Resilience. What is it?
I went driving today. To the Clare Valley. Great wine country full of quiet. Full of backroads and quirky little eateries. Antique shops and wineries. Gum trees and lorikeets. It is around 1.5 – 2 hours from the city, depending how you drive. Enough time to do some thinking.
It is wonderful watching the vines, full of autumn reds, yellows and oranges, or maybe already bare, gnarled fingers reaching along wires. They have survived the drought. Survived the severe frosts of several years ago. Survived a record hot summer.
And the gum trees, solid and ancient. Each with its own spirit, reaching to the sky. Sheep and cows munch on the grass beneath, sheltered by the trees. Seeing green grass after so much parched soil for so long was so very very good.
Resilience is another one of those things that I sometimes work on with my clients. As a generation, as a culture, we rarely talk about it. It is like a dirty word, and I am not sure that I understand why.
Granted, it is hard to define. I am not sure that in my uncovering of the word, of the concept, I am there yet. You know that I like to think about these things… to strip off layers of meaning and get to the essence.
It has to do with your ability to cope. With the good things that happen to you, and with bad things that happen to you or around you. The ability to put things into perspective. The ability to remove attachment from the emotions of the thing, the event, the happening, and to deal with it with grace.
The more that I have looked at resilience and the experiences with the people that I work with, I find that a strong sense of Self is important. Of knowing who you are and what you are here for. Of your role in life. Then the strength comes from within, and is not dependent on what happens around you. The winds of life become just that – something to be lived through and dealt with. Without letting go of who you are. And retaining your spirit.
One way to start the journey to Self is to answer the question – Who are you? And then ask it again – No, but who are you? And you keep asking. Until you peel off the outer layers of You and discover the inner layers of You.
Bri is having a hard time at the moment. She is in one of those storms of life. She is a much loved blogger who is handling this storm with grace. Her spirit is evident. Her approach to the storm is planned and measured. Her support team is there with her.
Bri has cancer. Again.
Every one of us has had cancer impact our lives somehow. I have had a cousin and an uncle. A good friend who has had breast cancer. A work colleague. My father. You may also have heard of Lance Armstrong and the LiveStrong Foundation‘s Yellow event that was part of the blogging world recently. Yellow has become the colour associated with the fight against cancer.
I want to ask you to be part of Bri’s support team. You can, you know. It is so easy for you to be part of this. Her spirit is there, her grace, her resilience. But Bri needs to fund the treatments that she has chosen. We want to raise $12,000. Let’s work some magic. The mechanisms, and some wonderful gifts as prizes, has been organised by jai and bee of Jugalbandi and the famous CLICK! monthly food photography event. In support of Bri, this month’s CLICK! theme is Yellow for Bri. You will hear a lot about the meaning of yellow, but yellow and orange are also inner colours, colours of detachment and transition. Colours of resilience.
Click here to have a look at the prizes on offer. Then make your donation HERE. THEN publicise this on your own website. You can use any of this, or go here to find cut-and-paste html of the details below.
Here is more information about Bri and the details for donations. Go Bri!
This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.
Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.
She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.
The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.
Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.
The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.
The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.
Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.
This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.
You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.