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Cultivating Resilience Practice 10: Giving Back

Image is described in the body of the post.

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

We are at our final practice in Cultivating Resilience. I hope you have enjoyed this series and found them to be helpful. 

As I mentioned in the introduction, these are the practices that I find helpful in my own life and with my clients as we cultivate resilience. Cultivate is an action word. It means we are continuing to create, to dig down, to pause, to ask for what we need TO CULTIVATE our resilience. Resilience is that time of being stretched, pulled, and transformed as we navigate challenging times in our lives.  

Let’s review the last nine practices:

  • Practice one: Give yourself permission to feel. Honor your feelings and what you need.
  • Practice two: Take care of yourself and offer yourself much self-compassion for the journey.
  • Practice three: Utilize your strengths in the journey. Be authentically you as you navigate the challenging time.
  • Practice four: Reach out for support. Practice healthy boundaries and relationships.
  • Practice five: Resilience takes much grit and determination. Recognize and acknowledge your efforts.
  • Practice six: Find moments to savor, practice gratitude, and be mindful.
  • Practice seven: Find laughter and joy in each day.
  • Practice eight: Open to flexibility.  Perhaps there is another way.
  • Practice nine: Find the meaningful moments and lessons learned along the way.

Today’s Practice 10 Is Giving Back 

Lemonade image is described in the body of the post.
Lemonade

Helping Others. I think of it after we have found that lemonade, how are we going to serve the lemonade to others?  

In Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he teaches that we can discover meaning in three ways: first by creating work or doing deeds to help others, second by experiencing something or encountering someone, and third, by the attitude, we take toward unavoidable suffering.  

Creating work or doing deeds to help others is indeed discovering meaning through our challenges. When we recognize that our difficult time may give us insight to help someone else, it can become empowering. It can become our why. It can become our way of sharing the lemonade that we have gained.  

Through this journey, we have been on what has resonated with you? How can you give back in a meaningful way to help others? Take a pause as much time as you need to ask yourself this question.  

Writing for Bold Blind Beauty gives me pause to think of the impact of Stephanae McCoy on the multiple ways she continues to give back and offer help to others from her challenging times. Such an example of resilience and doing just that.  

Becky and Georgie Image is described in the body of the post.
Hitting Their Stride

 I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

~Carl Jung

These practices are for you to explore. I honor your unique journey and what is helpful to you as you cultivate resilience. Be yourself. Do what feels best for you. Take it a step at a time in the direction that you want to go. Be kind and gentle to yourself on the journey. Recognize your grit and determination. It truly is awe-inspiring to see the human spirit. Recognize that perhaps, there is another way will help us in our resilience plan. Watch for those meaningful moments and lessons learned along the way. And then, offer lemonade to others.  You can make a difference to someone else’s life.  

If you’d like to join me in our next Cultivate Resilience course – email: resilientsolutionsinc@gmail.com. It will begin the week of September 14th. This is my opportunity to give back and the course is just $35 for 6 sessions. I would love to hear from you and what you have found most helpful about these practices. Also, my cultivate workbook is almost complete. I would love to hear from you on the way you find a workbook to be most accessible. 

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 sitting on an indoor staircase next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab.
  • Lemonade: Photo of a pitcher of lemonade with two full mason glasses sitting on a wicker tray with several loose lemons strewn about. Text on the image says “Cultivating Resilience” and “Becky Andrews, LCMHC.”
  • Hitting Their Stride: Becky appears so joyful as she and Georgie walk a dirt path in the open countryside.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 
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Cultivating Resilience Practice 9: Meaningful Moments

Lemonade image is described in the body of the post.

 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 cultivate resilience series. If you have just joined us, you might want to go back and review each practice. These practices have become a part of my routine. For me, they are all essential practices in the day. Some days call for more of one practice than another and that’s okay too.  

Practices 1 Through 8

Transformation

Recently, I shared these practices at a meeting and served lemonade. It was a beautiful morning and I reflected afterward that some of the challenges I had experienced in my life had led me to this moment and sharing with this group. The opportunity to share some lessons learned and meaningful moments was so sweet and is practice nine in our cultivating resilience path. 

A lemon is a great example of transformation. A lemon that may be sour just on its own can be transformed to lemonade, lemon meringue pie, or perhaps lemon bars through the process. This is resilience.

Today’s practice nine is to find the meaningful moments or lessons learned throughout our journey.  

The notion. I can gain wisdom and ultimately prevail. 

