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Cultivating Resilience Practice 7: Finding Joy

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share with you snippets from Becky Andrews’ new book “Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal.” Adversity strengthens and builds resilience; Becky will share weekly practices to help us become more resilient. ~Steph

Hello All

Thanks for following along as we cultivate resilience. You are resilient! Sometimes we might question our resiliency. It is a process and a journey. It is those practices that help us be transformed through difficult times. It is the act of getting up another day. We each have our paths to cultivate resilience. It is a personal path and what works well for one person may not be as helpful to someone else. These practices are concepts that have been consistently shown to help us in our resilient journey. I would love to hear what is helping you in your resilience.  

Recently, a friend and I were discussing some pretty heavy topics of the day. It was indeed a deep, meaningful conversation. And then, she asked me – what is bringing you joy right now? For a moment I had to take a pause. Oh yes, joy. We can find joy even in our challenging times. 

What is bringing me joy right now? As I paused to answer this question my thoughts naturally shifted, a smile came to my face and I felt some joy pondering this question.  

This leads us to practice seven: Finding joy, laughter, play in each day. 

At times, taking a step back to find something that is funny in the moment can help us move through a difficult process. Noticing humor in a situation places us in an observant role.  

Every time you are able to find humor in a difficult situation you win. 

~Avinash Wandre

Perhaps you intentionally find that movie to watch that will make you laugh. Perhaps you start your day with the challenge to make sure you find some way to laugh in the day.

  • You reach out to that friend who is able to make you laugh.
  • You take a few moments in the day to find the lightness and humor. 
  • You make an effort to smile. 

Did you know that smiling / laughter helps our bodies even if it is intentional? We get the benefits of the smile and laughter even if it feels a bit forced. Have you ever tried laughing yoga? Oh my, what an adventure. It is based on the theory that some voluntary laughter provides similar psychological and physiological benefits as spontaneous laughter. It involves laughter and playfulness.  

The header photo is of me and two of my dear friends, who are also both visually impaired. I love that this moment was captured. In this moment we were going to take a picture after dinner together. What is making us laugh so hard is I was (blind and not aware) trying to pull in a fourth person into the picture that happened to be a man walking past us at the restaurant. As we realized this and I said my excuse me’s and apologies; we all broke out laughing. This poor man had no idea why this lady was trying to pull him into the photoshoot moment.  

The laughter of this moment brought joy to a situation where the reality was that I couldn’t see and was pulling in a stranger for a photoshoot. It could have been a moment of some sadness, embarrassment – yet instead, it was such a funny moment together because we were able to laugh about it. Understandable there are times when we have those moments and it does not feel funny.  

In the Conner-Davidson Resilience Scale, 25 traits of resilience were listed. Be able to see the humorous side of things is on this list.  

Practice Seven involves making sure you are getting some time to play, to laugh, to find the joy, and see the humor in a situation. Dr. Brene Brown in her ten guideposts to wholehearted living places Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance as one of these guideposts. We let go of being in control and what others think. Indeed, when we are called to cultivate resilience we are letting go of that sense of control.   

So I go back to my friend’s question: What is bringing you joy right now? What can you do to bring some joy into your life amongst the challenging times? What makes you laugh? How do you create that intention to find the lighter side of things even for a few moments?  

To find some joy amongst it all is to cultivate resilience.  

For your reference here are the previous practices on resiliency:

About The Author:

Image is described in the body of the post.
Becky Andrews

Becky Andrews is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Small Business Owner – Resilient Solutions, Inc, and founder of the Daring to Own Your Story ™ Retreats. She is also the author of Look up, move forward – her memoir of Losing her eyesight and finding her vision.  

You can follow her at:

Workbook: 

Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal will be out Fall 2020. Email Becky at becky.lpc@gmail.com to be on the waiting list or preorder.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Photo of Becky and two friends laughing while standing outside of a restaurant.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 
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Thriving With Sight Loss, A Talk With Ed Henkler

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CANE ENABLED | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Editor’s Note:

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Today’s featured guest for this month’s Cane EnAbled segment, Social Entrepreneur and Creator of The Blind Guide, Ed Henkler, personifies Gandhi’s sentiment. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ed and was immediately taken with his passion for those who are blind/visually impaired. Ed’s advocacy journey began with his mother’s sight loss (later in life) and today he works tirelessly to help people within the blind community to thrive. Bold Blind Beauty’s Nasreen Bhutta, sat down with Ed to discuss his journey and his work. ~Steph

Interview Transcript:

Nasreen:

Welcome to Bold Blind Beauty and Beyond Sight, an online community and magazine. I’m your host, Nasreen, and today we’re going to be featuring our Cane EnAbled segment, so in addition to celebrating all things related to the white cane, including safety and usage, personalization, this monthly series also shares broad perspectives in the field and parents of blind and visually impaired children, advocates and exciting news on the technology front. Cane EnAbled is published on the fourth Monday of each month.

