February 2020: The Dance of Resilience and Grace

So many of us have been raised to think of “resilience” as an individual’s grit or stick-to-it-iveness. It’s something we must yet again prove or achieve, as a lone wolf: “See how tough I am?” Well, this month, if we accomplish anything, let’s let it be that we let that idea go.

For us, resilience is a community effort, a community practice. We survive by leaning on each other, by pitching in to help those in need, who will then pitch in to help us, when our turn comes. Resilience is the quality we build together, every time we gather, every time we resolve a conflict, or teach a lesson, or grow as friends. Resilience is what weaves us together.

And grace is what happens sometimes when resilience runs out, when we have nothing left in the tank and still somehow we keep going — because a moment of beauty or kindness or love came from out of nowhere, unexpected and unearned, and refueled us just in the nick of time.

This month our Soul Matters theme is Resilience, and our Sacred Word is Grace. How are those two interwoven in your life?

Soul Matters Spiritual Exercise: “List ‘em and Share ‘em”

We are more resilient than we realize. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say we have more resiliency tricks up our sleeves than we give ourselves credit for. Over time we all accumulate go to strategies that help us maintain our resilience. The challenge is remembering them. So this month, bring your resiliency tools into greater awareness. Here’s how:

1. Carve out some time to make a list of your top five resiliency practices and habits. For instance, here some from the lists of our Soul Matters facilitators:

  • Getting eight hours of sleep
  • Getting some exercise every day
  • Creating external order – organizing the junk draw, cleaning the fridge, redesigning the workbench in the garage.
  • Make sure there is a veggie on every plate I eat (And make sure my hands stay out of potato chip bags!)
  • Meditating 3 mornings a week
  • Make my bed
  • Once-a-week email Sabbath
  • Family dinners with a family gratitude prayer
  • Spending time with animals
  • Knitting
  • Watching The Daily Show


2. After you list your top 5, think about them more deeply using these questions:

  • Which resiliency practice/habit is “saving” you right now?
  • Which one have you let slide and need to start doing more of again?
  • Which one was given to you by someone else?
  • Which one did you discover on your own?
  • Which do you need to pass on to someone in your life?


3. Share your list with a family member or close friend. Ask them if they recognize the list as true. Have them offer what they think is missing.