By Dr.Stephen Trudeau
Psychologist in Private practice, motivational Speaker. Author of the recently released book, Courage to Thrive: Triumph in the Face of Adversity, and Ted Talk speaker.
The mighty and imposing oak tree is strong and seemingly invincible, standing sometimes for hundreds of years. Yet fierce winds and driving rain make it vulnerable to destruction because of its rigidity and shallow root system. On the other hand, the palm tree is much better at weathering storms because of its pliable trunk and deeper root system that allow it to sway with strong winds and hold fast despite saturated soil. The palm tree may bend, but it will not break and will indeed thrive despite intense weather. Like the palm tree, we too can develop resilience and thrive, even in the face of life’s storms.
“The mighty and imposing oak tree is strong and seemingly invincible, standing sometimes for hundreds of years.”
True thrivers are not necessarily fortunate people who have known only advantage or good luck. Life for most of us is largely a set of unpredictable events, many of which can be extremely difficult or even tragic. Yet each one of us can thrive, not just despite but because of adversity; life’s challenges give us the opportunity to adapt to change and develop a sense of empowerment by refusing to reside within a victim mentality. When we resist rigidity and embrace adaptability, we are truly able to guide our own futures.
“Life for most of us is largely a set of unpredictable events, many of which can be extremely difficult or even tragic.”
One way to develop resilience and adaptability is through mindful meditation, which does not require the difficult and intimidating practice of sitting still or emptying the mind. An example of mindful meditation is the ancient ritual of drum circles, where repetitive and ritualized beats naturally drew the mind into a state of receptivity to new ideas and the willingness to let go of limiting thoughts and behaviors.
“An example of mindful meditation is the ancient ritual of drum circles”
Drumming can take place anywhere and anytime. Tapping on your knees, on cushions with your hands, or on an exercise ball with drumsticks can quiet your mind, release endorphins and create a safe space in which you can release fear, hurt and resentment and establish an intention to attract prosperity, health, love and self-expression.
“Drumming can take place anywhere and anytime.”
Any form of mindful meditation, whether it is sitting outside or just following the beat of a pleasing piece of music, can help you access the resilient palm tree within and shed the rigidity of the oak.