Today we have a special guest with us, who is thriving and striving. We are going to be speaking with Mr. Ed Henkler, who is a social entrepreneur and advocate and who is very passionate about improving quality and life and employability of people who are blind or visually impaired. His website is TheBlindGuide.com. So if you want to learn more about Ed and what he does, you can visit TheBlindGuide.com. Good morning, Ed.

Ed:

Good morning, Nasreen.

Nasreen:

Thanks for being our featured guest today on Cane Enabled. You’re a social entrepreneur and advocate and we want to learn more about why you are so passionate about assisting folks with disabilities to thrive. For someone who’s not part of the community, why do you have such passion?

Ed:

In the early 1990’s my mom called and told me that she had macular degeneration. At the time, I had no idea what that meant. I knew degeneration was a bad thing.

So she explained to me what was going on and at the time it was only affecting one eye. At the time there were no treatments for it. We have some options today. So she was still able to maneuver in society; she still had one solid eye. But I told my wife, “We’re going to have to do something. When her other eye goes, we’re going to have to react quickly.”

We were living in the suburbs of Philadelphia; my mom was living in Florida and it was five years later that she called and told us that the other eye was starting to go and we had her moved within a week. But it was a very disconcerting time, obviously for her, but also for us. We knew nothing about blindness. I can’t say that I even know that I had come across somebody with a cane, or somebody who was blind. I believe we’ll come back to it later, but I do have some personal experiences, but I am sighted and have 20/20 vision.

So we moved my mom up, had no idea what to do, and there was really no accessible Internet at that point. So you couldn’t just go on and look for associations for the blind. But we stumbled across a group that was in our home town  and in the space of one to two years they restored her independence. I saw her travel further than she did before losing her sight. She traveled outside the country for the first time. She became a spokesperson for the Association for the Blind, something she had never done before, and I think, all in all, not only thrived, but probably lived her life better than she did before vision loss.

Nasreen:

What were some of the challenges for you, Ed, as your mother was losing her sight? How did you cope with those challenges?

Ed:

I don’t think I realized at the time what it was like to be a caregiver, so initially we just jumped in and tried to do everything we could to help her. I think we did a lot of the wrong things from not knowing how to guide somebody who’s blind, letting them grab your elbow, that type of thing, keeping them in control, to not understanding what she could and couldn’t see.

One of the stories I’ve told a lot of people is, as her disease progressed, she couldn’t tell who I was unless she happened to know what clothing I had on. Obviously no central vision, but I’d see her say, “look; there’s a dime on the floor.” That used to be maddening to me. How can you see that tiny little shiny dime and not see your son, who’s only six feet tall? How to get through that, how to help her in a way that let her remain independent. That was certainly our role, and it was her goal. I had to learn a whole new language. We had to learn how to describe directions to her.

I think the other piece is there was some sense of frustration. My dad had died early and now my mom couldn’t see, and I came from a family where my grandparents all lived into  their late 80’s and 90’s. Suddenly, very early in my life, I was caring for a mom that couldn’t take care of all of the things in her life and didn’t even have a father around. So frustration, concern, fear, not knowing how to deal with her, having no idea what was possible for her after her sight was gone… The list is long.

Nasreen:

Do you think you’re better because of it today? Is that the passion that drives you?

Ed:

I think I’m dramatically better. Clearly what my mom was going through was worse than what we were going through. I wouldn’t pretend as a caregiver that my life was the same as hers. But I had been somewhat blessed in my life. I spent two years in the Navy, I spent twenty years at work, I had always been employed, really hadn’t had any significant challenges, and I think I was a bit smug. Not probably in a bad way, probably not even atypical from many other people, but it’s easy to say, “I understand other people have challenges,” but when you haven’t confronted them, or maybe they haven’t hit close to home, I don’t think you understand as well.

I have learned since, number one, how hard some people are trying with very little success, how hard it is to navigate a world when you can’t see it, a lot of things like that. So it’s made me sensitive to people’s disabilities in general, and then that has carried over to other people that are challenged, whether it be transportation challenged, employment challenged, whatever it may be, and I was not that way before. I think I may have said I was, but I wasn’t. 

