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When 'S*!t' Happens


“We are not determined by our experiences, but are self-determined by the meaning we give to them”

Alfred Adler


When s*!t happens we can ignore it, but it never stays buried. We can let it consume us, thinking about it all the time, asking why it happened to us, why we deserved it. We can let it define us, Or we can process it and use it for purpose.


The American Psychological Association defines resilience as: “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress


Are you resilient?


This is a more sophisticated question than it first appears. In fact resilience is highly complex and many things determine how resilient we are. These involve who you are, what you have, what is happening for you and ultimately what you want.


A large part of our resilience, how we cope with adversity, depends on our ability to process the event. To help us do this we need conscious knowledge of who we are and what is driving our responses.


It is within our power to explore our conditioning. What did we learn in childhood? What do we remember our parents saying? What are our significant life lessons? We can consider how we describe ourselves and ask others to describe us. We can think about the roles we play and the labels we have accepted.


We are in a position to investigate our shadow. What parts of ourselves do we put away and deny? What characteristics do we dislike the most when we see them in others? What situations make us feel the most uncomfortable? What makes us feel defensive or sensitive, what do we avoid? What situations make us feel inferior or embarrassed? What do we criticise the most in others?


We are able to recognise which archetypes we are identifying with, the mother, the healer, the princess, the jester, the judge? More importantly which of the survival archetypes do we recognise the most? The child, the victim, the prostitute or the saboteur?


When we ask ourselves these questions we are deepening our understanding of the Self. We become aware of our weltanschauung or worldview. We discover the underlying core beliefs that shape our frame of reference, the ideology by which we measure everything that happens and everyone, including ourselves.


When we do this deep dive into our psyche we are given the gift to observe and choose. We are afforded the power to notice patterns in our responses and the outcome of those reactions. We then have the power to either let outmoded responses continue or try an alternative response.


Evolve or repeat.


So when situations occur, particularly when we have been triggered (we feel annoyed or upset or angry), we need to take the time to process the event and harvest the lessons the universe has gifted us.


Try this:

Acknowledge that you have been triggered.


Say thank you to the universe for this opportunity to grow and feel grateful for the opportunity to do the inner work.


Take a moment to really feel the emotion. Where do you feel it in your body?


If you experience a fight-flight response to the emotion pause and breathe. A few minutes of diaphragmatic breathing will activate the relaxation response and allow you to process the situation calmly


Now Ask yourself why this has affected you?


Analyse your response not what others have said or done.


What does this tell you about yourself?


Was the response appropriate?


Was it useful?


Is there a better way to respond?



When we process effectively we are happier, healthier and more resilient. To aid in your journey to enlightenment ‘How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual’ has over 60 tools and techniques to try.



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