Resiliency

In groups I sometimes work with the idea of resiliency.

Resiliency ….. What does it mean to be resilient? Bounce back, bounce off of, withstand, remain standing. Is it a part of our hereditary, our inborn temperament? Perhaps it’s a positive self concept. An ability to remember the past, live in the present, and look to the future.

Could it also involve hitting rock bottom, being aware of limitations, seeking support? Perhaps it’s a mentor, a will to live, a focus on healing.

Could it be that resiliency is a connection with spirituality, a commitment to listen to others, a willingness to be truthful?

One thing is certain that resiliency is different for everyone, with some commonality mixed in here and there.

As a child, I found/rediscovered resiliency outside moving, often in my favorite tree.

A tree stands alone
Wind rustles leaves together
We sway arm in branch

As an adult, I have found resiliency many places and many ways. Often, in combining the practice of creative movement, tai chi and hatha yoga, something I first learned to do  in a Creative Dance Class in 1983. Something that I teach/guide individuals and groups to do whenever I can.

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Charles Limb-Neuroscience of Creativity

Charles Limb loved music as a child—Mahler, the Beatles, Miles Davis, whatever. And he heard things most of us don’t. “I was fascinated by this question of how sound can make you feel something,” says the Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist. “If you think about it from a kind of abstract philosophical level, it’s unusual that acoustic vibrations in the air can make you feel deep emotion, something that can affect your life.”

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The mindful way through depression

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Being Creative & Meditation

Certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking, even if you have never meditated before. This is the outcome of a study by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato and Dominique Lippelt at Leiden University, published in Mindfulness.MP900309017

Long-lasting influence

The study is a clear indication that you don’t need to be an experienced meditator to profit more from meditation. The findings support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. Besides experienced meditators, also novices may profit from meditation.

Different techniques, different effects

But the results demonstrate that not all forms of meditation have the same effect on creativity. Test persons performed better in divergent thinking (= thinking up as many possible solutions for a given problem) after Open Monitoring meditation (= being receptive to every thought and sensation). The researchers did not see this effect on divergent thinking after Focused Attention meditation (=focusing on a particular thought or object.)

Setup of the study

Print40 individuals participated in this study, who had to meditate for 25 minutes before doing their thinking tasks. There were both experienced mediators and people who never meditated before. The study investigated the influences of different types of meditative techniques on the two main ingredients of creativity:

  • Divergent thinking Allows for many new ideas to be generated. It is measured using the so-called Alternate Uses Task method where participants are required to think up as many uses as possible for a particular object, such as a pen.
  • Convergent thinking Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is a process whereby one possible solution for a particular problem is generated. This is measured using the Remote Associates Task method, where three unrelated words are presented to the participants, words such as ‘time’, ‘hair’ and ‘stretch’. The participants are then asked to identify the common link: in this case, ‘long’.

Lorenza S. Colzato, Ayca Szapora, Dominique Lippelt, Bernhard Hommel. Prior Meditation Practice Modulates Performance and Strategy Use in Convergent- and Divergent-Thinking Problems. Mindfulness, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s12671-014-0352-9

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The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People-Tina Seelig

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Changing Course

Science suggests that having a secure relationship with a caregiver can help protect a child’s brain and body from the effects of adversity. A Connecticut program for very young children who have experienced trauma or other challenges has gotten results by focusing on that relationship – and the things that can interfere, including depression, family violence and a parent’s own history of trauma.  Read more Here.

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life adversity

The relationship between abuse/trauma and mental and physical health and wellbeing. Dep1

“Research has linked exposure to abuse, neglect and other forms of severe adversity in childhood to a wide range of mental and physical diseases and disorders. Can understanding this make a profound change in the way we prevent illness?”

“…a landmark study that found childhood abuse, household dysfunction and other forms of early life adversity were common – and linked to a greater risk for both mental health problems and physical illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.” See more here.

 

Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

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