Nasreen:

You are also coach and mentor, and an advocate. Can you highlight some of those areas for us?

Ed:

Before we talk about the community of people who are blind, and that was back when I was working for the pharmaceutical company, this was probably in the early 2000’s, I had a woman who was working for me and she told me about this new group being formed called the Women’s Mentoring  Network, and she said, “you should attend.” I think I’ve mentored throughout my life. I was a Navy ROTC instructor in my mid 20’s. At that point I was trying to help younger people than me, although I was pretty young at the time. I was trying to help them navigate college, navigate deaths of parents, breakups with girlfriends or boyfriends, all that type of thing. So I mentored early on, and then she wanted me to join this Women’s Mentoring Network. I said, “well, think about the name. I’m not a woman; I wouldn’t belong there.” She said, “no, there are lots of men that show up.” “Well, that seems fair, so I’ll go.” I show up at the meeting and there is one other male there and about thirty women. I said, “I don’t see all the men.” She said, “well, I might have lied.”

[Ed and Nasreen laugh.]

Ed:

But I became very involved with it and I think maybe that was the first step I took towards understanding others. It’s not fair to call women a minority because they’re a majority, but they’re often treated as a minority. And I started recognizing the challenges they had, particularly younger women who have families, trying to raise a child, trying to work, trying to do everything. But I think that’s when I first really understood that mentoring role and became truly involved in that.

Since then, what motivates me with people who are blind is many people know there’s a statistic that’s thrown out that there’s seventy percent unemployment for people who are blind. And there’s a lot of noise around that statistic. There’s some that say it’s lower; the point is, it’s a very high number, and I think if you look back far enough, maybe twenty, thirty, forty years, maybe there was more reason for it; probably still not, but at least more understandable. With today’s technology, it’s completely inexcusable. I find no reason for the unemployment to be any different amongst people who are blind versus someone who is sighted, and certainly not a factor of ten. So that’s what’s gotten me involved in using the same techniques I was using with someone who is sighted to help them realize their potential and help them navigate corporate uncertainties and maybe my primary theme, which is to understand what drives you.

What’s your passion? And if I can go into a little bit of a story there, when I used to be asked what my passion was, I would have told you that I was passionate about strategic planning and trying to help senior decision makers figure out what they want to do, and as I look back, that was a skill. That wasn’t the passion. I wasn’t investing any money in that. I didn’t really care about it; it was just something I did well and it was what the company paid me for. It took unemployment, or technically early retirement, for me to finally realize that what I was passionate about was helping people who are blind thrive. And I will say it wasn’t me who figured that out; it was others who kept observing that that everything about me changed when I talked about people who are blind.

I finally told my wife, “I think the universe is yelling at me and I just need to adjust my approach.” And that’s when I really switched hard over into this concept of prevention of blindness and enabling of technology to help people who are blind thrive. But it’s really the same thing; it’s uncovering what you believe in, what you’re passionate about, and then finding out how to present yourself and sell yourself in a way that makes you a success.

The final piece, I think, perhaps, of this answer is, I’ve been mentoring a young man for at this point, probably four years. When I connected with him, he was one course away from graduating from Princeton. So this was a man who was completely blind, had a full scholarship to Princeton, within one course of graduating and had been that way for two years. Two years without graduating, with only one course to complete, and sitting at home with his parents, unemployed.

It was his parents who begged me to mentor him through the fortune of a strong network. I was able to connect at the convenience of his school, who simply loved this young man and wanted him to come back. Within a day of us agreeing to work together, I said, “you need to get on the phone immediately. The college wants you back; they want you to graduate.” Within six months, he was graduated from Princeton. So wonderful accomplishment there.

I helped him find an internship in an accounting firm, which was where his skills were, and since that time, he has been promoted twice he is about a third of the way through a Masters degree in taxation, and while he still lives at home, his life has completely flipped. He’s a very happy, confident person. He is moving gradually ahead of his peers, sighted or otherwise.

Nasreen:

Sometimes it just takes one person to make a huge difference in someone’s life and I think that’s exactly what you’ve done.

Ed:

Nothing could make me feel better. He’s not my son, but there’s some element of parental pride in what he’s accomplished.

Nasreen:

Absolutely.

Ed:

His parents and friends are so appreciative also.

Nasreen:

You were also part of the Igniting Power Initiative, and also, on your website, I noticed there was an article about augmented reality. How do you think augmented reality can help folks with visual impairments?

