Recently, Andrew Solomon, the author of a new book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, delivered the opening address of the Sydney Writer’s Festival.
In his talk, Solomon reveals his own life experience and the experience of others who have faced adversity with grace and courage, and turned it to their advantage. He discusses how they managed their situation effectively, found greater meaning in life through acceptance of their difficulties and by embracing a heroic path.
Solomon advises everyone to avoid suffering if possible, but if you can’t, if you have lost a loved one, been the victim of injustice, prejudice or abuse, been born with a disability or developed an illness, then he tells that by facing that adversity with grace and dignity, you gain a sense of pride in your achievements. You can also construct a new, stronger sense of identity.
In his own case Solomon had to face debilitating depression and accept that he needed anti-depressants to cope.
His talk was truly inspiring and we highly recommend that you listen to it.
It resonated deeply with us because many people come to Big Shakti when they are trying to make sense of, or recover from adversity. It’s an unfortunate fact that most people don’t develop skills of resilience until they absolutely need to. Many people search for meaning and purpose when they lose something or someone closely related to their identity such as a job, their health, or a relationship.
Our aim is to support others to gain the knowledge and skills that enable them to face adversity with a sense of confidence and resilience that‘s grounded in wisdom.
How to Face and Transform Adversity
Facing adversity is not something anyone really wants to do, but with knowledge and skills, the process can be navigated effectively – with the aim of not just adapting and surviving, but of using that experience to grow, evolve and positively redefine identity.
One powerful series of meditations that supports your ability feel resilient and face adversity with courage is our Core Strength Calm Mind Meditations. This series trains you to use your body, breath and mind to build confidence and willingness to engage with adversity in a very grounded and empowering way. The meditations derive from a live course we have delivered across the globe – Facing the Difficulties of Life. We’re currently creating a new online course, but the meditations, highly potent in themselves, are available now.
Your greatest strength, your deep courage, grace and resilience will ultimately come from knowing who you are and connecting your deeper self to the activities you do in the world.
Your identity is intrinsically linked to how you face, survive and thrive under the pressure of adverse and challenging circumstances. Knowing your life purpose strengthens every part of your life and changes your perspective on all of your difficulties.
It doesn’t mean that you can avoid adversity but that adversity will never define who you are.
As you go through dark times, holding the vision of your life purpose and doing all that you can to live it, all the difficulties you encounter are transformed into something higher and more meaningful. Eventually you can use adversity to demonstrate your own personal power. This is a highly developed level of being and with the right knowledge and skills it is available to you.