Resilience And The Role Peter Gabriel Plays In Mine
Peter Gabriel songs pepper the soundtrack of my life.
“Don’t Give Up” is among my favorite songs of all time. The depth of emotion in the lyrics, the heaviness in the pregnant pauses. His voice. Hers.
It gets me every time.
One song of his that pops into my head a fair amount as of late is, “Shock The Monkey”. I can’t help but belt out a line or two when typing “drunken monkey” as I write about resilience. “Shock The Monkey” doesn’t fit my current topic of resilience, but “Don’t Give Up” sure does, especially this line:
”Don’t give up, no reason to be ashamed.”
I marinated in shame for most of my life. It has taken decades to realize this fact and years to open the wounds to self-examination so I can avail to them what will help them heal. This has been among the most painful things I’ve done to date. And the most rewarding.
“Don’t Give Up” is all about resilience, as I experience it.
Resilience is an essential trait for the modern midlife woman no matter the roles she plays in life. It is an essential piece of our daily M.O. A Modus Operandi is a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established. It can be habitual or deliberately thought through to break the cycle and establish a new habit.
I was in one giant repetitive shame cycle. Marinating in it was a habit. I am deliberately working on developing a new habit in its place. That habit is the foundation of my mounting resilience and inspiration to my new book in process on the subject.
In this article we’ll explore a few principles to help us become more resilient as we do this thing called life!
As you start on your journey to the Land of Perseverance, which is a magical land wherein all midlifers flourish, you need to work on your resilience as well as your stubbornness. These two qualities are essential for developing and strengthening grit. To establish the hardiness needed to succeed in life, love, and business complete the following steps.
Love is included in this conversation for seeking it is not for the meek. And growing it is not for the easily deterred.
Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy
As I speak to often, feeding your body and brain per the design is critical. Get the right amount and type of protein to repair and restore your cells to their optimum. Hydrate like your life depends on it, for it does. Give your body a break from processing food all the time. I promise, you won’t die if you skip a meal or several. Find your sweet spot for timing your meals where your energy is steady and your mind is sharp.
In addition to feeding your body and brain like the midlife maven that you are, remember to “act as if”.
Act as if you are that best version of you that you envision when you look to the future. Don’t buy into the horse-puckey that it is all downhill from midlife. Hogwash I tell you.
Your body plays a major role in bringing this best future version of you into existence.
Embody who you want to be in the future. What does she do? What are her non-negotiables and responsibilities? Take note then act as if you are her now and make your body do the work to support that way of living.
Your body is your brain’s transport system. The more fit your body, the better your brain will function. As such, when the body is worked sufficiently it supplies the brain with energy. So don’t skip the stairs, don’t skip your workouts and don’t put off until tomorrow when you can move today.
Keep Everything in Perspective
For you to remain focused on your goal, it is vital for you to keep things in perspective. To do this, you’ll want to keep a log of all the activities you perform and their outcomes. You also must learn to live in the present, so you don’t become distracted by what has already happened or what may happen in the future. Write it down and refer back to it when necessary. Don’t carry it around like mental baggage.
Keep an eye on the future goal you are working toward while remaining firmly planted in the now. When you lose your perspective, you run the risk of getting lost in the negativity trap and worrying incessantly for no reason. This is why it is so important to live in the moment and remain focused on what you currently have both tangibly and intangibly.
To truly live in the moment, you must be dedicated to practicing positive self-talk and cultivating mindfulness. I call this “taming the drunken monkey”. The inebriated primate to which I refer is the undisciplined mind. Envision a drunken monkey showing up to a hoity-toity event. Loud whispering, repeatedly stumbling, saying all the wrong things…this my friend is the drunken monkey and she is alive and well in your mind. She needs to be tamed and you are the only one who can do it.
To gain better insight into an issue that you may be facing, try looking at it from someone else’s perspective. Put yourself in the shoes of others and try to feel their emotions as you work through the issue.
Nurture Your Spirituality
A good way for you to hone the sense that you are part of something bigger is to nourish your spirituality. Being connected with your spirituality helps you reconnect to your purpose when you lose sight of it. I highly recommend regular meditation to help you nurture your spirituality.
To reap the full benefits of meditation, you need to find a quiet space where you can sit comfortably and breathe naturally. Focus on your breathing. When you feel your thoughts start to stray, and you become distracted, bring your mind back to your breathing. Aim to spend 20 minutes daily doing this until you can successfully concentrate on your breathing through the entire session. I recommend breaking it up into two 10-minute sessions; one in the morning and another in the evening as you wind down for the night.
When you can concentrate on your breathing for the entire session successfully, you can begin to lengthen your meditation. This will help you to gain a better insight into how your mind works, and it will allow you to tap into your spiritual side.
To build your resilience and develop your grit you have to stay true to your goal and practice these steps on a regular basis. Be all levels of stingy with your availability to ensure you make time for this critical quieting practice.