A Practical Guide To Resilience – Week 01

First of all, I am happy to deal with the topic of resilience this semester. When I heard the word, resilience in my first class, I came to my mind last year with a series of personal events in New York and what’s happening with the worldwide pandemic situation caused by the corona virus that everyone have gone through.

Last year in New York, I began to lose my health physically and mentally from fall. The chronic disease that had bothered me a long time ago broke out again. Perhaps the stress that I had to endure by leaving the home country and studying abroad was enormous, and that’s why I could not maintain a balance on my own. So I followed my friend’s advice and started a therapy as self-care for myself.  At first, I was skeptical about the therapy, but it gave me time to reflect deeply on myself, and now it is becoming a guidance to controlling the inner side between an uncertain future and sometimes complicated relationships, so that I can keep moving forward.

At last March I had to return to my hometown country in a hurry after going through the pandemic situation unexpectedly. The fear comparable to the unprecedented quarantine in New York during the month of March brought about a tremendous shock to me. I had to decide to go back to Korea because of my health conditions and the uncertainty of medical insurance as a international student. I remember every day I was worried that the plane back to Seoul wouldn’t take off. I realized it until after I came back to Korea to how grateful and glad it is to hear talking voices in our language, a bird’s song, even a mom’s nagging. It is a great comfort to have a family next to me in difficult times. Although life in home country feels safer than in New York, I had to focus more on my inner life as I went through Corona Blue due to the coronavirus. 

So after coming to Korea at the end of March, I especially started my own ‘Artist Way’ that will make my creativity enhance more and more, other than my therapy as a self-care. This book helped me to be more resilient at this time.

I introduce the book as a tool of my creativity.

This artist way is a tool of creativity that helped me in this unclear time. To give you a brief introduction to the book, Julia Cameron, the author of James Cameron’s(the famous movie director) ex-wife, helps people experience the power of inner creativity through 12 weeks of personal tasks and practice, daily morning pages and artist dates. This book makes people more creative and free in many ways. First, it helps to shed negative conventional thoughts about artists. Second, it helps people discover and approach creativity within themselves and express creativity more freely. Third, it clearly shows people what self-destructive behavior is and what obstacles they encounter in life’s path. Finally, the book helps people figure out what their desires and dreams are and plan to achieve them. It also teaches you how to help yourself as well as how to find people who will help you achieve your dreams. I tried to revive creativity through practice with this book.

What is my own resilience?

I realized that journaling is important through my therapy and artist way. So I have been recording my feelings and thoughts at least three times a week, as shown in the picture. I was able to train my emotions by recording these thoughts. In other words, I track my uncomfortable thoughts and make a list of them to find out why I feel that way and see what kind of thinking errors there were. This allowed me to develop a coping skill that I can face without avoiding stress or uncomfortable feelings. 

At the same time, I think keeping a record constantly helped to raise my patience. So I believe that these efforts about these daily routines and steadily developing patience are my own resilience that allows me to rule and sustain my complexed inner side every day.

Secondly, trying to develop creativity through artist way is also my own resilience. I still don’t know if I’ll be an artist in the future, but I still love their path and I also get a lot of inspiration from art. Peeping at their creativity always makes me passionate. This passion for creativity either frees me from negative thoughts or guides me to the work world I want.  In a situation where the whole world is almost temporarily stopped, as people’s interaction with each other decreases and time to focus on the inside increases, I realized that creativity is an important driving force and my resilience that drives me forward.

Also, I sometimes feel a lack of creativity because my background has been science field for a long time. So I wanted to find my own inspiration and creativity through this book, Artist Way. As mentioned by the author in the book, Through a morning page that recording routine and an artist date that takes me a journey, I am making my efforts to restore creativity in my current daily life. Personally, I hope this training will help me to my works in the future.

I strongly recommend this book to people who want to develop creativity or who have long been thirsty for creativity.

Finded Out On My Journey…
This is the a stream in Cheonggye Stream in Jong-ro of Seoul

– While doing my artist date with the morning page, I have come to separate between the important and the less important things in a day and I got to know when I am most efficient at my work by distributing the energy I use in a day.

-Dating with myself at least once a week have made me to happen that  everything that daily life gave me came as inspiration. sometimes the sound of water in a stream in Cheonggye Stream or Chirping bird’s voices. These ordinary things were often ignored to me before the Corona era, but now they are different.

– Have became more and more clear about what I want to do or what I plan to do in the future. 

-Whether it was good or bad for a day, I have ended the day with gratitude.

-The following are commandments to make a commitment to restore creativity introduced in the book, which have helped me whenever I had negative thoughts.

1. I’m the channel of God’s creativity and my work will end up great.

2. My dream came from God and I have the power to make it happen today.

3. My creativity heals me and others.

4. There’s a God’s plan for me.

5. There is God’s plan for my work.

Make a go-bag wishlist

I decided to make my own go-bag. As I went through this pandemic situation, I had to pack only what I needed urgently in March and only my body had to board the plane and leave almost all of my luggage in New York, so the trick to pack well in this crisis came to me more important. Watching the wildfires in California, I thought it would be good to quickly think of my own evacuation bag. As the “How to Pack a ‘Go Bag’ for Emergency Environments” tips, I picked up a backpack and began to contain the daily necessities needed to leave immediately. 

I agree with the tips. To take pictures everywhere in the house is a very good way. I used this method last March because I had to leave most of my luggage on my room, so I took pictures of everything in the house.  This is very useful when you move in or out to see what kind of luggage you have and what’s missing. I use this method every time I move out. 

Anyway, when I came back to my go-bag list, I found out about these lists.

  • Backpack
  • Driver’s license
  • Credit Card
  • Some Underwear
  • Glasses, lenses.
  • Phone charger
  • Ball pen, diary.
  • Pads
  • A Bottle of Water
  • Mirror
  • Key (if any)
  • A Mask/Disinfectant wipes
  • Rubber band
  • Tylenols
  • My phone.

When I packed my backpack, I found that I didn’t usually have the things I needed for first aid. First Aid Bands, drugs like digestive medicine and antibiotics. As recommended on the website, documents such as medical records, proof of insurance, and birth certificate were not scanned, but I think these should also be prepared. As recommended by FEMA, the emergency supply list will helps with this.

One Comment

  1. Benedetta Piantella

    Thank you so much for sharing Keunjung, I really enjoyed reading about your daily practice, one thing is for sure, self-care is a super important part of resilience, maybe the most important step and it is a lot of work so it is amazing to see you being so committed! Thank you for sharing your own personal journey and your tips. If you ever want to chat more about go-bags, I am very happy to!

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