Resiliency Blog Part 3: Intentionality
One of the 5 Core Resiliency Factors
Drawn from Dr. J. Eric Gentry’s Professional Resiliency and Optimization Training and used with his permission.
Written by Julie Ballew, LCPC, CCFP
“If self-regulation is the heart of resiliency, then intentionality is the soul.”
J. Eric Gentry, PhD
Once we begin to practice self-regulation, we get the frontal and temporal lobes of our brain back online. These brain structures play integral roles in allowing us to choose how we want to live our lives; to respond vs. react. Intentionality is all about responding and choice. When we live with intention we are able to act with accordance to our core values and moral compass. The meaning and purpose to our lives is restored. Quality of life is available to us no matter what life circumstances we find ourselves in when we live with intention and self-regulate. We get to be the type of person we want to be when we live with intention. Viktor Frankel, a holocaust survivor and master on resiliency, puts it this way, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
What is the purpose of your life? Why are you on this planet? What principles and values are important to you? What do you hold most dear? Some of us have never even thought of these questions. Others of us may only have a vague sense of our answers. We are seldom explicit about them.
I highly encourage you to ponder these questions. You may even find it helpful to do some reflective writing about them and/or talk about them with supportive others. When you are ready, I invite you to formulate a Personal Mission Statement for yourself. This may likely be a paragraph or two that embodies what you believe your purpose in life to be and may even contain an example or two of how you do this. Putting your Mission Statement on paper can be a powerful exercise. Having supportive others witness you reading your Mission Statement can also be deeply moving experience. (Need some help? Check out Dr. Gentry’s book listed at the end of this blog!)
Ever feel guilty or regret something? If so, you most likely were not self-regulating during that time and engaged in some sort of thought or behavior that was incongruent with your values and mission. How do you live a life without those negative emotions? By softening the tense muscles in your body (self-regulation) and subsequently maintaining fidelity to your moral compass. It is my hope that you feel empowered to take back control of your quality of life by making self-regulation and intentionality a part of your daily life.
Interested in learning more about intentionality? Check out: “Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy: Healing the Moral Wound” by J. Eric Gentry, PhD and/or “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankel.
Julie Ballew, LCPC, CCFP has over a decade of experience working in the mental health field. Her professional interests include: promoting resiliency, trauma recovery, anxiety, depression, and couples counseling. Following her passions, she completed advanced training to become a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional (CCFP). As a doctoral candidate in Counselor Education and Counseling at the University of Montana, she balances her studies, a part-time private counseling practice, and psychometry work. Additionally, Julie facilitates parent education and compassion fatigue seminars. She can often be found along a mountain trail with her beloved husband and dogs.
Missed the first two articles on resiliency?