~Victor Frankl

Amidst the challenges that you may be experiencing, we find ourselves having meaningful moments and lessons learned. When we are open to noticing these they can teach us. Take a pause and ask yourself:

  • What lesson have I learned in this journey or challenge I am experiencing?  
  • What meaningful moments have I experienced?  
  • What have you learned about yourself during this time?  

Take your time. Remember to simply be curious. Be open to noticing what comes up for you. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. By asking ourselves these questions, we begin to invite the exploration.  

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. 

~Victor E. Frankl 

It is my belief that we must honor the process of not being able to change a situation. There can be real grief, loss, trauma, disappointment that comes with this awareness and situation that has happened. Allow the time you need to recognize that you are not able to change a situation. Then, we are invited/challenged to change ourselves. To begin to find meaningful moments and the lessons learned at this time.  This practice can happen in moments. During a difficult day, you can also experience a meaningful moment or recognize a lesson learned.  This is resilience – that duality of us navigating a loss and finding a meaningful moment. It is navigating that challenge and also finding something that brings us joy and laughter. We can honor all aspects of ourselves.  

When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.

~Jaeda Dewalt

We begin to thrive in our journey as we give ourselves permission to feel it all.  As Maya Angelou said:  My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. 

~Maya Angelou

Thriving With Vision Loss

In my book, Look up, move forward; I share the story of presenting at a conference. In 1998 the Visions conference was in Chicago and I was asked to present a breakout session called “Coping with Vision Loss.” I was thrilled about the opportunity, both professionally and personally. Along the way, I had discovered so many practical tools that had helped me cope and I’d seen so many patients at the Moran with their own unique experiences and tools. I looked forward to sharing all of that at the conference. 

Pantera, my guide dog, was by my side. As I began my presentation, I was filled with gratitude for my journey from uncertain attendee to confidence presenter. Just a minute or two after I started a woman in the back spoke up. She was probably in her seventies and she said, “I have macular degeneration. I don’t want to just cope and get by.” I wasn’t sure where she was taking our conversation or what I was going to say next. “I want to thrive!” She finished with a flourish of her hand. Everyone in the room smiled and nodded. It’s what we all wanted, what we all want still. “Yes,” I agreed. “Thank you!” I shifted my message for the rest of the presentation substituting ‘thrive’ every time I’d planned to use ‘cope.” I’ve reflected on this powerful message and our desire to thrive. Resilience comes as we are able to shift from coping to thriving.  

We can cope with our life’s challenges or we can thrive with them. I realized her message was universal. We can cope with even the most difficult aspects of life, whatever they may be, or we can use our creativity to thrive. I’ll be forever grateful to this message. It changed the tone of my presentation and it changed my life. Look Up, Move Forward, page. 114-115.

Journaling

Thriving is growing. Take some time to journal about what thriving means to you. If you were thriving in your life with the challenges that you have, what would that look like? 

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Choose an area of your life where you feel you are coping – perhaps the reason why you have been reading this series.  How are you doing now?  Its okay if you are coping.  We need to give ourselves all the time and space to heal and to cope.  

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As we give ourselves the time and space we need and utilize the practices we have talked about we will feel more of this practice nine of noticing the meaningful moments and lessons learned in our journey.  

I hope you will share your thoughts. I look forward to coming back next week for our final practice in cultivating resilience. And, if you’d like hope you can join us for three options for connection.

  1. Cultivating Resilience Virtual Course to begin Wednesdays, September 16th, 10 AM PT, 11 MT, 12 CT, 1 ET. Eight weeks – $30 full course.
  2. Daring to Own Your Story ™ Virtual Retreats for Women who are blind/low vision. Facilitated by Becky Andrews, LCMHC, and Sheila Koenig, MEd – both women who are blind. 6 weeks beginning September 15 1 PT, $125 full retreat
  3. Intensive four-day virtual retreat October 15-October 18, $125 full retreat

Contact Becky at becky.lpc@gmail.com for details!  

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 pitcher of lemonade with two full mason glasses sitting on a wicker tray with several loose lemons strewn about. Text on the image says “Cultivating Resilience” and “Becky Andrews, LCMHC.”
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 
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Cultivating Resilience Practice 8: Flexibility

Image is described in the body of the post.

 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 cultivate resilience series. Each practice can be helpful to us. Some come more naturally to us in this process. What practice are you finding the most helpful to you? What practice comes naturally to you? They are all so very helpful. I find that when we start practicing one and two regularly the rest can flow for us easier. Let’s review.  

