The Pause

A story on National Public Radio this weekend told the story of how Jonathan Bartles, an emergency room nurse at the University of Virginia Medical Center has introduced a way for his colleagues to take a moment to collect their energies following the passing of one of their patients. Bartles described how his colleagues would usually find themselves stressed after the death of a patient but would just move on to the next emergency until one day a minister walked into their room and asked them to join him in a prayerful moment in memory of the patient. The next time a patient passes, Bartles changed the ritual a bit asking his team to take a moment of thought for Read More

The Dolphin Effect

When we lived in Texas, we would visit the Gulf coast and enjoy Padre Island. On our annual sojourn to watch the whooping cranes, leaping dolphins that would mesmerize me by their ease and grace always accompanied our tour boat. I found myself an appreciative witness to their beauty. Last week I took an Interplay class with one of my teachers, Cynthia Winton Henry. She talked about appreciative witnessing as a way of separating ourselves from the criticality we go through every day. Instead of judging why the check out person at the grocery is so slow or why our boss didn’t smile when she said good morning, Cynthia suggests that in the same way we enjoy the easiness of Read More

Go Ahead, Predict your Future

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK are working on predicting weather patterns over the next 85 years through the end of the century. Their forecast work is designed to help identify temporary potential temperature variation swings from extreme heat waves to deep cold snaps. These kinds of events cause more weather deaths than tornadoes, hurricanes and all the other more dramatic weather events. Preparation as resilience. The term “Big Data” is used to describe what sophisticated companies are using to create options for their future. This is what they are using to analyze their reams of data in Bath, but no computer including IBM’s Watson cranks through more information than we do in our mind every day. Read More

Maybe It’s Not Resilience At All

Over the past several weeks, my friend Pat Meadowcroft has endured the visits by Presidents and other dignitaries to her hometown New Orleans, to commend that city on its resilience in the face of Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. For her it is not about her City’s resilience but its survival. Unlike others who flew over or saw the video on TV, Pat lived it and the images of body bags, endless football fields of trashed refrigerators and the stench in the air that lingered for weeks still haunt her, although she has somehow found a way to compartmentalize it. Tragedies are all around us, and starting with myself, we can look at these situations and hope for the best Read More

Some Days Suck

Lets admit it. Sometimes no matter how well we try to be focused on our resilience, the day or our life is just too overwhelming and we need to call in the cavalry. For many of us that may mean a trip to the chocolate store, an ice cream stand, or just making a gooey grilled cheese sandwich along with a bowl of tomato soup. Finding comfort and solace when things are not going well is a good strategy for our bad mood and research shows that it does help. Its not so much the comfort food itself that helps us feel better but the memory of the hugs and love that usually accompanied the eating of those fun foods. Read More