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Practicing Resilience in Daily Life

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Our daily frustrations, irritations, and interruptions are the perfect chance to 'practice' developing resilience.

Just for fun...

BEFORE I give you the list of 'resilient family culture strategies'...

I want to illustrate 'resilience' in daily life.

And I'll use a day in my life -- TODAY -- as an example.

(And while I do that, I want you to look for the 'strategies of resilience and see if you can spot them... It's kind of like a game. Leave a comment and tell me how many you find and tomorrow I'll tell you if you're right!)

My day 'today' starts last night...

Because if you don't get to bed at a good time and have enough restful sleep...

Then you're potentially sabotaging the following day.

Dinner happens around 5:30 or 6:00 pm and I stop eating and begin intermittent fasting around that time.

(Not eating after 6 or the latest 7 pm helps me sleep better at night).

I read in bed until about 9:45 or 10:00 pm.

(I've created family systems that allow me to do this).

(I do feel a little hungry before bed, so I take a spoonful of raw honey.)

I sleep soundly (because I've created systems for good sleep -- like blackout curtains, a soft mattress, perfect room temperature, etc.)

My 3-year-old comes into our room around 5:00 am(?), but we all drift quickly back to sleep.

I awake naturally, without an alarm, and feeling rested at 6:45 am.

After my 'bath & bedroom routines' (teeth, toilet, and workout clothes), I head downstairs and start the electric tea kettle for my morning herbal tea.

While it boils, I bounce on my rebounder (a birthday gift from yesterday) and do some morning stretching to activate my lymphatic system.

Then I prepare my herbal tea. It's specifically designed to help me continue intermittent fasting until 9 or 10 am -- plus the healthy fats first thing in the morning give a boost to my brain.

  • Boiling water

  • Herbal tea. My preference is Twinnings Mint Tea.

  • 1-2 Tbs of grass fed butter. We use Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter

  • 1-2 Tbs of coconut oil or MCT oil (optional)

  • Cocoa nibs (additional polyphenols and antioxidants) (optional)

  • Cream (not really good for you unless it's raw, grass fed, and organic, but that's hard to find in the USA and I am 'addicted' to it... so I add it anyway, planning to go raw as soon as we move back to Europe one day... 😉)

Once my tea is ready I go to my office to begin my Morning Routine which includes:

  • Prayer or meditation

  • Writing my 'morning pages'

  • Reading from spiritual literature

  • 'Good input' -- personal development book

  • Exercise (although sometimes I do this after breakfast)

During my morning routine today I start to feel frustrated and discontent.

I would LOVE to spend MORE time studying, learning, reading, and maybe even getting a degree from Harvard (my secret fantasy) :D instead of 'just working on our business' every day.

I do some writing in my 'morning pages' about it to help me clear my thoughts and feelings.

I am partners in our business.

The work I do is necessary to its success.

I enjoy much of what I do.

I feel a sense of duty to help other families.

And the 'slight edge' -- consistent action over time, even when I don't 'feel like it' -- is necessary in any endeavor to achieve the long-term results that I really want.

Achieving what I want most in the long run will also include 'sacrificing' a few of the things I would 'rather' do right now. This will always be the case.

Feeling great after processing my feelings (and doing my morning study), my children start waking up and I am ready to greet them with hugs, love, and a real desire to see them!


I could go on sharing every detail of my day... but I won't here since it would be several thousand words.

But here are a few other instances when I practiced resilience:

  • my 6-year-old daughter interrupted my work (writing this email) and wouldn't leave my office, which can be frustrating. But instead of letting my frustration grow, I decided to take an 'energy renewal break' and jump on my rebounder. This helped me to feel better, and it distracted her from refusing to leave my office (since I wasn't in it).

  • I was short and impatient with my teenager because he hadn't started the dishwasher. I told him, "Get over here and do it because I have more important things to do," then I went to my room to shower and recognized that I was feeling worried (about someone's health) and that's why I had been impatient. So I 'released tension and set intention'. After getting ready I went down and apologized to my teen (although he hadn't even noticed. :D )

  • I didn't feel like writing this post. I wasn't even sure what to say. But I made myself sit down and my desk and do it anyway. "Professionals stick to the schedule.Amateurs let life (or their feelings) get in the way." I did what I didn't want to do because I had previously committed to doing it.

I haven't given you the 'list' of resilient strategies yet (I will do that next time, promise!)

But I have illustrated several of them in action.

Resilience, like many other attributes, doesn't happen in one culminating act of greatness.

Instead, we have the opportunity to practice it in small moments throughout the day.

Remember the definition?

1 the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

Our daily frustrations, irritations, and interruptions are the perfect chance to 'practice' developing resilience.

Our 'systems' (aka 'choice architecture') also provides the framework for building resilience.

I'm up to 955 words so we'll dive into the specific list of 'resilient family culture' strategies tomorrow!

Until then... Reach Upward & Train for Greatness, Rachel Denning

P.S. One more thing...

Learning to understand how our small, seemingly insignificant choices TODAY are connected to our future self and future life...

..(and teaching this to our children)... a key part of developing resilience.

We HAVE TO make that mental connection between our 'present actions' and our 'future outcomes'.


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