In her book Healing Into Possibility: The Transformational Lessons of a Stroke, Alison Bonds Shipiro writes about her journey of recovery following two strokes at age 55. Her experience led her to identify eight principles of transformation, one of which is “start from where you are.” The essence of this principle is to carefully and realistically explore your challenging situation or experience to gather information and insight.
Bonds Shipiro compares life to an iceberg with only a small portion above the water and in our awareness. By considering the whole iceberg—including aspects normally ignored and sometimes distorted—we can draw on strengths, experiences and knowledge previously overlooked. “The less we like or approve of something, the less attention we’re likely to pay to it. But paying close attention to what we don’t like is critical if we want to change things. Paying attention to what is, just as it is, without pretending or prejudging, allows us to start from where we are.”*
*Alison Bonds Shipiro. Healing Into Possibility: The Transformational Lessons of a Stroke. Tiburon/Novato, CA: H.J. Kramer/New World Library, 2009. (p. 244)
“Resilience Tip #10: Start from Where You Are” was originally published in Our Voice (January 2013) e-newsletter produced by Disability Alliance BC.