Resilience has become a buzzword recently. As a school teacher, I remember sitting through an assembly for GCSE and A Level students, where they were told that they needed to be more resilient. This was good advice, but the member of staff failed to mention how to develop that resilience.
Last week I was speaking to a yoga student, who was delivering Resilience Training as part of her work. When I asked what it involved, she told me it was very similar to the things we find ourselves doing in yoga – changing things if they feel too uncomfortable and trying to let go of sensations in a pose where we find we cannot change things to increase comfort.
This reminded me of the Serenity Prayer, written in the 1930s by Reinhold Niebuhr, an American Theologian. It may be familiar to you even, if like me, you do not hold any particular religious beliefs.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference
The first known version of this was by the Shantideva, the 8th Century Buddhist scholar. This version reads,