  • Practice one: Permission to feel. Simply put, we need to allow ourselves to feel the impact of the challenge we are experiencing. The feelings are there and when we can listen to our feelings and what we need we will give space for resilience. This is a practice.
  • Practice two: Self-Compassion and self-care. These are two distinct and important practices. Self-compassion is responding to our pain with compassion. Treating ourselves as we would a friend. Self-Care is intentional practices to nurture ourselves in five areas: physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  
  • Practice three: Utilize your unique strengths. So often we find ourselves comparing ourselves and feeling like we need to navigate this time like someone else. We have within us – our unique gifts that guide us and give us strength.  Specifically, there is a test that can help us identify our strengths: VIA Character Strengths  
  • Practice four: Connection. Practice healthy boundaries and relationships. In challenging times, this reminder is essential. 
  • Practice five: Mindfulness. Savoring. Gratitude. What beautiful practices to incorporate into our lives.
  • Practice six: Take a pause and recognize the grit and determination to be navigating the challenge that is calling on you for your resilience.
  • Practice seven: Finding laughter and joy in each day. It is there and available to us even in those times of challenge.  Seek it out each day.

This leads us to practice eight: Flexibility 

Be open to generating new alternatives. Perhaps, there is another way.    

When we are being stretched, pulled, experiencing a challenge in our lives; we are often also being called upon to make changes in our lives.  

Let’s reflect on how we have been called upon to be open – to be flexible – to make changes and adjustments and look at perhaps, there is another way in the past several months as we have deal with COVID-19.  

What has that looked like for you? What changes and adjustments have you had to make? How has that perspective of being open and flexible served you during this time?  

As our flexibility increases, our resilience can increase.   

Is there a situation you have been leaning into as a negative  experience?  

How can you possibly begin to reframe it as an experience of growth instead? 

When we are able to look at a situation with an open mind and some flexibility our resilience increases. The phrase: Perhaps, there is another way, can begin to introduce a sense of openness or additional options into our thinking. We begin to generate alternatives to the situation. During this time, I have been struck by the many alternative ways people have found to connect to one another, to do their work from home, to offer support to one another. It’s such an example of Perhaps, there is another way.   

On a personal note, I recall very well a morning on our front porch when I was grieving the loss of my eyesight. I could no longer hop in the car to run the errand I wanted to do that morning. I sat on the porch feeling sad. I allowed myself to have those feelings and then I noted a shift. Perhaps, there was another way. Perhaps it was time to pull out the cane that I had recently had training. Perhaps, it could be an adventure to take the kids on the bus to go visit dad.  Perhaps there was another way. I decided to be proactive and open to growth as I was facing vision loss. Retinitis Pigmentosa could be my teacher, perhaps. I stood up and chose openness, learning, and bravery as tools to help me embrace my life. 

In time, we can all see our challenges as opportunities to grow and learn new ways to approach life. We can even view our obstacles as a chance to be proactive when we invite our challenges to be our teachers.  

What lessons have you learned from your personal challenge?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What ways have you practiced flexibility or looked at a situation with the perspective of ‘perhaps there is another way’?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take a pause.  What practices are helping you thus far.  Do you need to go back and review any of our practices thus far?  Do you want to do more reading on any of the practices thus far?  Have you been sharing with someone else?  Having someone else on our journey can be helpful.  

Practice being open and flexible and seeing what you need to do to help in your journey.  

When you feel stuck, say to yourself – perhaps there is another way and notice what insight comes up for you.  Allow yourself the feelings, the compassion to not want to do it in another way, the 

This phrase has helped me immensely in my resilient journey.  The word perhaps invites us to simply look at options.  It helps us to see that no matter what the situation we have options to choose from.  I like the phrase because its gentle.  Its not forced.  Its an invitation to look upon the situation and ask ourselves Is there another way?  At times we may say, not ready to do that another way yet.  I need to stop, pause and grieve for this loss.  Then, in time, we will feel a sense of openness and willingness to look at further options.  

Perhaps, there is another way.  

Share your experiences.  Do you have a phrase that has helped you during those times of being stretched and faced with challenges. 

Flexibility is the key to stability. 

~John Wooden

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 ballerina’s legs on pointe. One foot has a pointe ballet slipper and the other has on a sneaker on tiptoe.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 
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Cultivating Resilience Practice 7: Finding Joy

Image is described in the body of the post.

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.