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[Webinar Video] What is Adaptive Resilience?

We all know how important resilience is, both personally and collectively, in order to survive the challenges that life presents. However, adaptive resilience is a skill that supports your ability to recover from adversity, adapt and thrive. It builds the capacity to be productive, resourceful, and creative while dealing with changing circumstances or hardships at work and in life.

Learn more about Adaptive Resilience in this short conversation with SIY Global Marketing Director Carolina Lasso and SIY certified teachers Abri Holden and Alex Echols.

Want to know more about our Adaptive Resilience programContact us to receive more information and to speak with one of our Solutions Specialists about how you can bring this program to your organization.

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Carolina: Well, hello, everyone. Welcome to all of you today’s live event. And if you’re watching the recording, welcome to you as well. I’m Carolina Lasso. I’m the Marketing Director here at SIY Global. And it’s a pleasure for me to see all of you and to welcome you to this event, this brief live session. And today we have two very special guests. And they are Abri Holden and Alex Echols. They’re two of our SIY Global certified teachers. Alex and Abri, I’d like to say hello, and to welcome you. And feel free to introduce yourself briefly. Let’s start with you Abri.

Abri: Hi everyone. It’s a pleasure to meet you and to be here. Thank you Carolina. Thank you, Alex. My name is Abri Holden. And I’m as Carolina mentioned, part of our certified teacher team and certified teacher and coach at SIY, as well as part of our teacher development and product team here. So it’s a pleasure to be with you all today. Looking forward to this conversation.

Alex: Good morning, everyone. My name is Alex Echols. Although I am based in Chicago, I’m currently in sunny SoCal, soaking up the last few rays that I can get before I head back home later today. Besides being a certified teacher with SIY Global, I’ve been supporting companies and also people over the last 10 years or so with their personal and business development. And there’s one thing that I noticed throughout all the years is that if we can cultivate the very important skill sets and tools like adaptive resilience, then it allows us to show up greater in all parts of our lives. So I’m really looking forward to having this conversation and being able to be in connection with a renewed Carolina here. So sit back, enjoy and look forward to it.

Carolina: Amazing. Great. So joining us from different parts of the world. And we’re curious to ask you, where are you joining us from? So if you’re here on Zoom, please let us know via the chat. And where are you joining us from if you’re on social media, please use the comment section. It’s just a way to connect with you and to learn a little bit more about all of you joining us live here.

So let’s see where what city or what country you’re joining us from. I am joining you’re from Toronto, Canada. Anyone else here? Hello. We see Oakland, California, Vancouver, San Francisco. Fantastic. Fantastic. Great, so many different places. Colorado, Alberta. Oh, amazing. Great welcome. Oh, so many different places popping up from around the world.

A warm welcome to all of you. And as Alex mentioned, we are going to be talking about the topic of resilience. It’s something that we hear a lot about, especially since the pandemic started. And we want to dive in into this scale. As Alex mentioned, it’s a skill we can cultivate. So we’ll do this as an informal conversation. And I’ll be asking both Abri and Alex some questions. But we also want to hear from you. So if you’re joining us live, or if you’re on social media, please share your questions via the q&a or the chat. And we’ll we’d love to address some of those as well. So let’s begin with Abri. We hear the term resilience a lot. It’s being used a lot. But what does it truly mean? And especially here, so why global we talk about adaptive resilience? What does that mean? Please tell us?

Abri: Yeah, so I think the term resilience we have definitely been hearing a lot about, especially in the last couple of years with the global pandemic that we’ve all been in together. I feel like I can’t teach about this, because it’s something that we all just know in our DNA. And we’ve all lived through our experience. So resilience is something that is innate to our nature. It’s part of what got us here. You know, back in the day, when we think about evolutionary biology, we had the saber-toothed tigers and the bears in the woods. And we had to be resilient as a species in order to survive. And so that’s kind of gotten us to this point in terms of survival. But as we think about adaptive resilience and how we think about that, and SIY. We talked about not just adapting to change or adapting to what’s arising, but also taking it a step further and thinking about not only bouncing back, but being able to thrive in our new circumstances.

