A Moment: Accessing Your Inner Resilience

A Moment: Accessing Your Inner Resilience

Written in the Spring of 2020, during the first lockdown in Scotland:

I had rather an interesting experience recently. I woke up one morning with a lovely spring breeze blowing on my face. It was such a pleasant feeling, and somehow it transported me to a moment on Glyfada beach, sitting on a bench. I could hear, see and smell everything that was going on. Whether it was a real moment, or an amalgamation of lovely memories I don’t know. What I do know is that I found it immensely comforting, and kept thinking if it for that whole day, and the next few.

It was surprising for me, pleasantly so, how much comfort and security I drew from that moment in my head, during a time of intense pressure, trauma, uncertainty and inner turmoil.
Some time later I was reading an article about building inner resilience, that a friend posted on Facebook. And it turns out that there is a trauma therapy that is based on just what my brain did that week. It is called resilience cultivation, or resourcing. The theory behind it is that we all have resources of resilience inside of us: moments, places, figures in our life experience which cause us to feel safe, loved, and strong. And it turns out that by focusing on these, we can build a level of resilience which we can access in times of need. The article I read was by Eva Holland, who describes her own experience of E.M.D.R., eye movement desensitization and reprocessing:

“On the day of my “resourcing” session, my therapist had me select four resources from my memories: a place where I had felt my safest and happiest, a nurturing figure, a protector, and a source of wisdom.”

“A Moment”
Sitting on a bench
by the sea, where old fishing boats are docked.
The gentle spring breeze stroking my face and hair.
I feel it on my cheeks, it brushes past my closed eyes, touching my eyelids.
I feel a gentle chill, kissed better by the sun.
That beautiful springtime sunshine that is like an embrace, not squeezing too hard.
Around me I can smell the seawater, the fried calamari, the drying daisies.
There are sounds of people walking, talking, laughing, children playing with pebbles in the nearby beach. 
But I can’t hear them.
I only hear the water maneuvering between the wooden boats and gently touching the concrete dock, 
as it reaches the end of its journey.
I’m happy just watching it swoosh and move between the boats,
causing them to move from side to side ever so slightly.
I’m happy to be brushed by the breeze 
and kissed by the sun,
in my own little space, 
my own little bubble.
A bubble of my childhood, my Greece, my memories of weekend mornings at the sea.
A sweet sweet moment of the breeze brushing past my face and moving on to the road and the restaurants behind me.
And somehow my pappou (grandfather) is there.
Talking about the breeze and feeling it on his silver stripy hair, secured on the back of his head with his own version of hair product.
He is not sitting there with me,
nor is he walking.
He is just there.
In that moment.

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Katerina Faulds

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