Posted on 2 Comments

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. 
Posted on 7 Comments

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. 
Posted on Leave a comment

Cultivating Resilience Practice 6: Grit

Image is described in the body of the article

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. 

Posted on 2 Comments

Cultivating Resilience Practice 5: Mindfulness

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 

Sending my love as I take a pause to write this next post. We are all being stretched at this time in so many different ways both collectively and individually. It is a time of cultivating our resilience. As we reflect back on the practices we’ve discussed and how they can help us during this time. 

  • Practice one – give yourself permission to feel. Feelings have one ambition to be felt. I appreciate Dr. Mark Brackett’s book: Permission to Feel. He gives us the guideline: RULER
    • R = recognize emotion;
    • U = understand emotion;
    • L = Label the emotion;
    • E = express emotion;
    • R = regulate emotion. 

      So much more we can talk about on the power of honoring our emotions and then choosing healthy actions to support us in our journey. Take a pause and listen to your feelings and what you need at this time. I know my feelings have been all over the place this week. I have felt such grief and loss, a deep sense of self-awareness as I am learning more how to show up; gratitude; uncertainty; calm; anxiety … What a time of so many emotions!
  • Which leads us to our second practice we talked about that of Self Compassion. Be compassionate to yourself as you would to someone else. Look at what you are experiencing right now with compassion.
  • Our third practice was to recognize and utilize our strengths. Oh, how I love this area and could go on and on! If you haven’t yet, take the test at www.viacharacter.org. Remember your top signature strengths are what will help you navigate a challenging time. They are our go-to that is effortless, energizing, and essential. I reflect on that last one.  They are essential. Even in our challenging times – we so need to be able to utilize that strength. 
  • Then last week we talked about Practice four – Boundaries. A gentle reminder that we need to step back. To set boundaries. To say no. To say yes to what we need.  

Practice 5: Mindfulness

Today practice five is some of my favorites. The practices of Mindfulness: Savor, Gratitude Visit. They come from work as a positive psychology life coach and my learning from this field that I find so helpful.

Mindfulness:

is that awareness of the present moment with acceptance/curiosity – not judgment. Mindfulness can be practiced at any moment of the day. It is simply bringing awareness to the activity. It invites us to notice what is happening while it is happening.

When we are mindful, we are able to be aware of our internal narrative and not get lost in it. If we are mindful of our struggling, we are able to attend to it and respond with compassion.

Mindfulness asks – What am I experiencing right now? Upon which Self-compassion can ask, What do I need right now? 

Put simply, mindfulness consists of cultivating awareness of the mind and body and living in the here and now. 

~Bob Stahl & Elisha Goldstein

Incorporating a practice of even 10 minutes of mindfulness in the day can be such a cultivating resilience practice.  This can be done while you are walking, eating, meditating, driving, or simply taking a pause.  

Mindfulness can increase our resilience by enhancing our self awareness/insight, improving our mood, helping us to decrease anxiety and depression, improvements of physical health, enhanced ability to deal with chronic health conditions, improved interpersonal connections, other ways it has helped you: _______________________________

Practice for this Week:

Mindful eating: Take time to focus and be fully present / mindful as you are eating.

Mindful breathing: At any time you can take a mindful breath – stop what you’re doing and feel your breath.  Conscious breathing is the most common mindfulness technique.  

Mindful Walking (Set the timer for 5-10 minutes if you’d like. Some people find it helpful to know the time is being kept while meditating.)

  • Find a quiet place in your home where you can walk back and forth at least 20-30 feet at a time or in a circle. Make the decision to use the time to cultivate moment to moment kindly awareness. 
  • Stand still for a moment and anchor your attention in your body. Be aware of yourself in the standing posture. Feel your body.
  • Start to walk slowly and deliberately. Notice how it feels to lift one foot, step forward, and place it down as the other foot begins to lift off the floor. Do the same with the other foot. Feel the sensations of lifting, stepping, and placing over and over again. Feel free to use the words “lift” “step” “place” or another word that feels good to focus your attention on the task.
  • When your mind wanders, gently return to the physical sensations of walking. If you feel any urgency to move faster, simply note that and return to the sensations of walking.
  • Do this with kindness and gratitude. Your relatively small feet are supporting your entire body; your hips are supporting your whole torso. Experience the marvel of walking.  
  • Move slowly and fluidly through space, being aware that you’re walking. Some people find it easiest to keep their attention below the knees or exclusively on the soles of the feet. 
  • When you reach the end of your walking space, pause a moment, take a conscious breath, remain anchored in your body, and reverse direction.
  • At the end of the meditation period, invite yourself to be mindful of body sensations throughout the day. Notice the sensations of walking you go on to your next activity. ~Christopher Germer, The Mindful Path to Self Compassion.

Savor: 

Attempt to fully feel, enjoy and extend our positive experiences, appreciate fully.   

Now can be a positive time to savor a past experience. Going through a past memory that brings you joy and sharing it. Take a pause to savor a present moment. Combined with mindfulness this can be a beautiful practice to savor the sunset, a conversation with a friend, a moment of a positive experience.  

This week write about a moment that you have savored.  

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gratitude Visit:

This visit is designed to help you take the time to acknowledge something that another person has done for you. It has positive, resilient lasting effects on both the giver and the receiver of gratitude.  

The Gratitude Visit image text is in the body of the post.
The Gratitude Visit
Here are the steps:
  1. Think of someone who has been especially kind to you / influential to you that you would like to thank. Chose someone with whom you could arrange to have an in-person/ virtual /or social distance meeting at this time.
  2. Your task is to write a gratitude letter to this individual.  Take some time to sit down, reflect, and write a letter. Be specific about what he or she did for you and how it affected your life. Let the person know what you are doing now and how their efforts impacted your life.
  3. Now arrange a time to read your letter out loud to this person — over the phone/facetime/from social distancing/or in your home.

Directly following the gratitude visit answer these questions:

  • How did the other person react to your expression of gratitude?
  • How were you affected by their reaction?  
  • Take some notes of your experience.   
  • Take some time to savor.
  • Take some time to do a Gratitude Visit.  

Share your experience with us. Better yet… join us for our Cultivating Resilience Group to share in the discussion.  Email 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 woman savoring a cup of coffee as she cradles the cup in both her hands.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab.