Tag Archives: building your bounce

Spring Cleaning…Within Ourselves

12 Apr

By Karen Cairone

Spring brings an array of opportunities for renewal, revival, and new life.

We clean up our homes.

We weed out our closets.

We perk up our lawns and flowerbeds.

“Spring cleaning” helps us clean up the exteriors in our lives.

Why not use this time to do a little spring cleaning within ourselves as well?  Around the turn of the New Year, many of us make resolutions to be better people – we will be more patient, we will have more self-control, we will take better care of ourselves and others.

Spring is a great time to reflect and revisit those commitments.  What opportunities within ourselves do we have to build our protective factors?  Protective factors help us cope and bounce back in many aspects of our lives.  Here are some simple, yet fun, reflective strategies from Building Your Bounce to help renew commitment to strengthening protective factors within ourselves…

  • Trust: Draw a circle.  Reflect on what trust means to you.  Inside the circle, write the names of the people who define trust in your life.  These people help strengthen your protective factors by providing consistency and a safe place to share and be yourself.  Ask yourself, how many people would put me in their circle of trust – why or why not?
  • Laugh: Share a smile.  With a group of friends, family members, or co-workers, plan to share a weekly story, picture, video, joke, or situation that will make others laugh.  Depending on the size of your group, you can have a laugh a day, or more!
  • Be Calm: Create a positive affirmation.  Do you have a mantra that motivates and calms you?  Perhaps “I can do this.”  “Believe.”  “Breathe.”  “Life may be crazy, but I am calm.”  Repeat this to yourself in times of stress to help you feel settled and get centered.

Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning within ourselves.  We can reflect on and plan to strengthen our protective factors as adults.

Recently, some of our team at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children’s Early Childhood Initiative met for a professional development retreat – we revisited many training sessions we have designed and delivered over the years.  We weeded out the unnecessary, pruned back the overwhelming, and planted new seeds of knowledge and growth.

I realized that with these team members, I was inspired to trust, laugh, and be calm.  I reflected and renewed my own commitment to my within protective factors.

What spring cleaning can you do within yourself?

This post was contributed by Karen Cairone. Karen has been with the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, Early Childhood Initiative for the past 13 years. While with Devereux, she has co-authored several resources including Facing the Challenge DVD Series, Classroom Moments DVD, For Now and Forever: A Family Guide for Infants and Toddlers, and Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure.  Karen has two upcoming publications with Gryphon House.  Karen is editor of the DCRC national newsletter, and delivers training on topics related to social and emotional health and resilience around the country. Karen Cairone lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

The “Ordinary Magic” of Resilience

8 Mar

By Karen Cairone

I recently wrote a little piece about resilience, and quoted a colleague of mine…

“Resilience is like a blanket in the back of your car… you never know when you are going to need it, but it is good to know it is there—just in case.”  ~ Nefertiti Bruce, co-author of Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure.

Since that article, I have been approached by a number of people who said they never really thought about resilience that way.  In fact, some shared that they never think about resilience at all.  One friend shared this insight, “You don’t think about resilience until you need it… then, it’s all you can think about.”

Paul LeBuffe, co-author of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA), among a variety of other resources, is fond of saying, “Devereux was into resilience before resilience was cool.”  This always makes our team smile – but is important for this reason.  Devereux has been creating resilience-based assessments, writing books, producing DVDs, and offering professional development for hundreds of thousands of people across the country, since 1996.  At this point, we feel like we’re getting it down pat.

In the past, resilience was viewed as something only at-risk children and families needed.  Not true, says Ann Masten.  She refers to resilience as “ordinary magic”.  It is something we ALL need, and magic it is.  It can help the most hopeless situation or devastation seem ripe with possibility.  It can light the way out of the dark in stressful or even, horrific, times.  When natural disaster or terrorists strike, resilience can help you cope and think your way to solutions and recovery.

On a personal level, I wasn’t thinking about my resilience on September 11th, 2001.  I was in Washington State, just 26 years old… conducting a week-long training on, of all things, resilience.  With flights grounded, the group I was training, and myself, all took a vote— continue the training, or, cancel.  As a group, we decided that now, more than ever, was the time to be talking about resilience.

We got through that training week with many hugs, many tears, and many insights about our own personal resilience.  I recognized my own protective factors on that day and week, and have been grateful ever since to know that I do have a ‘blanket in the back of my car’, just in case.

Do you? 

Devereux offers a free, research-based survey of adult resilience.  Try taking the Devereux Adult Resiliency Scale yourself.  Perhaps some of the ideas in Building Your Bounce, the accompanying adult resiliency journal, will help you be your best resilient self.

This post was contributed by Karen Cairone. Karen has been with the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, Early Childhood Initiative for the past 13 years. While with Devereux, she has co-authored several resources including Facing the Challenge DVD Series, Classroom Moments DVD, For Now and Forever: A Family Guide for Infants and Toddlers, and Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure.  Karen has two upcoming publications with Gryphon House.  Karen is editor of the DCRC national newsletter, and delivers training on topics related to social and emotional health and resilience around the country. Karen Cairone lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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