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Resilience

Thank you S for reminding me of this incredibly powerful yet often under used word. This morning we discussed how often well-meaning friends or colleagues might describe one as ‘strong’. I’m not sure why I have naturally felt inclined to rail against the use of this term, but as S pointed out the opposite of strong is weak.

Strong can easily be misinterpreted as being aggressive or dogmatic, belligerent and lacking in empathy.

Resilience comes from reflecting and considering. Resilience is forged when we recognise that life is not fair, rubbish things happen all the time and at some point we will be affected. However if we use our emotional intelligence, seek out wise people and are prepared to listen then we begin to develop skills and strategies to plan the next steps forward.

However if we continuously fail to build resilience we struggle with trust and ultimately inhibit the opportunity for happiness. Happiness is not a destination it is a journey, a path strewn with signs and symbols along the way that are there for the taking and nourishing or ignoring and destroying.

Today I was unashamedly awash with happiness as I watched our new communication provision class playing together in the swimming pool. Young people with autism and learning disabilities, splashing each other, giggling and laughing – filled with genuine joy and happiness. The same joy and happiness was reflected on the faces of the support workers and me. I caught sight of myself in the frosted glass between the pool and the cafe and loved what I saw – a genuinely happy, fulfilled image of a teacher who is thriving as much as the young people in her care.

It has not been an easy journey getting to where I am, and sometimes that has been caused by circumstances beyond my control: bereavement, physical injury, mental unwellness and obstructive forces in my professional life.

Today the sun has been shining, the planets feel as if they should be aligned – I had a wonderful few hours with L+T at the weekend and J+I have just planned our East Coast road trip. I have many reasons to be happy – I hope you find some too.

Resilience – a poem

Shout, laugh, scream for joy –

release that energy, let it flow.

Warm sun on flushed cheeks,

lush green grass and sparkling sea.

A child’s laughter, a flash of fun.

It’s there for the taking –

Look and have some.

And when you’re sad and feeling blue

remember great things to see you through.

Build yourself up and hold your head high –

Walk tall, be sure and please just smile.

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