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The Resilient Tree

The Resilient Tree
Cultivating Resilience
“Sometimes, we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.” – unknown
Have these times left you feeling weary? Do you dread the cold and dark of winter? Do you sometimes wonder if you have the strength or resources that you need to get through your challenges? Whether your challenges are physical or emotional, it can be helpful to cultivate some resilience for whatever challenge that lays ahead of you.
I want to introduce you to a neighbor of mine who embodies resilience. I’m not sure how hold she is, but I know that she has seen a lot. I didn’t meet her until the pandemic shut down of 2020, and she has really taught me some things over the last year. I imagine that when she was a little tree, she might have complained that the rocks under her roots were keeping her from being able to grow straight like the other trees. But she must have persevered and kept reaching around the rocks to find where her roots could find the nourishment that she needed.
I imagine that at some point, the winds and storms started to knock her down, or maybe another tree fell onto her trunk and she started to fall. But it turns out that the rough, rocky terrain that she endured under her roots actually helped to hold her up. Today, it looks like the rocks have helped her to stay standing, even through the crazy mountain winds. She may be growing at an angle, but I think she is the oldest and widest, most fantastic tree in the whole national forest that we have the blessing of living near.
Would you like to cultivate some resilience for your life? Here are some questions or journaling prompts that you can use the next time you feel like you are struggling with something challenging:
  1. What is happening in my body, mind, and heart right now as I reflect on this challenge?
  2. If I take a step back and explore this situation with curiosity, and a fresh perspective, what do I notice about the challenge or about myself in relation to this challenge?
  3. What am I grateful for in this moment?
  4. What kinds of challenges have I overcome in the past?
  5. What are the “rocks” that I have grown with/adapted to that might help keep me from collapsing or falling over?
  6. Is it better to avoid the problem or to find strength to overcome this difficulty?
  7. What are some of my weaknesses that might effect how I deal with this challenge?
  8. Can I bring some acceptance to my weaknesses?
  9. What resources do I have to help me get through this challenge?
  10. What thoughts or beliefs could help me get through this? What thoughts or beliefs would I be better off without?
  11. What kinds of activities can support me with this challenge?
  12. At the end of the day, can I write down three things I am grateful for and one way that I showed my resilience?

I would love to hear how this journaling goes for you! Please drop me a line and let me know what helps you to cultivate resilience.

Isn’t she incredible?
Her scent is intoxifying!
So much strength!

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