The Resilience Garden

The night I came to understand how frightened I was of my “addictive self”, I came face to face with an image that represented it. It was nothing more than a child, but what a child it was. Over the next few weeks, I was to understand the power it had over me. The “understanding” was only partial because the “origination” went so deep into my psyche. There were places I had no recollection of ever experiencing, many of these empowering this child-self who seemed both innocent and toxic.

While I had experienced the toxicity, I never paid much attention, nor did I ever decide to take it apart and analyze it. When the child realized what my intention was, there was an incredible resistance, rather like running head first into a brick wall. I came to understand that it was going to take both courage and commitment to work through this, and it was most likely going to take time.

When patients ask me, “How long is this going to take?” I remember my own experiences and shudder at the truth. I try to re-frame my answer in a way that will not frighten or discourage anyone, but to stay somewhere in the realm of the truth. We are not all built the same. Some of us have more resilience than others built over the years. Those of us with a stronger amount can take a bigger dose of the truth.

For me, while I was resilient, when it came to my eating issues my resilience was weak. Realizing this, I decided to utilize a technique I’d developed many years ago for my oncology patients. It’s called “transmutation.” I would relax deeply, take myself to my “special place” in my mind’s eye, locate my “resilience garden” and empower myself. Then, I would take that “power” and bring it to my “eating or food behavior garden.”

Building a resilience garden is something we can all learn to do. You can do it through journaling, drawing images, or through mindfulness meditation. I think it’s best to utilize a journal or draw images, THEN…plant these during meditation. When the mind is at a higher focus, the images can go deeper into the subconscious mind.

If you are working with my programs, have a look at the ones designed for building resilience, managing emotions or even those designed for affirmations. There are many of them and all will work for you. Then, open a journal just for this work. I gathered my resilience from surviving following the death of my father when I was three. I don’t remember much before that, but since that event was so seminal in my life, it created a starting point.

This was when I first remember experiencing fear and loneliness. I still have left-overs from those early years. In fact, I was just discussing this with my husband before he passed away three months ago. I was left alone in our house from the age of four. When I see a four-year old I can’t believe how little and vulnerable she or he is, yet when I was four I was considered “old enough” to be responsible to be alone.

Those years were filled with fear about so many things. I remember locking myself in my room and hiding in my closet with some food I would gather from the kitchen before heading up the stairs. While these are painful memories, I was building resilience through these years. My worst experiences were from the age of four through ten. That is a lot of resilience. Resilience is cumulative. The more you experience, the stronger you become IF you choose or remember to utilize it. The good news is that all of it can be “transmuted” and applied to any area of life. More about this in a later blog.

Twitter Handle – ELIZRN

I’m currently reviewing all of my programs, just “as if” I was my own patient…  Here’s what I’m listening to today… I want to improve my memory recall for the purpose of going deeper into my subconscious mind files. I also want to enhance my self-discipline and time management for High-Level Achievement.  I have a lot to accomplish for 2019!