Stittsville United Church to offer Personal Resilience Workshop in the New Year

In light of the new year being the perfect time for reflection and setting intentions for the upcoming months, the Stittsville United Church (SUC) has invited Julee Pauling, four-time ovarian cancer survivor, author, activist, yoga teacher, and leader to host a Personal Resilience Workshop at the church.

“Resiliency is about our ability to shift states, change course, adapt, and respond to adversity with intention and mastery,” says Julee. “Like metal withstanding a stress test, we are resilient when we can cope and manage conditions that are no longer ideal. “

The workshop will take place on February 25th at 8:30a.m. and will focus on four areas, including emotional, cognitive and mental, physical, and spiritual resilience.

“I have lived for over eleven years with Stage IV metastatic cancer,” Julee admits. “I have practised and met many people who demonstrate amazing resiliency day to day. I’ve also seen folks who lack resiliency skills and they really seem to struggle more, even buckling under the weight.”

Not only can resiliency training help you manage the problems you may encounter and keep you from buckling under their weight, but it’s also a great reliever of stress and anxiety and can completely change your outlook on life.

But resiliency is nothing new, in fact, we’ve all had to learn some level of resiliency at some point in our lives. The real challenge is building and learning to apply this skill in a way that makes life much more manageable.

“Sometimes we experience that point-of-no-return at which something else gets added… and then one more thing happens… and then, oh, here’s another crisis!–and the precarious balance we had built begins to topple,” Julee says. “Building resiliency is not just a life skill, however; when things get tough, it really is an opportunity for us to become stronger, better, even kinder people.”

And Julee’s resilience workshop is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Community members will be able to get together and work towards a singular goal of becoming better versions of themselves.

The workshop will be offered on a donation-basis, so participants are welcome to donate however much they would like. e-Transfers can be made to treasurer.suc@gmail.com or envelopes can be provided at the event.

A light breakfast, coffee, and tea will be served 30 minutes prior to the workshop. There will also be a short break in which guests will be provided with snacks such as fruit, yogurt, and muffins.

Participants will also be provided with notebooks and pens but are asked to bring a yoga mat for guided meditation. A light blanket or throw, or anything else you might use to help yourself relax is also welcome.

“The conceptual framework on which I’ve based this workshop was developed by a researcher named Linda Graham, who used her doctoral studies into neuroplasticity and emotional resiliency to develop tools and practices for individuals. I then supplemented Graham’s “five intelligences” with the research of Brené Brown on emotional intelligence, used some of my own professional experience with adult workplace training delivery, yoga teacher training, and the practice of yoga Nidra,” Julee says.

“Participants will be oriented to the concepts and ideas, reflect on circumstances in their own lives and things they want to improve, learn some ways to tune into their own inner intelligence, and learn about and sample some good practices.”

The idea of leading a resilience workshop first came to Julee last year after a friend of hers had read her novel, View from the Lamplighter Inn and requested that she share her story of living with advanced metastatic cancer. Julee spoke to the women’s committee at her friend’s workplace, where she was then invited to lead an interactive workshop at a weekend retreat, which was later adapted into the very same resilience workshop being held at the SUC.

But before she went on to teach others the importance of resiliency, Julee had to learn the skill herself. While she admits that her mother played a massive role in this, the tumour that was discovered on her frontal lobe was what really encouraged her to build her resiliency.

“I needed to go deeper and get serious about unresolved issues from my past, learn how to be aware of my changing physiological, cognitive, and psychological needs, and especially I needed to learn how to not allow distress and trauma to take over my life,” says Julee. “Sometimes I learned from professionals, sometimes I learned from books, and significantly I learned from living in community with friends, family, and people committed to helping others. I think I’m all the better for it, but it took a lot of work and self-study.”

The skills Julee will be teaching in this workshop will help you learn how you can manage negative emotions that can sometimes feel as if they’re weighing you down and making your life more difficult.

“When things seem to no longer be working for you, don’t give up,” Julee reminds the community. “There are always new skills and techniques to learn and people out there who are willing to help you learn them.”

Those who are interested in registering for the workshop can do so by emailing suchurch@primus.ca or by calling 613-836-4962 before February 25th. There is a limit of 20 participants, so those who would like to participate should register as soon as possible to secure their spot.


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