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Connecting to Resources

"Hope is not a lottery ticket; you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency." - Rebecca Solnit.

I wrote this last year but never published it. The 18 months have turned into years.  

The last 18 months have been a whirlwind, a blur, and many other things. When I look back, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were going into lockdown for the first time, and at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago. 

So much has happened, and so little. It feels like I've been standing in the same place for a year, and it feels like I have been moving so fast. 

An article published in the Science Daily said, "80% of people experienced distortion to the passage of time during the lockdown. Lockdown passing more slowly than normal was associated with older age and reduced satisfaction with social interactions."

For me, it depends; sometimes it feels fast and sometimes slow, but I know it has been different. Each of us has been impacted differently, given that we are humans. 

One of the things that saved me and helped me get through the past 18 months was the work of Virginia Satir. You will hear me reference her many times here for many reasons. She had a model that she called a model for being more fully human. One of the things that she constantly reminded people to do was to connect with their resources. 

As humans, we have incredible resources; the most obvious is our senses; we can touch, taste, smell, see, hear, move, think and above all, choose. 

If I see them written there, they seem so simple, but the simple written words belie their power. Sometimes, as we go about our day, we forget these and the many others we have. 

Virginia spent a lot of time connecting people to their resources and reminding them that they were there and available. Not just our senses but also 

Our ability to be aware, observe, accept, change, grow, have hope, determination, courage, wisdom, curiosity and compassion, and above all, our resource of choice. 

One of the things that she did was regular meditations or centring exercises. At the beginning of each exercise, she would remind people to connect to their resources and create opportunities for them to do so. I have been reading these daily, and I started a small podcast where I either read or make a new centring every day. By creating this repetition, I have connected more quickly to these and have them ready.   

I didn't even realise how powerful this small thing could be until recently. 

I was hiking last weekend with some friends and family. I don't do very well with heights, and at one point, the path got steep, narrow, and tricky. There was a wooden bridge and a ladder to climb, none of these are my best things, and I often get nervous, and when I get nervous, it feels like my balance is compromised, which makes me more anxious, so it creates a vicious spiral.

I felt this vicious spiral start to take hold. Suddenly, I heard Virginia and her meditations in my head, encouraging me to connect to my resources, my ability to see, hear, touch, taste, smell, and move, and all of the ways that my body could respond if I were in charge of it. I could take a deep breath, take control of my body, and prevent that whole cycle from beginning. 

It was another realisation that just creating the habit of connecting to resources and practising them can mean they are more readily available. In times of uncertainty, when it brings fear of the unknown and the undiscovered, when there are changes I don't like, I connect to my resources and first take a breath because that breath can often trigger something good. My heart responds, my diaphragm expands, and I have more oxygen for thinking. 

So, no, hope is not a lottery ticket. It's a reminder to breathe, to create space for possibility, and to reconnect to my resources. In doing so, I can make a virtuous cycle of oxygen, thinking, and new options. 

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