What About Resilience? A conversation with Lina Clavijo.

In This Crazy World, But We’re Still Living

Shit is hard right now, I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I think we’re getting knocked down over and over and have to find new reserves of energy to keep on getting back up. That’s why the topic of resilience feels so on point to bring to the surface. Also, as we head into the fall season, I think it’s important to remember that we are resilient – we have what it takes – and we can continue to build our emotional muscles, which will enable us to bounce back stronger, every single time.

To help me shed light on resilience, what it means, where it comes from and how to develop our emotional muscles, I called upon my dear friend Lina Clavijo to come on my IG Live show; Talk About it Tuesday.

First I’ll start with a short Q&A with Lina and afterwards, I’ll chime in with some of my favorite takeaways from our live conversation.


Q&A w/ Lina

Lina, you mentioned that you had some trepidation about coming on my show to talk about resilience, how come?

To be honest, my automatic question was: why would I be the right person to talk about this subject? In my view I had not done anything remarkable like climbing the highest mountain or running the most challenging marathon so how could I even talk about resilience?

After reflecting a little I realized that we are so comfortable undermining our own experiences and not owning what we have truly accomplished. 

I went on a mental trip revisiting all the transformative experiences in my life: going through divorce, bad break-ups, moving to different cities/countries, losing my parents in the span of a year and a half, going through my own struggles with depression and those of my children, experiencing a lay-off and the subsequent 18 month (and often disappointing) job search. This trip to memory lane gifted me with a valuable affirmation: “Yes, I am one of the most resilient people I know and from now on I will claim it as my SuperPower!”

What truly matters...

What does Resilience mean anyway? The term resilience seems to have become a synonym of strength, the definition of a strong person. But how much of it is really strength and how much of it is the skillset you can develop to cope with your life experiences? 

Being resilient, in my view, is more about the capacity you develop to bounce back.

I recognize there are personality traits, cultural elements and experiences that can make some individuals resilient in an organic way. I also think there are skills and practices you can consciously work on to develop the emotional muscle you need to bounce back.

So, what can we do to strengthen our ability to be resilient?

I think that we need to work on our emotional and physical wellbeing, as the two are intimately connected and can influence one another.

Working on our physical wellbeing is a little more straight-forward: take care of your body, be mindful of what you eat, exercise regularly, do your yearly doctor’s visits, etc.  Working on developing the emotional muscle is very personal and not a one size fit all kind of formula.

Every day we get ready for our day, we have a routine; take a shower, brush our teeth and hair, go to the gym…but how about our emotional beauty routine?  Why don’t we take 10 minutes of our day to feed our soul? It should be part of our morning routine.  For the past three years I have been practicing my power hour (not a strict 60 minutes period, 15 can be more than enough some days) to dedicate time to my soul.  Meditation has become the pinnacle practice in my power hour, and it can go from 5 minutes to 30, it all depends on the day and it can be guided or self-guided. 

Purposely listening to music, I feel the healing power of music and how it influences my mood and I try to read something, just a few pages of a soul feeding sort of book.  These activities help me stay grounded and connected to my spiritual needs and growth. 

Practicing self-awareness, gratefulness and non-attachment have also become part of my emotional muscle building activities.  You can only transform what you are aware of, there is always something to be grateful for and you have the power to decide if you move forward or you move on.

I hope these little nuggets spark your thought and you mindfully become the proud owner of your resilience.  

Lina’s thoughts on resilience really resonated with me and here are my 5 favorite insights she gave, with my take on it.

My 5 Favorite Insights on Resilience

  1. In troubling times, ask yourself “what is this teaching me”. This sounds like a silver lining and in my experience it really is. I think that when we can take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we can find purpose, clarity and even some relief that we can see that obstacles also have a purpose that serves us.
  2. You can still have your bad moments. Thank you lordy! Because being resilient and being strong and focusing on positivity doesn’t mean shit is not hard. And it doesn’t mean we can’t have bad moments, days or even weeks. This makes me think of the idea of going downstream – to go with whatever you are feeling, rather than fighting against the current!
  3. Grieving is part of resilience. When we have setbacks, and when things don’t go the way we wanted, it’s so important to honor and acknowledge the grief we feel. Not getting the support from people you wish you could receive it from, is just one example of what needs to be grieved. When we allow ourselves to do this, we will be even more prepared when we hit another setback. We will be able to bounce back stronger, because we’ve already addressed what’s in the reserves.
  4. Find acceptance in wherever you are in the process. Lina shared the framework of APRIL*, which stands for Awareness, Presence, Release, Intention and Love.  This has become her way to process the different events in her life, embrace them and find purpose.  You acknowledge what is going on in your life,  you own your feelings and emotions, you let go of whatever you need to, create a purposeful action and then you go on operating form a place of love (to yourself and others).  In the past – ok maybe to this day – I often struggle with accepting wherever I am in my journey of healing a particular wound (aka addressing triggers). But I know that accepting wherever I am, will make it easier to get to the next phase – because I’m not beating myself up for no reason, causing myself even more angst. *(Source: Prosperity Paradigm)
  5. Responding vs Reacting can change your life. The first time I started working with a coach, was the first step in my journey to understand that I was operating from a place of constant triggers. That’s because I never realized just how much I had been through in my life that needed processing, understanding and letting go. When I started to witness myself more closely, I could choose how I wanted to respond, versus operate from a place of reaction. Game. Changer.

So, what about resilience? Do you see now that you have it? Is something here pulling at you – to perhaps focus on and investigate?

Let’s launch into fall knowing that we ARE resilient. We WILL bounce back from whatever life throws our way, and we will be stronger for it.

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