If You Find Yourself in a Pile of Dung, Don’t Lie Down

If you find yourself in a pile of dung, don’t lie down. There are no experts at life, there is no such thing as an easy life, and dung-free living is a myth. Life is messy and unpredictable. Everyone, everywhere is just doing their best to get through life relatively unscathed (ie hosing the dung off as they go) and live in joy as often as possible.

Resiliency is about holding hands with hope while being in the dung. It is acknowledging the raw and real hurt and fear and allowing grit to steer the journey out. What if the goal of resiliency is to emerge not only unbroken but more whole?

The most transformative and resilient leaders that I’ve worked with over the course of my career have three things in common: First, they recognize the central role that relationships and story play in culture and strategy, and they stay curious about their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Second, they understand and stay curious about how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected in the people they lead, and how those factors affect relationships and perception. And, third, they have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability. - Brene Brown

Lean into discomfort is not the usual advice. But what if Brene is right? That curiosity of self and our emotions, being within a tribe of fellow sojourners plus leaning into the pain creates resiliency?

Allowing life circumstances to build resiliency requires courage, grit and vulnerability. Dung is smelly and messy, and nobody likes being in the dung pile, let alone allowing ourselves to be seen in that difficult place.

Steps to resiliency: 1) Find your tribe, start today. Just start with one person. You share a little, they share a little. 2) Get curious about your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours and the way you interact with others. 3) Be willing to lean into discomfort and vulnerability. 4) When you find yourself in a pile of dung, don’t lie down. 5) Start back at 1.

Rochelle Melville

Rochelle Melville is an art therapist and intentional creative. Rochelle works from Pathways to Expression in Bald Hills facilitating individual and group sessions and is available to facilitate workshops in the community.