Ed:

As with any technology, opens up a lot of possibilities that might not be accessible to them just through what remains of their senses. So it’s been used in a number of different ways. The first time I became aware of the term was a Startup at the University of Pennsylvania that was developing beacon listening indoor navigation. It was using the environment to help people who were blind understand where they were within that environment. That would create a picture that could be prevented visually to somebody with low vision or audibly to somebody who had no vision.

So for somebody who doesn’t understand, augmented reality just takes reality, the world that anyone who is sighted sees, and it overlays content on top of it. The simplest form of that might be some text, or an arrow blinking, “here’s the exit.” But it can go into incredible depth. It augments what anyone can see regardless of their level of vision. Where that has gone since then is dramatically further. There are many smart canes. But all of those take signals from the environment and augment them with additional information to help somebody, in this case who’s blind, navigate the world. One of my favorite ones is called Foresight Augmented Reality and it’s down in Atlanta and in a couple of other places.

The back story is funny. A sighted person was on a cruise with his friend who is blind, and he said in the course of a week he got so tired of taking his friend to the bathroom he said, “there’s got to be something different we can do. This is ridiculous.” So they went home, and using Beacon, and that’s not ideal but it is the current state of the art, using Beacon, you can get a person to a very specific location and then give them information about that location. In one example, he shows a person in Downtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech going to a bus stop. Aw he approaches the bus stop, the app tells him, “you are at the bus stop.” It tells him as he approaches, and then it says, “you’re here.” And then it says, “The next bus that comes will take you to…” And then it announces when the bus gets there. And then it tells him during his journey where he is and what’s around him. That’s a much more advanced form of augmented reality where without all of that, at best he might have a sense of where he is, but this is completely tailored based on Beacon.

So if you go to a restaurant, you can get the menu read to you. It makes him, with slight delay, every bit as capable as someone who’s sighted, and it’s without the assistance of anyone else. It’s just his app, providing the same information that a sighted person garners through their vision.

Nasreen:

And wouldn’t that be a perfect world, where the blind were able to navigate without assistance at all from anybody?

Ed:

That’s something, Nasreen, that I didn’t understand before. To me, if you’d gone back to when my mom was losing her sight, and probably for many years afterwards, I would have said, “well, she could just grab somebody’s arm and she can get there.”

And I think that goes back to a general accessibility issue that I know I didn’t understand, and therefore we’re going to say that many people without disabilities don’t understand either. And that is, if I get a new job, or if I go to a new place, I don’t need to ask for accommodations. I just go there and I’m able to access it. For somebody with disabilities, including blindness, to have to ask does something to you. It makes you feel less empowered. It isn’t that the person can’t react quickly; they can’t put in a ramp if they’re in a wheelchair; they can’t add Jaws to your software if you need to access it. It’s just the fact that you have to ask. It makes you at some level a second class citizen, even if the person putting you in that position doesn’t recognize it, and they probably don’t. They don’t view you as second class; they just view you as someone who needs something and they’re going to get it for you. Try to put yourself in the position of the person who is blind. How frustrating to always have to ask for accommodations? How can that not make you feel lesser?

Nasreen:

I was reading through your website. I was looking at some of the blog posts that you had up there. I was really intrigued by some of the information. One line in one of the blog posts kind of struck out at me. It was about achieving your dream job. So I have to ask. Have you achieved your dream job?

Ed:

Actually, I’m close. I wouldn’t say I’m there, and the reason I’d put it that way is, I love what I’m doing. For thirty years of my life I worked with companies where I was proud to say I was a member of the company and I thought we were doing important work, but I was a tiny cog in a lot of machines. And it also wasn’t my passion. They were just doing important work.

Right now I am doing my passion. I’m directly responsible for helping people, such as the young man that I talked about. I’m directly responsible for helping young start-ups try to bring technology to market that might not otherwise get there. It will seem selfish, but I have yet to match that passion with similar income. So I’m fortunate that my wife is doing a good job with it. And I certainly supported us for a long time, but that is a missing element. No matter how much I enjoy what I do, I need to pay bills. So this is the path I’m on.

For a long time I hoped that I could get money from the start-ups I supported, but it’s just become obvious to me that that’s never going to become my primary source of income, and I’m not trying to approach this more from a corporate level because there are companies that would very much like what I can bring them and the connections I can make with them and people who are blind.

I don’t want to join the companies; I want to support them and help them be better, and let them compensate me. So money isn’t everything and it certainly doesn’t buy happiness. Those are all true phrases, but it pays the bills. But I love what I’m doing and it’s allowed me to live in a location I love.

