Hello SOTGC community!
This past summer, as I was washing tomatoes to start preparing lunch at my grandmother’s house, I glanced out the kitchen window to see my grandmother picking basil in her garden. She stood there admiring her garden, her eyes twinkling under the glistening rays of the sun. She picked each basil leaf with the utmost of care, bringing some of the leaves gently up to her nose to enjoy the beautiful and fresh aroma.
I’ve always looked up to my grandmother; she has always had a special place in my heart and has always inspired me to strive to reach my full potential. What has always astounded me about my grandmother is her joie de vivre and thirst and love for life, despite having led a life full of challenges and hardship. My grandmother grew up during a time of poverty and recession in Greece and lived through a World War. In hopes of a better life she immigrated to Canada against a background of countless unknowns and brought over her entire family.
My grandmother has not allowed the hardships of life or the harsher sides of our world to harden her heart nor spoil her belief in humanity. I believe this is the epitome and quintessence of resilience; to grow from the difficult without losing sight of the beauty of one’s life and the world in which one lives.
I truly believe that at least part of this resilience stems from a true and effortless practice of mindfulness.
She seeks to experience every moment – every sight, every smell, every touch. She does not take things for granted and does not let moments, no matter how small, subconsciously slip through her fingers. She lives in the moment and looks for and finds the beauty in the world … in the smallest of flower petals, in the song of the birds, in the kneading of bread and the enjoyment of a cup of tea. She puts her full heart and soul into the things she loves; whether it be baking for her family or telling one of her favorite stories from her childhood, she owns the moment and is truly present in its unfolding.
The Poet Jack Gilbert has written a beautiful line that I feel captures all of this: “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.”
My dearest SOTGC readers, by practicing mindfulness in pursuit of appreciating the beauty of this world and life, we might ultimately find ourselves to be more resilient. We will be full of stubborn gladness … we will, like my grandmother, look upon the world in awe with open hearts.
My dearest SOTGC community, may we seek resilience through mindfulness this year! If this post resonated with you, share it with your friends, family, and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter! We’d also love to hear from you about how you achieve resilience and practice mindfulness in your lives! Share your ideas in the comment section below!