The Foundation of Learning and Resilience


You might not think of it this way, but avoidance is the decision to neither be with nor work with your current experience--what is occurring in your life and how your body and mind are affected.


This, friends, is not optimal.

On Learning and Avoidance

Learning begins with a need or a desire to know something or to integrate something in such a way that leads to enrichment of thought and action and even well-being. If you are avoiding, you are opting out of that opportunity.


On Resilience and Avoidance

Resilience hinges on the opportunity to cultivate resilience in the first place. You must in some way be in touch with the idea and/or the experience of something that is occurring in your life. You must choose to engage rather than disengage. Avoidance = disengagement.


Resilience happens when--and because--we are able to touch the parts of our experience that we don't want. The Unwanted takes the form of thoughts, sensations in the body, sound (which we then label noise) and emotions (which are a combination of thoughts and sensations in the body). We are able to touch The Unwanted and realize that doing so isn't fatal. Our perception might tell us that it's going to be fatal, but when we have the willingness to question our perceptions and see them as just thoughts, we can move toward The Unwanted and live to tell the story.


Allow me to repeat that. Your perceptions are just thoughts. You don't need to do anything with them. All we have is our subjective experience of our lives, and that includes thoughts. We construct our realities and at any point we can realize that's what's happening and we can reframe what's occurring. We can change our thoughts.


On Working with The Unwanted

Once you have chosen to work with your unwanted rather than avoiding it, you have options for what that will look like. Here's a guided meditation of under 9 minutes that takes you through the options. I hope you find it useful, and if you do, why not forward it to someone who might appreciate it!



May you be at ease . . .

~mm


PS: The graphic was inspired by Rick Hanson's Two Wings of Psychological Growth: being with and working with your experience.