Just last week we planted some seeds in our first attempt at gardening in the nearby community garden. We invested $50 in our 4×18 foot raised garden bed to have a Petrie dish to build intentional resilience.
Recently, we joined in with strangers who soon felt like friends as we worked to improve the large community garden. I felt excitement as I tilled the soil. I watched as the soil became soft and pliable. Then it was time for raking, leveling, and readying the soil for the vegetable and flower seeds to be planted. We should see the seeds burst through the soil in just seven days according to our instructions.
The purpose of the garden is to create an opportunity for us to experience “positive anticipation” throughout our summer. At each stage of the plant’s life, we anticipate what it will look like the next day. One day we will go to the garden, and it will be time to harvest our bountiful crop of greens, radishes, kale and beautiful zinnias and wildflowers.
Another positive resilience building exercise is the opportunity to share our harvest with neighbors and friends. Sharing is a form of generosity. Generosity is life giving and renewing. Generosity helps one experience the delight of abundance. We anticipate what it will feel like to be generous by sharing our harvest with others who do not have the time, energy, or opportunity to have their own garden.
There are times and season when we experience a harvest from our intentional efforts. Notice how the following words of a plant’s life cycle resonate with how you might metaphorically describe the quality of your life. Often the following words can be used to describe how one feels about their own inner life. Resilience is the word that describes our emotional capacity and how we respond to situations and circumstances. How do you feel about the harvest of your life?
Which of the following life stages describe how you feel about your life:
Taking Root * Emerging * Developing * Growing * Flourishing * Thriving
Our gardening story is an example of just a couple of our intentional resilience building strategies for
EXERCISE #1 – What metaphorical seeds do you want to plant for yourself?
EXERCISE #2 – What can you do to build your generosity and positive anticipation?
Resilience is defined as the capacity each of us has for growth and positive adaptation despite the nearly
constant barrage of stress we all feel daily at work, in our communities, and in our personal lives. A
strong resilient core means that you will be better prepared to:
➡️ Meet life’s challenges with confidence.
➡️ Recover more quickly from adversity.
➡️ Learn and grow stronger as you navigate through life.
➡️ Adapt to changing circumstances.
➡️ Live with courage.
Stress, adversity, and trauma do not have to determine the outcomes of your life. You can be initiative- taking and make changes now that will make a long-term difference in your life. By the way, your resilience must continually be cultivated and grown. Just like our physical muscles need daily exercises to remain firm and agile, our resilience muscle needs daily and consistent development. You can imagine the changes that occur over one’s life. If you are not growing resilience, you are shrinking back, there is always a constant pull on using your emotional capacity. It will be helpful to stay ahead of adversity by building your resilience. Building resilience takes time and a willingness to continue going forward even when it is difficult, and you are too tired to do one more thing. The following exercise is a good place to begin.
EXERCISE #3 – Learning to quiet and rest in the yard or garden.
Take two minutes a day to enjoy getting acquainted with quieting your body. In our fast-paced world, resting or quieting has not been protected or reinforced. Give your mind and body a break by going outside, try to be free from distractions of other humans. Once outside in a distraction free place. Set your timer for two minutes so you do not have to look at your watch. Allow yourself to take in some deep breaths, close your eyes, and continue to slowly take deep breaths and exhaling slowly. Notice what you hear as you are breathing. Listen for your breath, the birds, the hum of a mower, the cars driving on the road, the dogs barking or whatever is within an ear shot. Once the timer goes off, open your eyes, take one more deep breath and exhale. Notice how you feel with just two minutes of relaxation. Rest builds resilience.
What are you doing this spring to build your resilience and expand your emotional capacity? If you would like to learn more about the benefits of intentional resilience building, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Now is the time to plant something for yourself and watch it grow.