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Medium 9781576753293

5 Level Two Resiliency: Skillfully Problem Solve

Siebert, Al Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My grandfather was a cheery old guy, despite all the hard times he’d lived through—the Depression in the 1930s, two World Wars, working at odd jobs from early morning until after dark because his small farm couldn’t support his large family, the death of two wives, and more. He’d gained a lot of practical intelligence from his many life experiences. He would tell us stories about difficulties he’d trouble-shooted on jobs, on his farms, and with people.

Grandpa came to live with us when I was a boy. If some difficulty arose, he’d shake his head and say, “Yup, life is one darned thing after another.” Then he’d say, “Let’s see what we can do to remedy this.”

The second level of resiliency to master is based on research showing that people who focus on solving the problems they encounter are much more resilient than people who disengage, feel helpless, or become highly emotional. When you are hit with a setback or unexpected difficulty, it is in your best interests to focus on dealing effectively with the challenge. People who become highly emotional in the middle of a crisis do not cope well with adversities.

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Contents

Tracy, Brian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576757567

5. The Good Eye

Barasch, Marc Ian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Whenever catching sight of others
Look on them with an open, loving heart.

—Patrul Rinpoche

THE GREAT NINETEENTH-CENTURY JEWISH MYSTIC LEVI Yitzchok, the Rabbi of Berditchev, was known throughout Europe as the Master of the Good Eye. It was said that he could see nothing of people’s sins, only their virtues. He’d roust the local drunk from his stupor on High Holy Days, seat him at the head of the table, and respectfully ask for his wisdom. He’d noodge a man who’d publicly flouted the Sabbath by praising him as the only one in the village who wasn’t a hypocrite. He extended his caring to all, whether powerful or impoverished, scholarly or simple, righteous or reprobate.

The rabbi’s inspiration was a Talmud passage that calls for everyone to be weighed “on the scales of merit” (zechut, from the Hebrew zach or “purity”). The meaning of zechut, explains one scholar, is “to intentionally focus on what is most pure in each person—to see their highest and holiest potential.” It is a reminder that compassion is not just a gift but a path. The Good Eye is a shift of perception, a transformative art that takes some practice.

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Part 1: Indigenous Traditions

Patricia Monaghan New World Library ePub

Deep in the recesses of European caves, great horses leap and gallop, bison rear and charge, and antelope graze and run. Painted or incised upon rock, these vestiges of the earliest human culture of which we have record show that the spiritual impulse can be traced to the dawn of humanity. The placement of these paintings, as well as their surrounding motifs and figures, tells us that the caves were not galleries or museums but rather were ancient places of worship.

Little remains of the specifics of the worship of those who painted and carved their visions in the vaulting caves some twenty-five to thirty thousand years ago. The caves may have been used for initiation rituals, for they seem not to have been in regular use but rather to have been the location of occasional important ceremonies. They are often located in inaccessible and even dangerous places, suggesting that a journey with presumed spiritual value preceded the revelation of their glories.

One of the most telling finds is a simple trace that could easily have been overlooked: the pattern of footprints, made in soft mud many thousands of years ago, then hardened by the same rocky glaze that forms stalactites and stalagmites. These footprints show someone moving in a circle, many times, landing with each step hard on the heel. It is the record, scholars believe, of an ancient ritual dance.

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3 The Choice Map

Adams, Marilee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When we resumed this conversation, Joseph pointed to a mural on the wall of his office. I’d noticed it before but hadn’t paid much attention to it. “This is what I call the Choice Map,” he explained. “It helps us become better observers of the two basic paths we take in life — the Learner Path and the Judger Path. When things aren’t working, you can use this map to figure out what’s in your way and find a better path for getting what you want.

“Notice the figure standing at the crossroads between the two paths at the left side of the Choice Map,” Joseph continued. “That represents you and me — every one of us. In every instant of our lives we’re faced with choosing between the Learner Path and the Judger Path. The smaller figures show what kinds of questions we ask on each path and what happens, depending on which path we take.”

From his chair Joseph directed a laser pointer at the map, swinging it back and forth between two little signs. The one by the Learner Path said, “Choose,” the one by the Judger Path said, “React.” I could see how imagining myself on one path or the other could be a way of observing my own choices and actions.

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