Building Resilience Through Jazz Living

Woman near water holding her hand up to the sky

The other day, I got triggered and interpreted a guy’s story as overly negative, dramatic, and whiney. I did not bring my best and highest self into the conversation. Instead, I used my voice to try to convince him I was right, and he was wrong. I was attached to my own belief as being the right one for everyone. My critical, judgmental reaction kicked in when I heard the old story that everyone’s body falls apart after age 70. Sorry, I don’t buy it. We are rewriting a new story of health and vitality as we age. I feel angry about complex systems and industries that provoke consumers’ fears and promote dis-ease in order to sell products and services. My rant pretty much shut him down and did not validate his fear-based belief system. However, I also did not acknowledge that his friends’ challenges with ill health triggered his own fears of ill health and aging. I’m sorry about my knee-jerk reaction. I wasn’t listening with my heart, and I came across as patronizing. I missed an opportunity to acknowledge another person’s humanity and to make a difference.

Yes, this game called life does get tricky when our strong beliefs about reality clash. In a future situation, I will remember to practice the Art of Jazz Living:

  • Find my rhythm—when I hear a challenging message, remember to take a breath, and notice my heart racing.
  • Reconnect through my heart to my inner wisdom and honor my truth—which may be different from another’s truth.
  • Listen for the groove with the ears of my heart and align with the highest good for all.
  • Share my voice from the space of my higher self (rather than my fear-based ego-mind.)
  • Step back and collaborate get curious, ask questions, and look for areas of shared experience to riff on.

In the complexity of real-world jazz living, multiple narratives can co-exist and come into harmony through shared experience.

Business strategist and jazz pianist, Frank J. Barrett, counsels business leaders in his book, Say Yes to the Mess: When two people disagree, they’re both right. Tolerate and encourage dissent and debate. Create space for happy accidents and unexpected exchanges. Look for shared truth. Life situations do get challenging, and we don’t always know how to respond. Sometimes we feel powerless and get knocked off course. Sometimes, like my friend, we can feel hopeless and despairing. I wish I had asked questions of my friend and listened for the rich resonance of shared truth, shared connection, and created a space for shared insight. Maybe then, I would have found an opening to share my belief in our inner resilience—which might have given him relief from his suffering. In essence, resilience is our ability to bounce back from adversity—from illness, loss of a job, relationship, loved one, making a mistake, or flunking an exam. Hard stuff happens in life. Our ability to accept what is, adapt, improvise and recover is also the stuff of life—which I call the Art of Jazz Living. It’s what humans are made of. Tapping into inner resilience helps people persevere when life is hard without losing their mental health. Life is always changing. Developing our inner resilience muscles helps us respond to the rapid pace of change with more grace and agility.

To help us tap into our inner resilience, I am honored and excited to lead a collaboration of resilience experts Saturday, June 4, 9:30-11amET.

During the event: Resilience for Everyday: Tools, Tips & Exercises for Well-being, we will hear insights and wisdom from five powerful and delightful speakers:

Elizabeth Kipp combines teachings on resilience from the scientific world with insights on resilience through her recovery from 40 years of chronic pain.

Lisa Charles will speak on harmonizing the brain-body and belief balance to help release crazy stress levels, bring restorative sleep, conquer aging phobias, and ignite internal energy sources.

JoAnn Wenner will guide us in discovering resiliency as a learned and practiced state of being that we can choose to cultivate from within.

Ilene Dillon introduces us to the fundamentals of resilience through emotional mastery which participants can start practicing in life right away.

Janette Stuart shares wisdom and tips to up-level our resiliency through self-care which she learned through her journey with pancreatic cancer in 2019. We hope you can join us for this insightful time of strengthening your inner resilience muscles to navigate the complexity of life with grace. Our expert panel will offer 90 minutes of self-care resources on how to fortify your resilience and gain empowerment, clarity, and inner strength. Register here. Step five of Jazz Living is to collaborate. When we step back and allow others to share their gifts and talents, we can learn from others’ sharing and grow from the interaction.

We hope you will join our collaboration Resilience for Everyday: Tools, Tips & Exercises for Well-being to learn and grow in our shared expression.

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