My Updated "Gather Up Your Resources" Questions

Sometimes the important work of self-discovery kicks up painfully difficult emotional reactions that can be difficult to weather through. Doing deep work on yourself, even with the help of another person can involve moments of “heavy lifting” when you are directly grappling with some painful part of your past or present that is difficult to withstand. When you experience moments, memories or messages that get in the way of you feeling stable or steady it’s important to get centered again as soon as you can. This document can help you weather times when you doubt yourself or couyld use an emotional boost. It is an opportunity to “gather up your resources” to review when times are tough. So here goes!  (Click here to download printable version)

Positive Acknowledgement:

Start by thinking of some of your strengths, competencies and positive traits. What are some of your positive skills or abilities? Recall times your strengths were useful to you or to others. What are your superpowers (hint: you have some)? 

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Best Memories:

List several of the most positive, meaningful memories in your life. When did you feel really positive about yourself and your situation? Remember what made these moments so special with as many of your senses as possible.

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Safe Place:

List a place that represents comfort and safety for you. This is the classic “Safe Place” exercise. It could be real or imaginary. Again, use as many of your senses as possible (sight, sound, touch, taste. What makes this safe or comfortable? (It’s ok to have more than one.)

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Supportive People:

List people who are (or have been) sources of support, comfort, strength or guidance in your life. These can be either now or in the past. Who nurtured you and how? List people who cause you to feel warmth, gratitude, joy, tenderness and respect. This category may include family members, friends, teachers, or any other positive influence – even pets.

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Religious or Spiritual Resources:

List any important religious or spiritual people, principles, deities, icons, entities, prayers, rituals, places, memories, and experiences that nurture and sustain your spirit. Where have you felt most connected with meaning? What brings you back to your spiritual center during challenging times?

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List some examples of obstacles, struggles or challenges you have overcome or that have taught you invaluable lessons. What was a difficult past challenge that you survived or overcame in a way that represents something important? 

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Positive Symbols, Images and other Resources: 

This is the category to list anything else that strengthens your spirit, self-esteem, serenity, motivation, strength, self-awareness or any other quality you want to be able to access at a moment’s notice. These may include inspirational books, artistic works, meaningful songs, favorite quotations, mythical heroes, natural wonders or anything else that speaks to your depths. Anything that lifts or soothes your spirit qualifies here! 

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Deepen Your Self-Connection to these Resources:

Look over your list. Read your words slowly out loud or to another person. Quiet your body for a few moments and turn your attention to your breath. Welcome the energy of these resources into your heart so they can be available to you any time and in any situation. You will probably find yourself remembering more items to add to these categories as time goes by. There are techniques to deepen the impact of this exercise, many of which you can probably figure out if you listen to yourself.

You’re amazing!

Bill Herring LCSW
Billherring.com
Revised November 24 2019