Who is Ginger Lewman

Hi! I'm Ginger Lewman and your guide in building your own resiliency-building practice.

As a kid, I grew up in a family with a lot of addiction and a lot of abuse and later, as an adult, found that my survival strategies that I'd honed as a kid took me to more hard places. After a pretty successful career and a 25 year marriage, I discovered what Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are, and the impact that having even four of those ACEs could have on the life of an adult.

And I realized that I was sitting with 7 ACEs.

As I dug farther into that information, I began to make small and large changes in my life. I broke from a co-dependent abusive marriage, I got in better control of my health, losing 121 lbs. But more importantly, through a lot of hard work, I discovered and took control of some of my former survival skills that I had used so well to survive my early life that just simply, no matter how I tried to angle them, were not serving me any more.

And I didn't do this alone. In the face of a losing my husband and best friend of 25+ years, I found I had been surrounded by amazing people who were waiting to lend a hand, relentlessly, in the face of my spiral, recovery, and stabilization. They kept coming back day after day, checking in, pushing me, supporting me, and most of all, letting me know I was loved. Even when they were dealing with their own pain and struggles in life.

You may not be surprised, but I am still astounded that people like this exist. And that they exist for me. I'm not sure I've ever felt this in my life before.

And this is what did and is still happening. They're building resilience in me.

Now my situation is extreme. But maybe not.

There are a lot of us out here living under hard stress that we've become accustomed to ... habituated to ... and thinking that "it is what it is. I'll just do what I have to in order to survive another day."

Any many are thinking that there simply has to be more to life than just surviving but they're not sure where to turn for help.

I have found, in not only my own circumstance, but in many other people's lives they have become the proverbial toad in boiling water. They were put into the pan when the water was cold and slowly, the water heated up and they got used to it and don't recognize now that the water is HOT.

So what do we do? Do we dig into everyone's dark hidden closet spaces to throw their skeletons on their front yards? Nah. That doesn't work.

Here, I'm reminded of the story of the Sun and the Wind who were having an argument about who was the strongest. Each bragged they were stronger than the other until they realized they'd need to just prove their strength. They spotted a man walking below them. He had a coat on and they agreed that whichever of them could get the man's coat off of him would be deemed the strongest. So the Wind went first and he blew and blew his hardest, but in the end, the man only pulled his coat tighter around him. When it was the Sun's turn, he came out and shone his bright warm rays down upon the man and sure enough, the man soon took his coat right off.

I think about this story quite a bit in a lot of situations. I think of the many ways we try to use force to get others to do what we want them to do, when the truth is that when we surround people with gentle warmth and loving care, they often decide to do what helps them most.

If I want people healed from pain, from violence, from stress, from worry, from isolation and loneliness, I surround them with what counteracts that. And that is love. That is connection. That is co-care. A person in duress can't surround themselves by themselves. This is not a boot-strap situation. It takes co-care.

And in these challenges, we'll find out how to bring that to our teams and organizations to help build resiliency, the ability to not only bounce back, but to connect with others as well, to quell fear, stress, isolation, and overwhelm to build us all stronger, together.

Let's get started!

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