Nasreen:

The fact is that you’ve got a drive, you’ve got a passion, you’re striving and thriving through it to help and push along and you were mentioning about corporate. With the ideas and the social entrepreneurship and the advocations that you do, I can definitely see over time, especially in the upcoming few years, thanks to Covid-19, things are sort of going in a different direction. A lot more remote work, a lot more things are happening virtually. So there may be some great opportunities out there for you to connect with all the verticals that you just described that you want to tie together. We wish you all the best of luck in that and I’m sure there will be some great ideas and innovations coming out and I thank you so much for your time this morning.

Ed:

My pleasure, Nasreen.

Nasreen:

To find Ed’s feature, and many other great articles and innovative information, visit the Cane Enabled page in the Beyond Sight online community at BoldBlindBeauty.com. Thanks for listening.

Connecting With Ed:

Image Description:

  • Featured image is the Beyond Sight Magazine cover. A headshot of Ed is on the cover, he is wearing a business suit and tie. The masthead is teal with “Beyond Sight Magazine” in black text. The dot on the ‘i’ in ‘sight’ is the eye used for our 2020 Year of Vision Campaign (described HERE). There are 2 lines of black text that say “The Blind Guide.” In the bottom right corner is a teal circle with an illustration of Abby Bold Blind Beauty’s fashion icon who is walking with her white cane in one hand and handbag in the other. She is wearing heels and a stylish dress made of panels resembling overlapping banana leaves. The dress panels gently curve from her nipped in waist to just above the knee. She’s also sporting her signature explosive hairstyle and “Cane EnAbled” is in yellow text under the circle.
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Knowing the Flow and Slaying It!!

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By Cheryl Minnette

AWARENESS & SENSITIVITY

Editor’s Note:

In an ongoing effort to increase awareness on sight loss/blindness, Bold Blind Beauty contributor Cheryl Minnette will be inviting readers into the world of what it’s like to live with severe sight loss. These articles are created with the intention of continuing meaningful conversation while further connecting blind and sighted people. We hope you will enjoy these quarterly pieces that will be published under Beauty Buzz and tagged “Awareness & Sensitivity.”

Initial thoughts…

“Oh no…!!”

“I hope I can do this.”

“A little more variety from the color palette would have helped.”

There are so many beautiful colors in the world, such a vast rainbow to observe. In addition to the many shades, you have your pales, your brights, your darks and your lights. Any color, any hue that you can imagine is some type of blend. So what happens when the color choice is just one? One single color, with no other. No other color to compliment it. No other color to offset it. No other color to contrast with it. How does this single hue appear to you? 

Knowing the Flow and Slaying It!!

Come along with me on a journey that will allow you to gain some mental insight into someone else’s world. Indulge me a moment by closing your eyes as I walk you through a scenario. Are you ready? Let’s go!

All are chatting away and excitement is in the air, electrifying it, as everyone is escorted through the venue. Anticipation peaks as a pair of highly arched, white French doors swing open to reveal the outdoor wedding reception. Immediately you step onto the first of a limited number of oversized white steppingstones, that wind throughout the beautifully manicured lawn. With the sun shining brightly overhead, you may just barely be able to see the tables that are spectacularly decorated off in the distance. 

The first thing you must do is get from point A to point B while trying to appear as graceful as possible. The steppingstones may not be too much of a problem, but look out for those unseen changes in the terrain. A beautiful scene, but not the most ideal place for a blind girl in her stilettos. As the maneuvering continues, all are wondering what will take place when the festivities begin.  

Getting situated at your table and meeting the other table guests is always an interesting process. As you get closer, you hear people marveling at the beauty of the vision before them. There are all-white tablescapes that start with a tablecloth that gently drapes down to kiss the lawn, and chairs that have been stylishly dressed with white chair covers that are snatched with a rear bow and shimmering with crystal and pearl embellishments. As you approach the seating area, the multiple tablescapes appear to be a large white danger zone, an accident waiting to happen. Your mind now begins to race as it is searching and wondering, ‘How on God’s green earth will I get through this?’ Caution becomes the word of the day, as you proceed very cautiously to ensure that minimal damage occurs, but hoping there will be none at all. The challenge here is that, although you pretty much know what should be on the table, you just don’t see it. 

