The concept of resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from pressure or strain, is often front and center in my mind. It comes into play when I am considering my patients, and how to help them recover from an illness that has thrown them for a loop, or avoid re-injuring the same part of their body over and over. It comes up in my own life as I figure out how to best meet the constantly changing circumstances that define life. My dear friend, Dr. Jayshree Chander, speaks of strength, flexibility and adaptability in a beautiful piece about cultivating resilience that I would like to share with you. Resilience, the Great Bounce Back .
The concept of nurturing resilience has seemed particularly relevant in this country since the election of 2016, as norms of political and social behavior are challenged, and guarantees that had appeared solid are revealed to be more fragile than we had realized. Structures that we, in this country, have come to rely upon for support—to protect the earth, fortify income and health security (like Social Security, Medicare, MediCal, Planned Parenthood, and for all its flaws, the ACA), civil, labor and immigration rights, freedom of speech, support for the arts and public education— are in evident states of flux. As always, some of us will be more vulnerable than others. Many of us will find strength as we take active roles to right the course. However we respond to these and other challenges, cultivating resilience of spirit and body, in both tiny and grand ways, as individuals and as members of the community of all beings, will help guide us as the path unfolds.