Recap of Pillar #11 – “Augment Your Resilience”

“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” ~ Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

On November 5th, we introduced Pillar #11 of “The Year of the Best You” – Augment Your Resilience. Today, we will recap how the month went in terms of augmenting our resilience. Our November worksheet allowed us to focus on the practice of self-reflection.

Resilience is really a concept, that has almost been overused and watered down to a word. That is why I found the exercises around this pillar to be so worthwhile – it brought to life the importance of the true breadth of resilience. Through the exercises, I can say I have learned from past challenges, I do practice self-care and I am able to reflect on many of my characteristics that have changed and evolved over time. As we reviewed in the introductory post to this pillar, resilience is an important part of life and can be augmented in many ways.

3 take-aways from social media this month on the concepts we covered in the worksheet 

Perspective taking

Not to be confused with adding a silver lining to hardship, perspective taking is accepting the hard times and difficult emotions from a lens of appreciation. This past week, my sister said I should listen to Oprah’s SuperSoul conversation with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor – “My Stroke of Insight”. What an example of perspective-taking and undeniable resilience. After having a massive stroke at age 37, Jill had a new perspective on so many aspects of life including how we think. Despite having to learn to talk and walk again, this neuroanatomist looks upon the time of her stroke and recovery with a reverence that an outsider like myself can’t imagine.


A fellow physician blogger and Twitter engager I have come to admire, Dr. Monique Tello, wrote an article for the Harvard Health Blog this week titled Self-care – 4 Ways to Nourish Body and Soul. Along with nourishment, physical activity and sleep, she hit on one other crucial aspect of self-care – activities to calm the mind. Monique mentions activities such as meditation and yoga, which I often refer to, but she also mentions ones such as baking, walking and knitting. I am so glad she highlighted these activities that are soothing to us, as they are effective ways to reduce stress and focus on the self. I also often mention listening to podcasts as I find they can be a great way for me to feel calm and in the moment.

Strengths and weaknesses

First thought – are they really ‘strengths and weaknesses’ or ‘characteristics we choose to foster or not’? Again, I was listening to a podcast, this one from the Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields and Mari Andrew, on really using your own story, interests and social media to help other people to not feel so alone. If you are on Instagram, you will want to check Mari out, and specifically on her post related to the topic of resilience. She started doing watercolour as a happiness project of sorts, never having studied art, and now Mari uses her art and authentic voice to connect with her audience. She turned what may have been considered a weakness into an incredible strength.

The last pillar

We made it! We started this journey of “The Year of the Best You” in January this year and we are now heading into the last of the 12 pillars next week – Authenticity ‘Be You’.

As the holiday season approaches, I want to leave you with one more recent social media gem from the 10% Happier podcast – ‘A Reflection On the Important Things’ by The Minimalists. It is a guided meditation, but not in the traditional sense, so I encourage you to give it a listen (it’s only ~ 5 minutes long) and it will give you the much need perspective on the holiday season. I could have used it before I went to a mall with my kids on Black Friday!


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