Reply To: Homework Week 1 (Wellness and Recovery Promotion)

Natalie Lonstein

1. What are your general reactions to the mindful writing? What were some of the personal resources, skills, and abilities you relied on to help you through a difficult experience in your life?

I actually really enjoyed this mindful writing. I typically I don’t enjoy writing and have never been a person who can start and stick with a journal. My professional life is pretty stressful at the moment and so this is what naturally came to the forefront for me to write about. I enjoyed being able to reflect on some challenges of the past and now being on the other side, have been experiencing some feelings of validation and strength, knowing that I stuck through something that was very challenging and difficult. I allowed myself to write my thoughts, unabridged, and take me down some different paths. I felt like this mindful writing is definitely a different experience than trying to articulate these thoughts out loud. Some of the resources, skills, and abilities I relied on were patience, persistence, and staying open-minded and willing to learn. I think there is an element of ‘surrender’ as well, or maybe more trust in the process, that things will turn out ok. I want to say that knowledge and information also helped, but truly it was time and experience, and being vulnerable and optimistic around these factors to let this unfold.

2. What are some of the ways the questions and or the mindful writing helped you uncover your narrative of resilience?

I think the framing of the question, specifically, “a time you got through”, poses a different ask then just, experienced a difficult time. The question encourages one to think about their journey through some difficult and how they came to be on the other side of something you may have felt was not possible in the beginning. These questions are also really strengths-based, and ask us to think about the factors and qualities we possess, and really name how they serve us. I also don’t normally think of myself as a patient person – in my personal life I am, maybe because I save all my patience for my work. But having patience to navigate a difficult situation is really challenging when the easy road may be to do the opposite, avoid, etc. I do value the importance of patience and was surprised that doing this writing pulled out my belief that having patience is important to me and served me through this tough time.

3. How might you apply the Narrative questions and or mindful writing in your work with others to help them uncover a neglected story of resilience in their lives?

I think these strengths-based questions are ones I can infuse in my work, not only with clients but with staff navigating difficult situations or circumstances with their clients/families, peers, or personal lives if relevant. These questions take the perspective of assuming people have experienced difficulties, and they are here! They made it through! So how can we reflect on and harness what saw them through in the past, and reemploy those resources, skills, etc. now.