Carolina: So I really like that. A little bit of a shift of not just about bouncing back to where we were, but how is it that we can thrive with what’s arising? I love that definition, not just standing up there really looking, what’s the step after that? Now, I have to be honest with you. And maybe you’ve experienced this in your own lives. We hear the term resilient, and we intellectually get it.

Yes, it’s so important. Yes, let’s go back on track. But when you’re experiencing something difficult, when you are facing a setback, when you were just in this moment of complexity, it may not always be easy to do that. It might not always be easy to think about how to get back, you might not have the energy, the motivation? How do how do you start? So Alex, I’d like to ask you, what are your thoughts on on how to really start thinking about resilience? When it’s hard when it’s dark outside? How do you got that spark? And that motivation to think about it to begin and how to begin?

Alex: Definitely appreciate that question. I also appreciate a breeze definition for adaptive resilience as well. So from everything that I’m going to be sharing, just purely based on not only you know, what we teach in the program, but also based on my own experience, right, just going through, at times pretty challenging, pretty difficult circumstances. And I would say the very first thing is when we think about things from the perspective of things that we can get in six to seven seconds on Instagram, right? It’s all about do this tool, and you could change your life, and the next three days or something like that. But the one thing that we have to first understand is that the nature of the world in which we live in is very, based on the Buka world, so volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, so that anytime that we are living, there’s always going to be challenges that arise that are in our face. And so it’s very difficult to tell someone just get motivated and change your life and be resilient, right? Because a lot of times if individuals do not have the very first step, and being able to cultivate resilience, which is awareness, just knowing that they’re in a tough spot, being able to bring and shine like a flashlight on this challenging part of their life, like, Hey, this is a challenging part. This is a difficult circumstance for me, right? Like, I like to look at awareness as an actual flashlight. And it’s a tool, it’s a skill set, that we have to learn how to develop, and the only way that we could ever get to actually get into motivation, it’s full acceptance, for where we are in this exact moment right now. And the only way that we can get there is by starting to cultivate awareness. And awareness can be cultivated through just slowing down connecting with our breath, connecting with the emotions, or any of the physiological sensations that may be coming up for us. And in many ways, if we can begin to cultivate this, these initial steps, and then allow ourselves to be exactly where we are, then we can have the opportunity to be able to get the motivation, you know, get in that the possibilities for change within our lives. But I think one of the greatest sort of
suggestions, and also pieces of advice that we could give ourselves is the permission to be exactly where we are at times, and allow ourselves to process this these difficult emotions or these unforeseen circumstances so that we can bounce forward. And with adaptive resilience.

Carolina: Oh, that’s helpful. Even just as you were talking about it, I felt some sense some sense of clarity and permission to feel that way. Right. So that sense of awareness, which can be cultivated through mindfulness, right, often right, and the clarity and the permission to be as you are today. So as a follow-up to that, Alex, I’m curious to ask you, how is that different at work, right? We talk about resilience at work. Is it any different to the way we may think about resilience in our personal lives?

Alex: I love this question. Because my answer is always the same. There is no separation ultimately, right? Like if we can cultivate these skills such as adaptive resilience, or mindfulness or being able to slow down before we react versus respond, right? Imagine if we’re able to do this at home with our loved ones or with our kids. If we’re able to cultivate these skill sets, then we’re able to actually transfer them into the workplace as well. And so for me, the way I see it is if we can do it at home and at work, we’re cultivating and we’re and we’re building the developing this skill, so much quicker, right? Because we’re not saying okay, who I am at work is not is not who I am at home, and we put these walls up sometimes. But if we allow ourselves to go on this grand adventure of life, at least that’s the way I like to look at it right? And I say, You know what, I know that life will be tenuous even at work. I know that there will be unforeseen circumstances challenges that come up, especially in today’s world, work in some people work in at home, some people work in in the hybrid, some people working in an office, right? But if I can cultivate these skill sets, not only for myself, but with others, you know, with my team, and with my co workers, even with my bosses, and I’m working on them, while these tools are saying ones that i can bring home as well. So ultimately, I’d like to invite everybody to see that there is no separation between the two. And the more that we can work on it at home, or stepped into that practices, the more that we’ll be able to grow in the workplace as well.

