Being Present

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” – Albert Einstein

As human beings, we spend a great deal of our time thinking about our past, present and our futures, and how we think about each one of those, our attitudes to them and the attention that we give them can deeply affect us. If we dwell too much in the past, we can be stuck in regret or hankering after the ‘good old days’. By living too much in the future, we can cause ourselves needless anxiety or live in the fantasy land of ‘what if’, and miss out on what’s happening today.

If we follow the wise words of Albert Einstein we can acknowledge all three places and hold them in balance in order to create a harmonious life.

Written by Pippa Shaper

Attitude and Gratitude

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens” – Khalil Gibran

In the 3rd R of Authentic Resilience we talk about Response-ability. No, that is not a spelling mistake, it is about our Ability to Respond to what happens to us in life. Much of what happens to us in life is not our doing, we have not created it -it is random. In such circumstances one can feel like a victim, be outraged as we did nothing to create this, we did not bring this upon ourselves. How is it possible then, when bad things happen to us, to develop a stance that stays open and curious, that accepts the good and the bad, and maintains perspective?

One answer to this is an attitude of gratitude. This can seem like an impossible feat, especially when times are tough, but the secret  is a daily practice of gratitude. Start right now – start today! One of the practices which we introduce to those on our Authentic Resilience Workshops is starting a Three Good Things practice: at the end of every day list – either to yourself in your head, or in a journal, or to family members, three things which you are grateful for today. On bad days it can be a struggle to name even one! Perhaps it could just be the fact that you are grateful that you got through the day and are now in bed. And here’s the tricky can’t just ramble off the same things every day, “I’m grateful for my home, my family, my dog” – you need to be creative and notice the small things that you can be grateful for.

This is a practice that works. Why don’t you commit to do the Three Good Things practice for the next month, starting from today. And check in with yourself at the end of the month – is it easier to spot the things we can be grateful for? How are you feeling now? And have you managed to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Written by Pippa Shaper


Every day, all around the world, tiny earthquakes occur multiple times. Most often they are tiny, they can’t be felt, they register really low down on the Richter Scale. At other times, fortunately far less frequently, massive earthquakes cause widespread decimation across whole regions and cause enormous loss of property and life. Often in earthquake prone areas, buildings are constructed to be ‘earthquake proof’, with a strong central core yet with a degree of flexibility, so that a building is able to move with the earth’s movements rather than standing rigid and become damaged. Where structures are not built with the same strict building codes (unfortunately all too often in the poorest areas of the world), we see devastation.

We can liken this to our own lives. Every day we withstand small seismic shocks which we hardly register – traffic, crime, dealing with difficult people. Occasionally in our lives we will suffer a massive earthquake, the ones that register 8 or 9 on the Richter Scale -the death of a loved one, a divorce, a life-changing health diagnosis. And in between that are plenty of other seismic shocks which can threaten to damage us, shake our core.

How do we become like earthquake proof buildings? The answer is by investing in ourselves just as we invest in a building.  By building and cultivating our resilience before the earthquake strikes we enable ourselves to be better equipped to withstand the everyday shocks and the big ones. The quakes which would see others who haven’t invested in themselves be shaken to the ground.

Written by Pippa Shaper

Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


I was struck recently by someone saying that they were ‘suffering from stress’ and started reflecting on the nature of stress. In her TEDTalk ‘How to make stress your friend”, Kelly McGonigal talks about how we need to actually embrace stress and make friends with it, not be afraid of it. That stress is actually a GOOD thing! Stress, or perhaps it could be called ‘ increased pressure’ can – up to a point – make us perform better.

When we are under increased pressure – the deadline draws near, finances are tight, we find ourselves in a high stakes situation – our attention is increased – and this is a good thing! However, when we reach a certain point (and that point is different for all of us ) our anxiety levels also increase, which bring about physiological changes in our bodies. And that’s when we feel like we are ‘suffering from stress’. Given that we will all face times when we under increased pressure, how do we increase our capacity to deal with it, so that we are able to withstand more?

In our second Five R’s of Authentic Resilience, we talk about the aspects we need to cultivate in our everyday lives, from Gratitude and Flexibility, to setting times for Reflection and Renewal, and grappling with Meaning and Purpose.  We need to put these aspects into practice in our everyday lives to counter our stress levels so that we are more able to deal with pressure and less likely to feel we are ‘suffering with stress’.

-Written by Pippa Shaper

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash