Ask for help, rely on the friends in your life for support and fun. I never would have made it through that divorce, my parents’ illness and passing, and other difficult times in my life without my friends. They distract me when I need it, come up with fun things to do, and give me space to vent if needed. They even call the strange number on the phone bill to confirm if your husband is cheating.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Page Park.
Page Park is the founder of Tulsi Rose Yoga. As a teacher, Page has taught every grade over the last 24 years. She has spent time over the last few years studying yoga. She has accomplished completing 500-hour yoga teacher training, 100-hour yin training, and 95-hour children’s yoga teacher training. In addition to teaching yoga and meditation, Page writes about yoga, meditation, and how to connect with people. When not writing or teaching, Page can be found practicing what she teaches, wandering local farmers’ markets, hiking, eating tacos, or playing with her dogs.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Yes, I’d be delighted to share. I was adopted into a family at 16 days old and am the youngest of 3. Having two older brothers, I was tormented regularly, haha. My parents were amazing people that loved and supported us. They invested in people, took time to listen and understand us. We took family camping trips as vacations. My parents came to every performance and game we participated in and were always near the front cheering us on no matter how good or bad it was. They supported me through not just one, but two divorces and encouraged me to find my true self. I am a better person today because of their influence.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
About a year ago I had a student contact me from my first year of teaching. That feels like a lifetime ago. I was at this school for one year only and he told me that he was only there for a year as well. He told me that I had a huge impact on him that one year. I listened, he felt heard. I’ve found over the years that as a teacher, we need to give kids space to be themselves. I ask them about things that interest them and allow them space when they have problems.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I work with people who might not normally go into a yoga studio. Kids with mental and physical disabilities, older adults, people who are uncomfortable going to a traditional studio.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’d love to share a story. There are so many people, but the one who started me on this path around 10 years ago was my friend, Karen. I was severely overweight and looking for answers. I saw a flyer on the counter of the spa I went to to get my eyebrows waxed about a woman who took people for health coaching clients. I was intrigued and scheduled an appointment with this health coach. During our discussion, she told me I already knew what I needed to do. She further pointed out, “you don’t need to see me, you need to be me!” I started health coaching classes a few months later. Those classes put me on the trajectory that has culminated in yoga teacher training and opening my own business. It’s been a wild ride and started with a small conversation. You never know when a conversation will change a person’s life.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after a difficult situation or time period. Resilient people learn to ask for help, take time for themselves and their recovery, know when to say no, surround themselves with like-minded people, and are empathetic.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage is strength in the face of grief or trauma. Resiliency is bouncing back and courage is the strength to do so.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Yes, there’s a person that comes to mind. My mother was not only resilient but courageous. She tackled everything she did with courage and strength. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She faced that diagnosis with the resilience and courage she always had. She met the challenge head-on, determined not to let it beat her down. She was joking about the movie, “The Brain”, right before surgery and met the treatments with a smile and determination. A little history, she was the first person in her family to not only go to college but get a master’s degree. She was even valedictorian of her class! She was raised by working-class parents who struggled and did the best they could with what they had.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Yes, I’ve been told I was crazy for opening a yoga studio in this climate at this stage of my life. I had to do it. I felt this calling deep in my soul, nothing could get in the way. In the past, I’ve let others’ opinions influence me. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made a commitment to myself to let me be my guide and not listen to others. I’m so glad I opened the studio, it’s the best decision I’ve made in my life.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Yes, I don’t know if I’d call it a setback, definitely a challenge. It started with my mother being diagnosed with the brain tumor I talked a little about in a previous question. She passed away 9 months after her surgery, two years later, my father passed away, and two years after that my oldest brother passed. My other brother and I spent 6 years caring for our parents, handling 2 estates, and putting ourselves on hold while we did it. It’s been a struggle to find myself again, but with the help of some friends, and using yoga and meditation to get back into my body and the present moment, I’m getting there.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
The year I graduated from college, I got married, then 6 months later divorced. Not what I expected. We got married after about a year of dating. The signs that it wasn’t a good idea were there. I chose to ignore my gut and get married anyway. He forged checks for large sums of money and I was implicated in his escapades. It was a long road to clear my name, complete the divorce and find myself again. I needed a lot of resilience to make it through that time.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Ask for help, rely on the friends in your life for support and fun. I never would have made it through that divorce, my parents’ illness and passing, and other difficult times in my life without my friends. They distract me when I need it, come up with fun things to do, and give me space to vent if needed. They even call the strange number on the phone bill to confirm if your husband is cheating.
- Take time for yourself! Sometimes it’s okay to stay in your pajamas, take yourself to dinner or a movie, get a massage, facial, go for a float, dance in the living room, take a trip or whatever else you might need. When my mother and father were ill and going through all of their doctor appointments and treatments, I started working out. The gym became my safe haven, my place of refuge where I could just relax and release everything I was going through. It was the place I forgot about my parents’ struggles.
- Feel your feelings. No matter what you’re going through, especially the difficult times, the worst response you can have is to stuff it down. If you’re emotional eating (I do sometimes, but now I acknowledge it) don’t eat your feelings. Feel them! Laugh, cry, scream, feel it. There was a moment a year or so ago when I was going through picture frames to sort what I didn’t want. I found a picture of my brothers and me, underneath that, was a picture of my dad with one of his close friends when our families were at their cabin in northern Wisconsin. The image was of them on the front porch, “solving the world’s problems”, while overlooking the lake. I went from fine, to sobbing then remembering some of the things they’d say, laughing.
- Make time for fun! Especially as adults, we’ve forgotten how to play. Play is an important part of processing. One day a friend and I were walking in a local park. We took some time to play on the swings. This release was so much fun and much needed.
- Don’t forget to laugh. There was one time during my mom’s illness when I went out to an improv show. I realized at the end of the evening I hadn’t been laughing at all. It felt so good to just kick back and enjoy something.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Kindness, we have lost the ability to be kind to each other. We don’t realize how much our words have an impact. Everyone is going through one thing or another, as a humanity, we need to keep this in mind.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Amy Porterfield, I’m a big fan of her work and encouragement. I’m building a business and her message and advice have been invaluable.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I can be found at tulsiroseyoga.com. Virtual classes coming soon!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!