First of all, thank you, oh thank you to all who took me up on my invitation last week to reach out to your Models of Possibility.

I heard from you about your Models of Grace, and Boundaries, and Generosity, and Balance, and Activism, and Justice, and Poise.

Hearing from you reminds me of one of my top value - and one of your top values I suspect as well - CONNECTION.

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how it’s more than a value, isn’t it?

I mean… it’s a NEED.

We’ve heard this before: "Connection is why we're here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering." –Brene Brown

Brene Brown talks about how we are hardwired for connection. Rooted in neuroscience.

It goes like this.

Neuroscience is confirming that our nervous systems want us to connect with other human beings. A good example of this is mirror neurons, which are located throughout the brain and help us read other people's feelings and actions. They may be the neurological underpinnings of empathy — when two people are in conversation they are stimulating each other's mirror neuron system. Not only will this lead to movement in similar muscles of the face (so the expressions are similar) but it also allows each to feel what the other is feeling. This is an automatic, moment to moment resonance that connects us. There have been studies that look at emotions in human beings such as disgust, shame, happiness, where the exact same areas of the brain light up in the listener who is reading the feelings of the person talking. We are, literally, hardwired to connect.

So, yeah. A value… and also a need.

And I’ve also been thinking on resilience.

When I talk about the Unshakeable Confidence, the ever and all-important ACTION sits on top of a willingness to fail, tenacity and resilience. #simplenoteasy

Resilience for me has always been a/the way that we bounce back in the face of adversity. A muscle to be flexed and a practice to be cultivated.

And I think I’m right about that… but only to an extent.

I picked up the (ACTUAL!) newspaper in the garden last Sunday afternoon. A sweet moment of peace and harmony and BBQ smells and sprinkler sounds and ice cream trucks. It was a moment that I did not feel like reading anything overly taxing. You know, Sunday afternoon sweetness only, please.

But of course, I had no choice but to read an Opinion piece on Resilience by Michael Ungar. A few sentences in, I could feel myself blanch.

It was an exacting read of the self-development field. And it was excellent.

An excerpt:

“We have been giving people the wrong message. Resilience is not a DIY endeavour. Self-help fails because the stresses that put our lives in jeopardy in the first place remain in the world around us even after we’ve taken the “cures.” The fact is that people who can find the resources they require for success in their environments are far more likely to succeed than individuals with positive thoughts and the latest power poses.”

Of course.

So much of what happens in the mind-over-matter spaces can bypass privilege, oppression, and can even shift into victim-blaming.

The article goes on to talk about the single biggest predictor of adjustment after a crisis has nothing to do with mindset, but rather the resources and services available. And then speaks into the importance of community.

“Improve the functioning of the family, peer group or work team, and individuals are more likely to show resilience, even if their larger world is seeming to become more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.”

Which I interpret as resilience being less about what’s on the inside (mindset) and more about what’s on the outside (resources and community). Accessed through connection… for which we are hardwired.

I’m still working through this.

Maybe you are too. Read the article when you have time and space and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

And if you happen to have access to the author of the piece, Michael Ungar, can you connect me? I think this conversation is RIPE for the upcoming Ready Enough Podcast. (Stay tuned… next week!)

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I can barely keep on top of the brilliant nuggets of collective wisdom that crop up in the Starring Role Academy, but these Spotlight Soundbites are my attempt to scoop them up.

When Michelle Currie, Mentor and truly a Mage said these words in the Academy, oh how we felt their truth and deep resonance.

Because the Imposter Complex loves making the simple very complicated. And it loves to have us discount effort.

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I’m stuck. And that’s just true. Beam me some proposal writing lovin’, will you Loves?


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