Carolina: Absolutely no separation there. Full humans going to work. Abri, I’d like to ask for your thoughts there, too. What’s the role that resilience plays in the workplace?

Abri: Yeah, I love what you shared Alex about the no separation. And just we’re human, like, regardless of whether we’re at home, or we’re in the office, like our stuff is our stuff, our stuff is gonna come up wherever we are. So having these skills in these practices to be to be more human and to be more compassionate. So I love that. You know, it’s funny, as you were sharing, there was a practice that came up for me that we teach in the adaptive resilience course called our stop practice. And just as a simple way to do it, one thing that you could do if you find yourself in a moment where you’re not being your best self at work, or your best self with your kids, or whatever it is just taking a moment to stop and using that acronym, stop, take a breath, observe, okay, what’s going on in my mind and my body and my emotions, and then proceed. So stop practice. And that’s something that I’ve I find that I do often at work and at home and in different situations. So thank you, Alex, for bringing in that no separation. And just yeah, that piece as well. So thank you for that micro practice that helpful tool, a break. And you started talking about the adaptive Resilience Program that we teach at SIY Global. And I’d love to ask you about it. What is it all about? What is this program all about? Yeah, so the Adaptive Resilience Program is broken out into three half days. And it is day one is really focused around developing clarity. So knowing where we are, how are we starting? Like, what is our basic kind of mindset and understanding our response to stress and threats and things like that. So kind of getting that baseline clarity, clarity, that flashlight that Alex talked about kind of bringing the light into what’s happening in our mind, our body and our emotional state? And then day two is around shifting mindsets, which is, honestly it’s my favorite part of the program, because it’s, it’s all about where are we operating from? Are we operating from a place of scarcity, and lack and black and white thinking and just not feeling enoughness? Or are we operating from this place of curiosity, and abundance and play, and just noticing kind of where we are and doing some fun exercises around that, as well as many other parts of day to just my favorite. And then day three is about building trust. So that’s about bringing this out into the world? And how can we build that psychological safety, and trust and resilience with our teams and the people that we work with on a day to day basis. So kind of moving from me to we space on day three, which is really fantastic.

Carolina: And both of you have taught this program many times. Alex, I’m curious to ask you, when you are teaching this program, when you’re working with people who are interested in learning a little bit more about resilience or learning practical tools to help them cultivate that skill in their lives, whether it’s personally or at work. I’m curious to ask you, what are some aha moments that participants have? Or some questions that you get? Or what’s that experience, like working with people as they cultivate this important skill?

Alex: Right. So the first off, I think that Abri shared my favorite one, and it became my favorite one, because it was participants, favorite one, which is the stop method, you know, that opportunity for us to be able to move from how we may, you know, show up on a more ongoing basis, which is reactionary, to the circumstances to the triggers to the being provoked by different things in life, being able to transition from that, to being able to cultivate such a powerful response, and such posture and poise so that we can give a better response, right. And those steps, as he said a few minutes ago, is being able to stop, which is the hardest thing to do right when we’re triggered. But if we can just learn how to stop when triggered, it will change our lives in so many different ways. Just off that right? And then we transition into Okay, let me take a breath now. Let me connect with my breath. I was having lunch with one of my old interns a few days ago. And she said, Alex, I just learned the importance of my breath. And I was like, Yeah, that’s exactly what I teach. Right? This
gift this tool that we have had a long side as a companion, a constant companion throughout our entire lives. And for I know for I can speak in the eye form, I never really learned how to use it, and definitely use it to my benefit. So I could bounce forward instead of bouncing back, right, and my life. But if we’re able to cultivate those first two steps, it’s, it can create such great shifts within our lives. And then being able to move more into the cognitive or the more observational
stance, which is being able to observe what’s going on in my body, what’s going on in my thoughts, and my feelings and my emotions, and then also what’s going on outside of me as well, it gives us a bit of a magnifying glass or a lens, right, like, you can see that I have like a little bit of a toolbox that I always like to go into right. And then the final step, once we have all of this data, you know, internally for ourselves, but outside, then we can proceed. And we can generally proceed a bit more wisely, we can proceed by given a better response. And like all of this, right, so for me, I think the tool is not only the stop method, but it’s this ability to be able to recognize that the breath is such a powerful, constant companion. And if we’re able to not only regulate it, if we’re able to create a friendship with it, then it can help us in some of the most challenging times.

