Slice of Sunshine: Resilience 201

I can’t speak for all of you, my dear Slice of Sunshine readers, but I can say that for many folks, our resilience has been tested.

We’ve been through so much—individually, collectively, globally—and while there are days it seems iffy, I still believe in our inherent capacity—again, individually, collectively, globally—to rebound.

But our basic tools may feel insufficient. The things we may have come to rely on, what we might call “Resilience 101,” are wearing thin.

It’s time to uplevel to Resilience 201.

I am not just talking about more “self care” though I absolutely encourage that pursuit (and if you’re waiting for someone to grant you permission to take care of yourself today, right now, in whatever way feels appropriate, consider this your permission)!

I am talking about a deeply rooted approach to help us reinvigorate our resilience. Something that acknowledges that for many, our wholeness is challenged on the regular, and refilling our cup feels like a Sisyphean task.

Hard to come up with one word to respond to all of that.

But for now I have landed upon the word nurture.

Watering can showing droplets showering water on a plant below.
What is required for growth?

Nurture can be defined as “the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing.”

To nurture may also include elements of education, incubation, and support.

But at its root, nurture is about nourishment (from the Latin “nutrire” meaning “to feed or cherish”).

It is about sustenance. Growth. Getting what we need to thrive. Replenishment.

I believe that’s where many of us may be lacking: we feed ourselves, get rest, and work to ensure we have shelter, but what are we doing to replenish and sustain ourselves and our growth? How can we cherish ourselves and those we love?

Hence the need for “Resilience 201.”

Maybe it is because we have mostly been in survival mode, ensuring that our basic needs (and those for whom we may be responsible) have been met.

Maybe in that process we have forgotten how to focus on nurturing others and ourselves.

Maybe some of us never really knew how to nurture or be nurtured in the first place.

Let us all be curious about how to uplevel our resilience. To do this, and to truly grow and thrive, we must learn or re-learn what nurturing looks like.

For ourselves, for others and for our world.

Try it!

Updated Hierarchy of Needs

When I first studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs there were just 5 layers (“Back in my day…”). Since then, some have added additional layers making it a more comprehensive tool for assessing what needs are met or unmet in the human quest to thrive—or, in the verbiage of this newsletter, to build resilience.

–Which of your needs are not currently being met? Do you have unmet physiological or safety needs? Or if you are fed, clothed, and relatively safe, which of the “higher” needs are unmet?
–Which of those needs, if met, would help you to feel most nurtured?
–What can you do to get those needs met? This may include: asking for help, setting boundaries, saying no, saying yes, making a plan, making no plans, building, contributing or growing something…just for starters!

(other) Smart People

“Nurturing is not complex. It’s simply being tuned in to the thing or person before you and offering small gestures toward what it needs at that time.”—Mary Ann Radmacher


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Try it!