Posts tagged Grace

The Car – or – The Cash

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I get by without a car. Doing so is sometimes problematic but not usually. It simply requires appropriate clothing for the weather, strength to carry everything, and planning for public transportation. So, imagine my gratitude and delight whenever my 84-year-old friend goes out of town for a few days or a week or more, and she loans me her car!

This time, however, she loaned it to her gardener, who has become a help to her in the off-season. My friend is a very kind woman, full of generosity and compassion. She “adopts” people as she did me. In this instance, she has chosen to extend her kindness on his behalf.

Borrowing my friend’s car is not my right; it is a privilege. And my having become accustomed to that privilege, I now feel disappointed, irritated, and jealous. I have been her friend for eight years and he, one year or less. Then again…to be honest…at one point several years ago, I limited our contact because our temperaments are quite different, and I found her unbearable.

Our renewed friendship now reflects a pleasantness. In addition to “coffee with the ladies” on Tuesday mornings, my friend and I visit once a month or so. She normally pays the entire bill. She even passes me some extra cash on occasion.

Who am I to get irritated? If I had to choose between the two gestures——car or cash——I would opt for the cash without hesitation. Nevertheless, my hurt feelings warrant expression. I choose to express my feelings to trusted others and keep the situation in perspective.

Perhaps a time will present itself when I will choose to share my feelings about the situation with my elderly friend. Perhaps hurt feelings will shift or fade. For now, I shall exercise GRACE and MAINTAIN gratitude.

If you desire a better way to cope with disappointment, anger, frustration, and other unpleasant emotions, please Contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation–Resiliency Coaching–and I will guide you in adjusting yourself to the situation.

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Ambivalence, Resignation, Or Creative Discontent

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Veterans, Returning Citizens (formerly called Ex-offenders), and Mental Health Consumer/Survivors experience a transition between a controlled environment and civilian life. The adjustment period poses challenges, some more difficult than others. Whatever the differences between these populations and among individuals within them, the transition and, more specifically, the process of adjustment impacts the trajectory of resiliency.

Resiliency Fitness status differs from one person to the next and, for the same person, from one situation to the next. For example, I am a wiz at adapting to an unexpected change of plans but I have difficulty expressing my displeasure with friends and loved ones.

Declines in status may be met by resignation, ambivalence, or creative discontent with disadvantage and the motivation to thrive. And intermediate status may provide a latency period in which, despite appearing inactive, we are actually cultivating our adaptation skills.

Think of a life predicament and figure out your Resiliency Fitness status:

  • Delinquency… We exhibit misbehavior or willful negligence that indicates the rejection of recovery and resiliency, and that harms both self and other (e.g., aggression, vengeance, dishonesty, injustice/crime, addiction);
  • Succumbing… We buckle under the strain of distress that prevents the progress in recovery and resiliency or indicates a reversal in recovery and resiliency (e.g., regression, depression, struggling or stuck, exhaustion);
  • Impairment… We experience a deterioration of coping with distress that indicates an inconsistent level of functioning and uncharacteristic negative changes in attitude, thought, mood, or behavior; overwhelmed);
  • Languishing… We survive with low expectations for recovery and resiliency, tolerating a lackluster existence. We remain risk-averse and tolerate mediocrity lest we upset the seemingly tenuous balance of the status quo;
  • Synthesis… We enjoy stability that indicates successful development of recovery and resiliency, and that enables measured advances in personal mastery; and
  • Thriving… We flourish and prosper with a vitality that encourages calculated risks for the sake of continued personal mastery and indicates the appreciation of challenges.


The keys to recovery and resiliency—the Optimal Experience Strategies of strength, endurance, power, flexibility, balance, grace and so on—inform our practice on the spectrum of Resiliency Fitness status. Resiliency Fitness status differs from one person to the next and, for the same person, from one situation to the next. Declines in status may be met by resignation, ambivalence, or creative discontent. And intermediate status may provide a latency period in which, despite appearing inactive, we are actually cultivating maturity and discipline in order to advance recovery and resiliency.

In order to do so, we proactively develop internal and external resources. Of all the internal resources we can cultivate, maturity and discipline are the most broadly applicable to all situations and perhaps the most challenging to develop. What are the good habits that shape your maturity and discipline?

If you desire better strategies for coping with the crests and shallows of life, please Contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation–Resiliency Coaching–and I will guide you in the development of personal mastery.

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Pigeon Under A Microscope

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My housemate annoys me. She seems cordial at times and then just as randomly she ignores me for lengths of time. There exists no cause for animosity and yet she usually engages me only when she has a problem with me. Since our rapport is meager at other times, I do not feel warmly toward her. I also notice that she is quite critical of the world. To me, she appears as a cold-hearted woman. However, she carries herself as beloved by family, friends, and students.

My view of “Melody” pigeon-holes her even when my initial impression meets evidence to the contrary, which I perceive as exceptions to the rule. What if she experiences life with great sensitivity and her coldness is compensation for that? For example, she lost a daughter–her first-born child–to a disease that was not understood until the body sustained too much damage. Surely, Melody carries that heartache and quietly so regarding me.

I deliberately behave with all manner of courtesy around Melody, and it neither endears me to her nor allows rapport to develop. My fear is that I am always one small step away from her discontent and that she will be more concerned with her interests than with negotiating a peaceable or win-win scenario.

In an effort to remove Melody from the pigeon hole, I must give credence to the relationships in which she enjoys rapport and mutual support even though I am not privy to such benefits. Melody may or may not like me. Nevertheless, it has been months since any problem his arisen between us. Finding the GRACE to clarify her presence with good will and making my attitude toward her more favorable allows me to change my perspective on Melody.

If you are caught in a relationship where your microscopic view of another person limits your perspective on that person, please Contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation–Resiliency Coaching–and I will guide you in shifting your approach to the person in question.

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