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Resilience

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Yesterday I visited a public art exhibition at Woodbine Beach called Winter Stations. The installations used the lifeguard chairs permanently stationed at the beach as the catalyst for this year’s theme – Resilience.

Each structure offers its perspective on Resilience resulting in a nuanced way of understanding this commonly misunderstood term. Resilience is about how we weather the winter storms and return to the sunlight of thriving.

The Hive

Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert (Canada) designed The Hive to replicate honeybees’ homes. Worker bees generate heat in the hive by using stored honey as fuel. The multi-coloured panes reveal how different sources of honey (clover, wildflowers, goldenrod) change its colour. The result? A beautiful blending of colours creating a harmonious whole.

Introspection

U of T’s Faculty of Architecture created Introspection to showcase how quarantine and isolation from the past two years has encouraged reflection. The funhouse mirrors inside ask us, what is the quality of that reflection? Have we honestly assessed ourselves, or do we have a distorted view coming out of this pandemic? Maybe the funhouse mirrors show us how we’ve expanded both literally and figuratively! And yet, hope exists as indicated by the trellis around the perimeter the open sky. We have supports (ladders) to help us navigate the future (open sky) because of our introspection.

Enter Face

The Turkish design team, MELT, created Enter Face which is an intellectual exploration of how we perceive the world increasingly through the digital screen. They inserted three (3) round cut-outs in the smaller structure that you can stick your head in (I did!) and look out toward the lake through a distorted screen similar to the one you see on the right structure but horizontally-shaped like a film strip. The lifeguard station is enveloped by the larger structure and you can peer down the vertical strip when standing at the top of the lifeguard chair.

S’Winter Station

Ryerson’s architectural team took a playful approach to resilience. They designed an elegant structure with criss-crossing wood they shaped into wings. The round holes of varying sizes were cut from beach towels they later moulded into concrete panels. It allows the viewer to look out at the water from different vantage points while also allowing light and snow to penetrate its structure and “breathe.”

One Canada

At the University of Guelph, they created a seven-tiered semi-circular structure showing the integration of the seven (7) grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe: Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. The orange ropes represent support for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Resilience

What do these structures teach us about ways to approach resilience?

  • The Hive does it communally. By working together, we become more resilient. We protect our community.
  • Introspection looks within. Resilience starts by examining ourselves, who we are and how we have changed through this pandemic.
  • Enter Face focuses on the mind, but this mind has blinders on, like a horse who can’t see peripherally. We only see straight ahead in this perspective. Resilience is straightforward.
  • S’Winter Station teaches the lighthearted side of resilience. This type of resilience bends and weaves in response to various forces from within and without.
  • One Canada shows us that resilience is multi-layered, that it is held together through flexible ties.

These perspectives on resilience demonstrate how resilience gives us the strength we need to face hardship. After two years of the pandemic, we have all become more resilient in one or more of the ways expressed in these installations.

Look back at my first photo of The Hive. Do you see the mother and child inside the structure? Between my first visit there and my return, about 40 minutes elapsed. When I came back, they were still there. The mom patiently waited while the toddler picked up sand, let it sift through her fingers, and wandered around touching all the walls. Raising a toddler during COVID takes resilience. Here was a concrete example of resilience in action. How are you more resilient today than two years ago?

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.

MM

I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.

MO

Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.

LE

I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!

VB

Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.

MM

I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.

MO

Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.

LE

Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.

LM

Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.

CP

From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.

AG

Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.

VB

I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.

OS