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Resilience and Mindfulness: Breathing by the sea

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

These two terms are used in private and public schools these days as trends to guide students through dark times. Resiliency and grit remind students to "get back on the horse," overcome obstacles, and think positively.

Mindfulness practices orient our attention inward and develop a relationship with ourselves and others. Students may sit and meditate, write and introspect, or practice yoga. These experiences now have cultural implications and taken in this context raise a red flag that they are not my cultural experiences.

For example, I often use clinical hypnosis to help clients relax. During the experience, I ask clients to find a safe, relaxing space to imagine and deepen into through breathing.

Connect with an image in your experience that feels safe and evokes all of your senses.

“I would like you now to focus on your special place. Just be there now, and know that you are at peace, calm and relaxed.”


Imagining an enchanted island or a dreamlike summer vacation will be difficult when a client has no experience with these places. Imagine being on a rooftop enjoying the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, and imagine for a moment the break in the cacophony of sound from the sirens and the helicopters flying overhead. Breath in that moment in time and experience the tranquil, calm, relaxed space that for this moment is yours and yours alone.


Grit in light of our cultural challenges also feels privileged. Sure, grit as a personal quality that can be developed over time, is important. However, overcoming over and over again and not seeing any returns is a zero return on the investment.

Resilience and grit often encourage mental toughness and strength to overcome obstacles; however, knowing when to ease back on the throttle and recover a sense of #wellbeing can also provide the strength to move forward.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, we cannot empathize with everyone's experience. We cannot imagine the places they will go. We cannot experience their situation exactly. We must listen first and let them lead the discovery process. Enlightenment is not a switch, and we cannot overvalue our experience to impose it on another.

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1 Comment

Claudia Bernardes
Claudia Bernardes
Feb 03, 2021

This article inspired me. During last year it was tough to feel safe and relaxed. Sometimes I had to make an effort to remember how it was to feel like that.

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