For instance, you may know there’s a place setting, but what type is the question. One must consider what their entire place setting consists of. You know there will be silverware, but the number of pieces is the variable, since there may be between three and eight. Did you know that in this setting the reflection from the sun can cause silverware to disappear, as they can appear to be white? Having a clear item on a sunny day like crystal stemware adds another layer of challenges. You know it’s there, but where and how many is what you need to figure out before they are inadvertently knocked over. 

Note that without any contrast, sun or no sun, everything on the table can blend together as one. So with the place settings, silverware, and crystal stemware, rounding out these tablescapes are large green and white floral arrangements in a tall crystal vase, which is set upon an octagon-shaped mirrored centerpiece. White pearl strands are swirled around the table with crystal accents sprinkled all around.

With this scenario, I’m sure you can understand the pitfalls that would be challenging for someone with severe vision loss and contrast challenges. Is the scene beautiful? Yes, it is. Could it become a tragic scene? Yes, I could. Can one acquire the skills to move through this scenario with poise and grace? Yes, one most definitely can!

These are some of the things that one has to process and work through as part of their day to day life style.

On the one hand, if you are sighted, this monochromatic display may be a breathtakingly picturesque sight to behold. On the other hand, for someone whose visual challenge deals with contrast and severe vision loss, having this tablescape could be like walking a bull through a China Shop. The bull may not demolish the shop, but some damage will definitely occur.  

Give us your thoughts as you comment below as to what you became aware of, what you would like to know, and what you were able to relate to. Your insights and expressions are appreciated.

Believing you are capable
is the first step, But
taking action is the ultimate step.

~Cheryl Minnette

Image Description:

A pair of silver wedding bands tied together with white satin ribbon on

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Cultivating Resilience Practice 6: Grit

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share with you snippets from Becky Andrews’ new book “Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal.” Adversity strengthens and builds resilience; Becky will share weekly practices to help us become more resilient. ~Steph

Hello All 

Thanks for following along in our cultivating resilience practices. If you have just joined us you can go back and read through all the previous practices. Each of them is important and has made a difference in my own life. I recall when I first began to lose my eyesight, my mom said to me you have every right to feel angry about this. Her simple validation of my feelings made such a difference as I moved through the feelings of grief and loss around my vision loss. The anger didn’t stay around a long time and in part because I was given permission to feel and process it. Practice one:  Give yourself permission to feel.  

I reflect back on learning the practice of self-compassion (Practice two in our cultivate resilience). In difficult times to respond with compassion for ourselves and that experience leads to resilience. The memory of being denied access to a clothing store. It was hard. It can be exhausting at times to be that advocate. To recognize that self-compassion gives us the energy to continue to move forward.  

In our third practice, we’ve talked about is recognizing our strengths. We all have incredible character strengths within us just waiting to be utilized during our challenging times. When we implement them in our challenges, they become an incredible force for good. Our Signature Strengths are both essential, energizing, and effortless.  If you haven’t, take the questionnaire at: www.viacharacter.org

Our fourth practice was the awareness and practice of healthy boundaries. As a blind woman, the importance of establishing boundaries is essential for me. It’s important for me to know I have healthy relationships where I can give and receive.  

This week our practice is Grit. We made it to practice five in our cultivation of resilience. That takes grit. Persistence.  Perseverance. Willingness to continue to show up. Grit is that determination that keeps us going. To keep moving forward. Sometimes when we are pushing through experiencing a challenge, we may not recognize the grit that we have within us. Take a pause and reflect on a time when you showed grit. 

Grit is having the courage to push throughno matter what the obstacles are, because it’s worth it.

~Chris Morris

It’s There  

Today a client said to me, this is really hard. We sat there for a moment and then we started talking about the grit of her pushing through each day. It felt good she said to acknowledge that. She has been exercising her grit muscles and sometimes they get sore and need a pause as well as recognition for the workout. I’m a runner so I appreciate anything that can be related to a running metaphor.  

So, take a pause this week and recognize and honor your grit. It’s there and is a part of your resilience cultivation. 

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring great.

~Theodore Roosevelt

About The Author:

Image is described in the body of the post.
Becky Andrews

Becky Andrews is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Small Business Owner – Resilient Solutions, Inc, and founder of the Daring to Own Your Story ™ Retreats. She is also the author of Look up, move forward – her memoir of Losing her eyesight and finding her vision.  

You can follow her at:

Workbook: 

Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal will be out Fall 2020. Email Becky at becky.lpc@gmail.com to be on the waiting list or preorder.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Photo of a woman scaling a mountain wearing a long white dress and rock climbing gear on her back and around her waist.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab.