out of the kitchen
  • Drinking a glass of water, insuring hydration
  • Concentrating on heating up the dinner of leftover soup
  • Moving up dinner time
  • Fully enjoying one after dinner cookie

How Today is Different

This morning during my meditation to set my intention for the day, I realized patience would have helped me yesterday. Why not set patience as my intention today. I even have a scenario all set.

When the call of the cookie strikes, I will consider the list above after I close my eyes and focus on the breath.

Can You Love a Grocery Store?

Can you love a grocery store? I seem to. Perhaps it’s because it has been in my life, via my mother, longer than my physical existence.

Where Shopping is a Pleasure

This is a pretty simple concept. Yet it shows a caring attitude about their customers. ‘Where Shopping is a Pleasure’ exemplifies my personal experience with Publix, a native Polk County Florida grocery store. Now couple this slogan with their signature green.

Why is Green Special?

Green signifies growth and nature. Placing a white ‘P’ on a field of green feels like a purity of spirit. Furthermore, green is the color associated with the heart chakra. Did you think pink? There is a philosophy that pink signifies a healing heart. That feels right to me too.

History Affects Our Perspective

Mom and Dad married at the First Baptist Church, across the street from the historic first Publix supermarket, in Winter Haven, Florida. Even though they settled in Dundee, seven miles away, Mom often traveled to this first Publix when she couldn’t find an item at Helm’s Grocery in our tiny rural town.

I have vivid memories of this building, especially the glass tiles. Later, after a newer Publix was built, the building housed a Morrison’s Cafeteria. Those memories are even clearer.

On the rare occasions, when Dad was fishing in Placida or Chokoloskee, Mom took us to Morrison’s after church. I always requested the same selections; fried shrimp, cornbread stick and a salad with cucumber, tomato, and onion. Always. If I was really hungry, I chose a slice of coconut custard pie.

Bring Joy into the Mundane

Can you love a grocery store, the whine of a power saw, the tinkle of a bell when you enter a store, or the smell of rain? Absolutely. Stopping to notice everyday occurrences and allowing the joy into your heart brings happiness to yourself, your companions at the time, family, even strangers, like the veteran who offered to snap my picture in the Publix parking lot.