The Path of Greatest RESILIENCE
In times of struggle, we need to shift our paradigm from, the path of least resistance to the path of greatest resilience. What does this mean? It means that we apply the resilient training trinity to our life more than we ever have before.
The importance of this can't be stressed enough. With everyone in California still in a stay-at-home order, energy and tensions may continue to build in the household. That energy needs to be moved in a healthy and productive way. You can't go to the gym, or your favorite boutique studio right now but that doesn't mean you can't exercise. There are tons of classes available online both on-demand and live stream. Even without them, the beaches are now open in Southern California to go for a walk or a run. You can still do push-ups, air-squats, burpees, lunges, yoga, and a ton of other bodyweight exercises that will elevate your heart rate and get you sweating.
Mental fitness comes in several different forms. For this blog, I will focus on a few of the key RESILIENCE 10 principles that will have the greatest effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay positive, but don't be stupid. You need to check your pie in the sky ideas against reality. There is no doubt that there will be some lasting changes in the way we conduct our lives post-pandemic. Many of these things will be different from what most of us are used to. It's important that we come to grips with that fact and then look at the positive aspects of it. We should also set realistic goals for ourselves. How will you run your business? How will you stay healthy? How will you continue to reach your highest aspirations and goals? Don't crush your dreams just make sure they are tested against the reality of the "new normal."
Fear is the breeding ground for anger, hatred, violence, illogical thought, and impulsive behavior. When our brain is a fearful state we are in a stressful state. A stressed brain shifts energy back to the reptilian brain and subdues the activation of our frontal cortex. This hinders our ability to use reason and discernment when making decisions. To overcome your fears you first need to identify them. Write a list of all fears and then narrow it down to your current top three. Once you have those think about a strategy for overcoming them. What resources do you currently have at your disposal? What would it look like if you no longer had this fear? Who is this fear serving and why? For more on overcoming fears, you should take the resilience on-demand course, Charging Your Bio Battery.
Cognitive and Emotional Flexibility
Our motto is to adapt, overcome, redefine. To adapt we have to have cognitive and emotional flexibility. A rigid stubborn mind cannot learn. If a mind cannot learn then it cannot overcome dynamic constantly changing challenges. As Albert Einstein once famously said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Keep your mind open to new ways of thinking. Those with flexible minds will stretch into new creative ways of thinking and being.
Emotional flexibility is your capacity to adjust your reactions to the environment at hand. Emotions are powerful drivers of actions. Therefore, if you have greater understanding and control of your emotions you will have greater control of your actions. Things with COVID-19 are changing rapidly. Some of these changes may be accompanied by a level of uncertainty. Not knowing what the next step will be or how to properly work on the step you're on. It's ok. Remember you're not the only person in this situation, the entire world is working on this in one way or another. Which brings us to the final piece of our trinity.
Everyone is told to stay at least six feet away from anyone not in their household. Handshakes have died and in many states, your face is supposed to be covered. The theme for COVID is isolation, not integration but there are still ways for us to stay connected and support each other. Online platforms like Zoom and Google Meet are ways to connect with friends and family like you never have before. Yoga and fitness teachers are meeting new students from around the country and the world who would have never been able to take their classes in person. You can still waive and say high to your neighbor when you pass them on your afternoon walk, even with a mask on and staying six feet apart.
Another way resilient people find support is through spirituality. Having a belief system in someone or something bigger and greater than a single individual creates a sense of connection. It cultivates a connection with yourself and with others. It relies on the development of your value system, and it helps give meaning to life.
For many, spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation, or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, or art. One thing that is great about spirituality is that it can be different for everyone. Regardless of where it is found, it can provide a feeling of deeper connection with the world, give some higher meaning and purpose to life, and alleviate some of the stress related to needing to be in control.
Taking the path of greatest resilience means taking the path of being mindful, flexible, strong, optimistic, and connected. It is not the path of least resistance. In fact, for many, it may be the exact opposite. It requires as Iyengar once said about the practice of yoga, "It is tough, and you need to train hard. It requires the willingness to think for yourself, to observe and correct, and to surmount occasional setbacks. It demands honesty, sustained application, and above all love in your heart."