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The SeamLess Life

Isuue #15, November 23, 1998

Resilience, Part I: The Spring-Back Factor

"A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by the injury of the oyster . . . Without the wound, the injury, the pearl may not have come into being."    - Stephen Hoeller

What is Resilience?

In Issue #13: The Benefits of The Seamless Life™, we said that when you're on the path to seamlessness, you'll find that you become more resilient.

Resilience is the capacity for "recovery." It's your capability to retain a positive self-image, a positive view of the world, even after you've been tested by difficult or traumatic circumstances. Think of it like the elasticity of a new rubber band. When the band is stretched very tightly, it springs right back into its former shape. It can get stretched many times, and still maintain its spring.

When we see examples of resilience around us, we admire the courage it takes. Remember the 1980's Superman movies? Christopher Reeve was the handsome hero who played Superman - complete with an agile, muscular body that matched the comic book hero's physique. Several years ago he was paralyzed from the neck down after a horseback riding accident. Faced with the grief of losing his ability to move, to perform, to work, he became depressed. At one point he gave permission to his life partner to leave him, as he couldn't imagine her wanting to continue living with him. Her reply catalyzed his resilience. She refused to leave... "You're still you," she told him, "And I'm staying."

This week Christopher Reeve is starring in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. He'll play the role of a man unable to move, who sees a murder committed as he looks out his apartment window. We'll see an incredible performance. And a great example of resilience that will inspire many of us.

What are the Four Resilience Factors?
How does The Seamless Life™ impact them?

We think that four major factors account for your resilience, all of which are supported by your TSL work:

  1. Commitment

    This is your ability to find personal meaning in what you do. To be involved and passionate about your work and your life.

    Your TSL work on Vision and Purpose (Issue #8) lets you create or renew your commitment. That's because you know what you value, you know when you're on-purpose and off-purpose. You've aligned your life pursuit with your purpose, so that you can feel deeply committed to your purpose and to the actions which fulfill it.

  2. Challenge

    Resilient people see challenge and change as events that are part of life. They focus on what they learn from the challenge. They are flexible and go with the flow. And, they ask (always) what they are learning from the challenging events.

    Your Seamless Life™ work has asked you to identify your values and your gifts, to know them clearly. When you know your gifts, you're aware of the durability of them. That you will be you (your essential, core YOU), no matter what challenges the world sends you.

    Like Christopher Reeve, you are clear about what is most valuable about you. It's your essence. Knowing your essence empowers and enables you to move through challenge, to transform it. To find and create from it the gifts that it brings.

    Remember the Chinese character for "crisis," which juxtaposes "danger" and "opportunity" in one pictogram? Your resilience brings with it the ability to turn crisis into opportunity. You are able to live, to paraphrase Richard Bach, in this way: "You need problems because your need their gifts." You know that challenges bring with them gifts. You know who you are, so you can allow the challenges to hone your personal essence.

  3. Control

    Resilient people are not attached to control. They know clearly what they can control, versus what they can influence. They put energy into actions that they can accomplish. They don't moan and complain about what's uncontrollable in their lives. They focus on what they can change, and keep clear priorities. They let go of what they can't change.

    They use their creativity to find paths to support getting what they want. You've already learned this lesson, most likely, as you've worked through The Seamless Life™ road map. You've generated options to satisfy your needs (Issue #3). You've learned how to take responsibility for making requests of others and for the results you want.

    What you learn to do when you don't have control is to seek out the things you can influence. You've developed flexibility in discovering options, and in finding the ways you can best influence people and events.

  4. Connection

    Resilient people have positive and optimistic beliefs and expectations about other people and the world around them. They see others as allies and sources of support. They naturally ask for-and get-the support of others. They know constructive ways to talk about tough issues to resolve conflicts.

    Through The Seamless Life, you've learned to identify the people who you want to have in your life-and those you don't want to have. You know how to attract the support that you want and which will support you. You know your gifts clearly, and you use them to create satisfying relationships and a community which supports you.

Now, here's the real lesson...

Resilience is like a muscle: it is developed through use.

Exercise your resilience muscle this week, it's a nautilus workout for your Best Self.

Coming Attractions!

Issue #16:      Resilience: Part II    Including a checklist of indicators to examine the quality of your resilience.

Coming Soon... "Boundaries"

Contact us with questions or suggestions.
Sherry can be reached at
The Lowry Group, Austin, Texas USA,

Ph: 512-527-0097

Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at

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Text © Diane Menendez & Sherry Lowry, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
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