Discovering resilience through Alice’s Adventures
2020 was certainly a “different” year, a year that when the future history books are written will appear large and have much said about it.
As the year went on some words appeared time and time again in our conversations. The one I want to explore here is “resilience” something that resonates with everyone.
One the things that I found resilience from, as I often do, was reading. Along with reading many new things I found myself re-visiting, as I have on many occasions, Alice and her journeys into Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll rewarded me again by giving me new insights into my own journey. He and Alice shared with me 5 key aspects to support my resilience through a changing world.
Awareness of the world around me, awareness of me in that world. Alice is often bemused as she tumbles from situation to situation. She even loses sight at one point of who she is.
“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, Sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
However as the story goes Alice increasingly becomes aware of herself and the world in which she finds herself. Indeed it is Alice who sees the world for what it is (more of this can be found at the blog: Changing personal perceptions about workplace hierarchy: “They’re only a pack of cards!”)
Be aware of the beauty there is in the world, in simple things even in what might feel like the most difficult of times. Being aware of how you are feeling, acknowledging it and giving yourself permission to feel it. Both these things will help you bounce back.
Learning from things around us is key to helping us develop our resilience. Always being open to new things, new situations, and new experiences can help us grow and develop. The more we can treat what may appear as setbacks as opportunities, the more possibilities we can gain for ourselves. Every encounter that Alice has in Wonderland helps her prepare for the next. Keeping her mind open and being curious helps her to navigate through the strange new environment.
Your purpose, your aim. Alice never loses sight of her intent……….to get through Wonderland and home. As things change around us our intent may need to be moulded and adapted. However, keep clear in our mind what is your purpose, moment to moment, this doesn’t need to be a big thing. One foot in front of another, one step at a time. Sometimes going sideways, even backwards to go forwards however always recall your intent.
The people around you are important to you. No matter that sometimes we may feel like retreating into ourselves we must always connect and communicate with those around us. Alice is supported on her journey by a wide range of colourful characters. Ensure you have a Hatter, a March Hare, a Cheshire Cat to support you on your journey.
Momentum, movement, the story of Alice always moves, from place to place, from character to character. Maintaining your personal energy can have a big impact on your resilience. You cannot and should not operate at full throttle all the time. Down time is essential to your renewed energy and longer term physical and psychological benefit. Identify for yourself your best way of re-energising and do it as often as you can. For me its running, for others it might be reading, dancing, films, friends, whatever it is do it!
Through both of her trips to Wonderland, Alice shows resilience. She meets the many strange things she encounters with determination. In the end she adapts herself to her new circumstances. She learns how to manage the irrational without ignoring it. She makes her own sense out of the surreal.
So again I found myself helped, supported as well as enchanted by the mysterious writings of Lewis Carroll
Alice really does spell out for me a lesson in resilience;