Resilience Training: Simply be stronger

We all know those folks who never lose their calm. Who always get back up and carry on, no matter how hard the blow they received from  life. These people have got one very special, sometimes almost miraculous trait: Resilience - the ability to meet life's challenges with an especially high level of mental strength and tolerance towards stress. The good news: Resilience is not something you "just have". It can be trained.

 

How I know? Well - I've been there myself. As the mom of a former "extreme preemie" - my daughter was born almost 4 months premature - life made me sail an extraordinarily rough sea, leading me to resilience training. Today I am proud to say: Were my child's first few years a tough time? Yes. Was I sometimes close to despair? Definitely. Would I trade any experiences I made? Not at all, as they made me stronger that I ever was before, growing as a personality and excelling in resilience.

 

Don't hesitate any longer: When life throws you a lemon, order tequila - learn to laugh life into the face! 

How I became an expert for resilience

It was on a cloudy Tuesday in November that my life changed in a sudden, radical and irreversable way. I was pregnant, and until then, pregnancy had been truely a dream: No morning sickness, no mood swings - instead I felt stronger than ever before. 

 

But now I had been hospitalized for several days; a few days before I woke up at night from pain which had turned out to be contractions. For the time being, everything seemed under control. Then, however, at 5 p.m. sharp: Heavy labor pain, contractions with only minutes in between. The chief physician's decision, who had already been on his way home and was urgently called back by the nurses, is quick: emergency C-section. No alternatives. Right now. In pregnancy week No. 25 - roughly 4 months early.

 

Less than half an hour later the child is born. Covered by a large heap of soft tiny blankets keeping the tiny body warm, it is rushed past its Daddy to the Newborn ICU. The chief physician stops for a second: "I have no idea if it's a boy or a girl. We really needed to hurry." 

 

As for myself, I am still knocked out - for an entire additional day. On day 2 after birth I finally make it to NICU for the first time. I finally see my daughter for the first time... but am not allowed to touch her. There she is: Only about 12 inches "tall", weighing just a little more than 600 g. She is given artificial respiration; sensors and tubes cover her fragile body almost completely. A Monitor is showing erratic curves and lines, blinks and alarms acousticly every few seconds. My husband and I are standing next to the incubator quite forlornly: There she is. Our beautiful child we were so looking forward to. But now we don't know what to feel anymore... She is here. She is alive. That's good. Or is it??  

 

My husband had asked the nurses for a second bed to be put in my hospital room so that he could stay with me, as close to our child as possible. We were both asleep when one night - our daughter was just 6 days old - the door to our room flew open, giving way to one of the pediatricians of NICU. Usually a calm person, the doctor now was clearly distraught: "The lungs are failing. We have to give her surfectant. In 5 minutes we'll know if it works. If not..." She does not finish the sentence. The longest 5 minutes of our lives began. 

 

At this point I'll make a Long story short: The most terrible night of our lives by now lies several years in the past. Our daughter is alive. She is a happy, content little girl who loves life and laughs a lot. Actually, she's the most wonderful little girl we could ever have wished for. And we have every reason to be happy.

 

But between then and now, we spent five long, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting months at NICU. Five months, intense in any possible way, in which we experienced the countless ups and downs that are typical for extreme "preemies": Everything just fine today, sitting on death's lap tomorrow. In her first year of life alone, our Little girl had to undergo 6 surgeries. By now, this number has risen further. Even today, regular checkups at the hospital are necessary, as are different therapies. 

 

Honestly: Being a young, ambitious travel journalist who published both in Germany and the USA at the time when I became pregnant, this was not at all how I had imagined my life. Or being a mom. The extremely premature birth of my daughter whirled my life around like a tornado. It twisted what had seemed completely self-evident at the time, and rearranged priorities and values to an extent I had never thought possible.

 

It was only a few week after her birth when I realized: You need to do something. For yourself. Otherwise this flood will drown you. A book about resilience - that special power that shields us against the challenges of life, big or small - was my very personal life saver back then. It taught me that resilience can be trained - and I learned to deal with our new, extraordinary, and extraordinarily wearing situation.

 

Over the years I have continued training my mental power of resistance. Today I am proud to say: I am good at it. Very good.

It was a hard time - but it did not make me hard. Just strong. Stronger than ever before.

It was a bitter time - but it did not make me bitter. Instead, I now relish the good things in life very consciously.

It was an instructional time - it taught me a lot about myself and about the truly important things in life.

It was a time full of fear - but it turned me into an incredibly happy person.

It was a demanding time - but it made me very very grateful.

 

You can profit from my experiences. Because you, too, can train your mental resilience and find your way (back) to more joy in life, to greater confidence, self-determination and happiness. Experience shows that this almost automatically draws you towards success, professionally as well as privately.

 

Several intense Coaching trainings are now the stable foundation of my range of methods and my skills as a resilience trainer and coach. My teachers are Chris Plachy (LLC, San Diego/USA) and my mentor Kendall Summerhawk (Tucson, AZ), one of America's most famous and skillful female Coaches: I am a Certified Money, Marketing & Soul© Coach and also hold certificates in Coaching Conversations, Coaching Practices, Managing as a Coach, Setting Expectations. These were issued through the University of California in Davis/USA erteilt.

 

By now I have also developed my very own coaching method: ForestCoaching, which uses the forest and the ancient wisdom of nature as a healing space for body, mind and soul alike - without any form of esoteric or New Age mumbo-jumbo.

 

Regular skill enhancement is a matter of course.