May 2021

Grief and Resilience in the not so normal...

We have been working recently with a group of people in a global organisation with offices in India. Part of our brief has been to conduct webinars on resilience for their employees who are experiencing profound grief and challenging times as the effects of COVID-19 are felt in the region. As a way to better understand the effects of grief and loss, I introduced the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle to the group to provide insights into the process of grief and to help people reflect on where they are in the cycle. The cycle attributes 5 main stages to the process of grief, in which you can move forward and backward. These are; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Source: EKR Foundation

It was interesting to see that across the group, there were people in every one of the stages. Some people had lost friends and relatives while some were grieving for the normality of life that had been lost. Others had moved towards acceptance. It really highlighted for me the extent and impact the pandemic has had and continues to have in a global sense.

After discussing the grief cycle with the group, I then made some suggestions on daily practices that they could incorporate in their lives to assist them through these times. These are practices I find useful and contribute to resilience. Here are some of the suggestions:

1) Breath-work - Taking a few minutes every day to sit and focus on breath.

2) Mindfulness - Being aware of all that is going on internally and externally.

3) Gratitude - Considering all the parts of your life that you are thankful for.

4) Journaling - Spending a few minutes to download what is on your mind.

5) Meditation - Using a guided practice to create space and a sense of calm.

Whenever there are challenges, be they personal or global, it is useful to find ways to support ourselves. Creating a daily practice is a helpful and grounding way to tackle challenging times and create a sense of equanimity.


Book Recommendation:


The Forgotten Choice: Shift your Inner Mindset, Shape your Outer World, Belinda Bence

In The Forgotten Choice: Shift Your Inner Mindset, Shape Your Outer World, my friend, award-winning author and corporate coach Brenda Bence presents a lively historical perspective of how we came to look outside ourselves for happiness. The book addresses the "forgotten choice," described as "the ability to consciously choose the Joy of Possibility over fear in order to shape the lives we want." Bence's overarching philosophy is that that there are two states of personal energy: destructive and based on fear versus constructive and based on the Joy of Possibility. She believes that what you think drives how you feel, which drives how you behave. The Joy of Possibility, she says, "doesn't have to be learned - it just needs to be remembered."

Throughout, Bence clearly explains the two states of energy and how they impact us, with step-by-step instructions, thoughtful exercises and concrete examples of how her philosophy works, ranging from having enough money to finding the right life partner. Many of her lively anecdotes revolve around conversations with clients working through fear-based issues, from the woman whose dieting efforts weren't productive to the man who talked himself into believing he was terrible at making presentations.

The Forgotten Choice delves much deeper than the usual take on positive thinking. In all, it's one of the best mindset books around for redirecting your perspective on life, creating what you want, and being happy with what you have.