Elks are Resilient and Strong!
Words of Resilience from the new Exalted Ruler of the Everett Lodge #479, Jocelyn Sievers-Bailey:
Are you tired of hearing: How are you? How are you doing? Do you like being at home all the time? How are you surviving being stuck at home?…….The list of questions goes on and on. We mean well when we check in but often, we don’t ask questions that may foster some deep responses. Questions of the heart that may commit the question asker to actually stop and listen to answers that may be tough or hard to hear. I have to admit, I didn’t mind being home at the beginning of the stay at home order-I got to get some organization done, relaxed, played games with Anika and Justin, learned what working from home meant, we started fostering boxer dogs, got the yard all spruced up, we cooked and baked and learned to ZOOM. Today as I sit to write, after almost three months of being at home…. I do mind! I miss my normal routine, I miss going to work, I miss seeing my family and friends… I MISS HUGS! I miss the Elks Club. During this time, I have done some soul searching and reflecting as well. I have realized there are some things in my life that need to be omitted and others that need to be fostered. When we experience a season of uncertainty, I believe we reflect and take action. This season has helped me to see that though we may not always think we can, we actually CAN!
Resilience is a word that pops into my head when I think of this time. A resilient person is someone who is able to bounce back from a stressful situation, a trauma, disappointment, fear, failure…. For me, I strive to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the rainbow in the cloud or the lemonade in the lemons. Finding the good allows you to emerge from the stressful situation stronger, more optimistic, driven and happier than when you began! You may also have learned a lesson. I don’t see resilience as something you are born with rather it is something you learn and foster. Our Elks club is RESILIENT! I have watched our members rise up and lead in our community, I have been a part of positive conversations, problem solving sessions, intimate phone calls and individuals of action and I couldn’t be prouder!
Are you struggling with resilience? If it is something you are seeking, you CAN build it! Some helpful hints to building resilience that help me to face each day with a smile and ambition: Rely on the people around you! Having meaningful friendships and relationships helps to reduce stress. I encourage you to find your people, your tribe, your village and cultivate those friendships: they are important. Volunteer! Giving of your time and helping people/organizations/clubs/church etc. will help you find meaning in life-there is evidence that people with meaningful relationships who help others and volunteer feel better about themselves and live longer lives. Having supportive connections and positive people around you helps build resilience. Be Kind! Be kind to yourself and others. I remember hearing early in life “be nice.” I think my grandparents and parents had to remind me of that at times… now I hear myself reminding myself to be nice and be kind. Sometimes it isn’t easy, but it is possible. Perhaps we find the hardest part is being kind is being kind to ourselves, which leads me to remind you that Self Care is integral-are you sleeping enough, eating well, walking your neighborhoods, reaching out to others? Self-Care is the most challenging for me. I tend to want to take care of everyone around me but being quarantined has helped me to realize my needs are important. I have had to find balance…there, I said it…. BALANCE! Self-Care looks different for each of us so- find that ‘something’ that brings you joy and live positively. Lastly, resilience is having optimism, a positive mind set, a changed outlook, a learned lesson, a silver lining… as an educator I attempt to exemplify qualities of resilience every day to my students. We work on finding solutions to problems, we see obstacles as challenges, and I hope to instill that we all can learn and grow from our daily life experiences whether negative or positive.
The biggest nugget I want to leave with you is to remember that you may not be able to control a certain situation, but you can control how you react and respond to the situation before you. This is a huge piece of Resilience! If resilience is hard for you, I challenge you to take baby steps. Cultivate your point of view, look for the positive in situations and think before you react. Increase your love and hope. Find a hope for the future, set goals, find a purpose and go out and change the world one day at a time.
Resilience! Ah… that magical word. I feel resilient today: I have soul searched, purged, coped with grief, fostered dogs and realized that I really CAN do anything I put my mind to. I attempt to learn something new about myself every day. I strive to make a difference whether big or small and I strive to be a leader you can all be proud of. Thank you for being part of an amazing fraternal organization that genuinely cares for our community. ELK MEMBERS ARE RESILIENT! We will weather the storm and we will survive and remember we are always Better Together.