Our Endless Resources

 

The human mind is our most fundamental resource.

– John, F. Kennedy, President

Some weeks, some days—some moments, even—are exhausting.

Perhaps we’re feeling that right now. Exhaustion could have occurred as a willing and worth-while gift of our efforts, or as a sudden draw from an already dry well of willpower. Perhaps what we feel isn’t exactly exhaustion but that of being overwhelmed by burdens or by an emergency or crisis. Either way, we find ourselves at what feels like the end of ourselves.

But that’s the trick. What feels like the end of ourselves is not, truly the end. We are endless. Our resources are not.

We talk a lot about natural resources or financial resources. There are some phrases in the world of therapy that could bring much joy in the every-day life, and one of them is the word “Resourcing.”

Our Resources, Ourselves

All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.

– Maya Angelou, Poet

 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the tome of every-day wisdom, a resource is “a source of supply or support.” So, even in the first definition we’re not speaking only of fossil fuels, but of support. It is also defined as “a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life” which unintendedly returns us to the idea of our environmental relationship that has been so prevalent on the site recently. Going further we read that a resource is simply “a source of information or expertise…a possibility of relief or recovery” and that, by definition, fun is a resource as “a means of spending one’s leisure time.”  Over-all, ol’ sage Webster says that “an ability to meet and handle a situation; resourcefulness” comes from our resources.

Resourcing is the verb form is more widely used in trauma therapy, somatic therapy and anxiety management, but really can apply to any situation in which we are taxed or face a challenge.  The noun is essentially the same, according to Bill Bowen, MFA, LMT, founder and director of Psycho-Physical Therapy, who said that “therapeutically, resources are defined as those actions, awarenesses, and abilities that support a person in maintaining a sense of self and a feeling of competency, regardless of what is occurring in his or her environment.”

Resourcing is a lot like mining for natural resources, but mining our lives. Bowman goes on to say that “there are many different categories of resources: psychological, emotional, intellectual, relational, artistic, spiritual, somatic, etc” and this lines up with the broad definition from Webster’s (2009).

Simply stated, resourcing is looking into your life for the things you love, the things that give you strength, the things that fulfill and restore you. And also the things that just make you smile, laugh or quietly charge up your heart and say “I can do this.”

Physical Resources

Physical resources can be things we do, like a sport or pastime that we enjoy— finishing a race or a taking peaceful walk—and picture it in our mind if we can’t just go and do it right then. But they can also be things we touch, like soft clothes or a cool stone or the feel of sitting in a favorite chair or under a favorite tree. Anything involving our body, and the case could be made for even more.

Mental and Emotional Resources

These can be positive trips down memory lane or ahead into hopes for the future. Going out into nature or remembering it. They can be doing Sudoku in our head or memorizing poetry or bible verses. They can be picturing a favorite place, person or pet. They can be personal positive mantras or lists of positive qualities. Picturing what a loved one has or would say in a certain situation.

Creative Resources

Making, remembering or carrying a representation of art that we resonate with can be a resource. Making appropriate jokes can be resources for ourselves and others. Baking or cooking—if it’s a strength and a passion—then sharing the result at a meeting or event which could be stressful. Music; listening or making it. Gardening and bringing the flowers to your desk.

Truly, anything can be a resource if it A) is healthy, moral and legal B) restores or sustains us and C) can somehow, in some way, be brought into a present situation to help us.

The list of resources is endless, just as we are.

So let’s get resourcing.

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Bowen, B (2009) What is Somatic Resourcing?. Psycho-Physical Therapy.com. Retrieved from: http://www.psychophysicaltherapy.com/ppt/somaticresourcing.html

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2017) Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resource

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