Carolina: I love it. I love the idea of a toolbox. And as you were speaking, I was visualizing like, like a lunch stop, then the flashlight awareness what’s going on? Magnifying glass, like can we explore this a little further. And then like a traffic light green light proceed after doing that that introspection that that acceptance of what is that acceptance and recognition of the moments you’re going through? What regardless of the type of emotion you’re experiencing, and so often, we label emotions as positive or negative, we forget the wisdom that comes from emotion, the wisdom that we can, the information we can gather, by exploring by stopping by doing that the work of connecting with those emotions and what it is that they’re trying to convey to us. So that’s beautiful. Thanks for that. Now I have that visual toolbox that will help me in my personal life.

And I’m curious to ask you, how have you perhaps applied these tools that you teach. And as human beings, you also encounter difficulty and also encounter setbacks, but maybe an example of how you’ve applied, whether it is this stop tool, or any other method that has helped you in your life, whether it’s at work or at home? Maybe starting with you, Alex.

Alex: So my answer to that is I use it every single day. Because I think I’m as human as it gets. Even though I’ve been doing this work. I’ve been a practitioner for mindfulness and emotional intelligence certified teacher, first, I global for a few years now, right and been practicing for half my life, there’s still a lot of things that trigger me. You know, I think that they’re ultimately is a lot that comes from my childhood, and from my teenage years that I continue to work through. But those triggers continue to bring things up for me. But the way that I like to look at is anytime that I have a trigger, that means that there’s something else that I could use, you know, and bringing in one of these tools that we’re referring to so being able to stop and really work with my breath being able to use the stop method.
Because for me, I feel like there’s challenges every single day. And I think that it’s important for the individuals who are on the call today to for all of us to recognize that life is hard. And it’s not just sometimes sometimes life is hard all the time, right? And it’s really about like, how do we go into that toolbox that we’ve all been going back to today as a metaphor? And how do we go in and select the tools that are going to be the most appropriate, and that space. And so for me, I try to go into that toolbox all the time throughout the day. And it’s because I just want to continue to grow, I want to continue to be curious, I want to continue to learn about myself. And also I don’t want to become an I don’t want to be a victim to my circumstances. You know, and I think that that’s the thing about falling back or bouncing back. It’s an opportunity for us to actually look forward and actually bounce forward instead. Carolina: Yeah, oh, that’s beautiful. And you’re touching on the humanity of difficulty, right? All of us as human beings, regardless of where we are, regardless of who we are, we have gone well we’re all will go through difficulty at some point in our lives. And so a reminder to be kind to other people because we don’t know what they’re going through. And a reminder to express some self compassion to ourselves to right
Whenever we’re going through those moments,
you mean, you made me think of one of the elements of self-compassion, which is this common humanity, and a reminder that we all go through something difficult. And we all overcome that difficulty at some point as well. So that constant reminder that you’re not going to stay there forever, and that it’s something we share as human beings. How about you, Abri? Any experience where you’ve put this into practice? Abri: Yeah. Oh, my goodness, Alex, I love that toolbox. That’s so good. I’m taking that with me. Thank you, friend.
And yeah, I feel similar. Like, I feel like I’m using these tools all the time throughout the day, just in noticing what’s arising and working with it, for sure. The stop practice.
Often, I think the other micro practice is that I play with often is stopping taking a breath, and then noticing where I’m operating from, whether it’s from that place of scarcity, or from that place of abundance, and just noticing my own tendency to want to let go into contraction or, like, Oh, we’re never gonna find a way and that negativity bias that can loop in and then thinking about or pausing to be like, where do I want to be operating from? What if I approach this conversation at work from a place of curiosity, or from a place of creativity or expansion? So really, kind of playing with that? Where am I operating from? Am I below the line in that place of scarcity? Or am I above the line in that place of play and curiosity. And oftentimes, I know when I’m in that place, when I’m like, in like cracking a joke, or laughing with a colleague, or laughing with a friend, when humor is such a great example of that. So yeah, that’s a tool that I play with often. And then the other one that comes to mind too, just for some of those times that are like, harder, more difficult, where it’s not maybe like a micro practice, but maybe more of a dedicated practice or time. There’s a model by Elisabeth Kubler Ross, who wrote the book on death and dying. And she talks about what happens when we go through change, and whether she worked with people that were dying. And so going through that process, but then she started to work with organizations and found that in organizations to Alex’s point earlier, we are the same in our personal lives as we are, you know, at work. And so she noticed that there are stages that we go through when we’re experiencing changes humans, whether it’s at work, or in our personal lives, or wherever. So things like going from, you know, feeling, basically shock or denial or frustration, to experimentation to play, things like that, and noticing that we can be in many different places at once, or hopping around to different parts of that model, that it’s not a linear process. There’s something about that model that feels super liberating for me, as I think about just when I’m experiencing big changes in my life, it’s like, oh, wow, okay, I’m in a moment of denial, or I’m in a moment of experimentation. And it’s okay to move around the model. And also, with teams, maybe you have a situation where there’s change, and one person is in, hey, let’s play an experiment with this and another person is in weed, I can’t believe this is happening, we have to go back into the office or you know, whatever the situation is.

