I’m barely tolerating my environment at the moment.
As I sit to write, I notice how distant I feel. It seems like I have dulled my senses in order to keep all those intrusions at bay.
Music in my ears helps. It drowns out the beeping of a truck left in reverse, the rattling of the jack hammer, the shifts and sighs from the other room of a bored and self-sequestered teen.
I close my eyes and breathe in the intimate melody, the light percussion, the gentle strum of guitar. They separate and come back together like kaleidoscope colors in my mind’s eye, swirling, flooding, disappearing.
The music and the breath offer me a way in. A way back into the senses, into the emotional body, into the interplay of the two. From here, I can better access a sense of grounding, a sense of self. From here, I can sense into what calls to me, what work I want to focus on today, which relationships.
And my writing shows up from this place. I suspect it has something to do with resilience. Resilience is often defined as “bouncing back” from something difficult. From my coaching work, I have learned to define resilience as the way we connect to our aliveness.
By aliveness, I mean that sense of self that has always been with us, of who we are at our core, outside of any circumstances or experiences, and that draws us forward in our lives, into a sense of becoming, a sense of possibility, a sense of meaning and purpose.
I think of resilience as something we can champion in ourselves, something we can cultivate, strengthen and deepen. So that when we are faced with challenging situations, we can lean into that resilience and feel grounded, rather than being knocked around by external circumstances that we have little to no control over.
I have no control over how long my water is shut off or how long the dump truck idles, essentially in my backyard, with its incessant beep. I have no control over how long this heat lasts, whether the humidity will break today or tomorrow or the next day. These small and relatively harmless “no-control” situations are good practice for the bigger ones that are bound to show up with a new virus on the loose and a nation in turmoil.
I tap into my resilience - by putting my favorite genre of music in my ears (indie folk, if you’re wondering) and sitting down to write. Not curating or trying to get it right - just allowing a deeper sense of myself to be awakened, to be enlivened, to be expressed.
What feels grounding to you in times of uncertainty? What helps you to come back to yourself? How do you connect to your aliveness?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.