There are times when fear and discomfort tell me the best thing to do is escape, maybe hide under the covers or distract myself to take my mind off things.
But it’s the most fearful times – like the shooting in Orlando and the bombing in Istanbul – that show me how crucial being present is to being resilient.
At Rockwood, we define Resilience as “shifting from a state of reactivity to one of resourcefulness in times of stress and crisis.” Without it, my reptilian brain would take over and start to run my world. That fight or flight response narrows my sight, emotionally paralyzing me and blocking me from all of the resources the universe has to offer, my own included.
While there are many ways to increase resilience, being present is one of my favorites. For me, being in the now is a powerful tool for helping me to reconnect with my wisdom and find clarity, which ultimately allows me to fight these atrocities and change the world.
As leaders, we do a complex dance: we are asked to hold a vision, understand our past, and navigate the currents we are swimming in, all while bringing others along. It’s a lot to hold. Add a shocking catastrophe, and resilience becomes more important than ever.
It feels like we are on the brink of an enormous shift in our society. I see hatred at a fever pitch now, but change often occurs in cycles and waves. Eventually, this hatred will be on a wave back out to sea, and the wave of love we’re working hard to create today will take its place.
This is why resilience is an essential practice in a leader’s toolbox. Difficult moments won’t disappear. They will continue, and they will always be challenging. Yet, I know that our nearly-6,000 Rockwood alums are a powerful force in the world.
As John Lee Hooker sang, “One of these days, things gonna change, things gonna change.” I believe this in my heart because I know that all of the changemakers – Rockwood alum and beyond – will be out there transforming our world, one moment at a time.