Carolina: And just noticing that we’re all kind of working on that scale at different places. And it’s not a linear process just helps me personally. And also I feel like helps me in connecting with other people, too. So oh, so interesting that that framework, things we’re sharing it a break, and the way resilience plays a role within teams, you made me think of the importance of resilience for innovation, for example, within teams and organizations, because what you’re signing up for, if you want to innovate is to fail a few times before, right before you get there. And if you’re not resilient during that period of failing or experimenting or trying a few things, right, you’re not going to be able to innovate. So the importance of resilience, both personally and for organizations, is just incredible. Now, I do want to ask you a question. We’re just getting here in the chat, which is kind of going back to what I asked her earlier. And it says, Can you discuss resentment around resilience? What about the people who are tired of having to be strong and be brave? Because life hasn’t been kind to them? How do they cultivate resilience and when they’re resentful about always having to be resilient, but life is hard. And you have this somehow it sounds like artificial optimism, or sometimes it’s not your fault. There are systems out there when I mean, we can talk about so many topics at a macro level that could be affecting you. What do we say to our friends who are in that position who are interested in curious but you know, life has been really hard. I’m a little resentful of hearing this whole thing about resilience. What do we say to them Alex about which is?

Alex: Yeah, of course, I, I hear you completely. That’s what I will say first. I am a cancer survivor, late-stage cancer survivor. And I also grew up in a very, very harsh neighborhood and environment as well. And I was told at a very young age, hey, just, you know, put the put the strong face on and keep moving forward. Because I think that for a lot of people, this is how they describe resilience. I like to actually pull from popular culture and the matrix right? For me, when we began to develop in mindfulness and our practice of being able to cultivate something like resilience, right? It’s not necessarily, and this is just from my perspective, it’s not necessarily just being able to put on the strong face so that we can withstand any of the challenges that come up in our lives. But it is being able to cultivate such a powerful, powerful inner knowing, and any inner tools, toolset and skill set to be like Neil, from the matrix, so that when we have all these things flying at us, we have cultivated such a great relationship with ourselves. That way, we’ll just say this. No, this will no longer affect me the way that it affected me in the past. And even me, I’m getting a little bit choked a bit choked up just thinking about it, right. Because I, I’ve witnessed, I’ve experienced, I observe so many people when they have that breakthrough. Resilience isn’t about going out into the world and saying, hey, I can be strong at all times. Resilience is about being able to be nimble, it’s about being able to be a witness to all the full spectrum of your emotions when they’re there. And they’re really being able to create that shift, so that you can keep moving forward, first and foremost for yourself, filling up your own cup, and then being able to share it with others as well. Now, here’s the thing that I think that would be beneficial as well, we’ve been talking about adaptive resilience in the face of difficult circumstances or triggers, right. But we build adaptive resilience, even when the times are good. And these are three practices such as, gotta cuddle shared earlier, your self compassion. But one of my favorite practices is gratitude. Right? So if we can focus on when things are going well, and we can say, hey, three things I’m grateful for right now, I’m grateful for my mom, I’m grateful for being here with you. All right now, I’m grateful for my health and for being a survivor. Right? What I’m doing in this moment, I’m creating such a emotional and mental elasticity for myself. If so that when the challenges do come up, even though things may be difficult, I can still reach back, I can still connect to all of these things in my life that I could be grateful for. So I think that when we think about adaptive resilience, instead of thinking about it, let’s go out into the world, and let’s just be strong, brave human beings. Instead, let me go out there and let me be fully human. Let me be fully alive. Let me be an a witness to my full human experience, and then be able to give other people permission to do the same thing. And so for me, I think that the definition of resilience, we can redefine it, and we get, we can get to define what it is for ourselves by putting in a dictionary within, but I think it goes through just being able to cultivate that for yourself.

Carolina: Oh, Alex, yes, I’m feeling you. And thank you for sharing your story. We’re seeing a bunch of hearts here. From zoom and social media, people connecting with you and your story. So thanks for sharing that. And, and you talked about the way I’m hearing your explanation, too, is about being nimble and accepting of emotions. So not necessarily putting on a mask, like I have to be strong. Let me just pretend by connecting with the authentic part of you that is resilient, that is willing to face that the situation. And as you’re saying is not just in the difficult moments. It’s all the time that we cultivate these skills, so So appreciate it.

We’re kind of running out of time. But we did get another question which I would love to ask you Abri. The question says, What do you think of art as a way to build resilience?

Abri: Yeah. Oh, I love this question. I’m actually doing an artist way group right now. So I have been practicing this. So thank you for the question. Yeah. So I think art can be a wonderful way to practice resilience. Art gets us into a different place of play and curiosity and expression and kind of taking off that mask as Catalina said, of becoming more human. So I think art can be a beautiful way of
of expressing ourselves and also working with what is arising in each moment that nimbleness that Alex talked about. So, yeah, I find journaling is a part of the adaptive resilience practice. And I find journaling is one of my favorite exercises in all of the siy programs, because it allows us to get into that kind of free thinking space of just writing whatever wants to come through, and kind of removing some of those barriers and getting into that place of play curiosity. So yes, big fan of art as a way to build resilience.

Carolina: Beautiful. Thank you. And thank you are still left for that question. Last question from Theresa, could you recommend the Adaptive Resilience training for people in leadership roles or at every level? What would you say?

Abri: I agree Yeah, I would say every level I mean, I think leaders are my personal because leaders are leaders, regardless of whether you’re leading people or you’re an individual contributor and organization, you’re, you’re showing up as a leader in what you’re doing. And so I think anybody and everybody could benefit from attending the adaptive resilience course, and doing this work. These are human skills. And and it’s fun to do together, too. So yeah, for sure.

Carolina: And if anyone’s interested in bringing this training to your organization would love to hear from you. I’m going to share here our contact information. So you have our website and email address, we will be sharing more information with those of you who registered for this live event.