Matters of Resilience – Excerpted from Insight into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking

From Insight into a Bright Mind, A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking!

What do Nepalese mountains, wild cows, leeches, a Neuroscientist, and a Sage Guide named Raven have to do with Giftedness?

The common point between this list of things is that they all relate to learning about resilience. In this excerpt from Nicole A. Tetreault, Ph.D of Gifted Unlimited LLC’s book ‘Insight Into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking’ Nicole shares her experiences on top of a Nepalese mountain:

During the five-day journey we walked through a damp forest. Our clothing was drenched from the humidity. We slipped and slid in the mud, and each step was a search for solid footing. Our local guides took us through the forest, circling the tracks of the wild cows. We were lost, far from home, and our muscles ached. At some point, leeches attacked all but two of us. I was not one of the lucky two. Two leeches attached at the core of my belly button and my friend Patil pulled them from my belly. The leeches attached so fiercely to my flesh that their fang marks are still visible on my skin. Leeches’ parasitic nature is facilitated by the anesthetic properties of their saliva. Their prey does not initially feel the bite, giving the leech time to feast on its prey’s blood before being discovered. We were outnumbered by the leeches. This was their forest, after all. We were visitors, lost, and off course, and the leeches were living as they do in the forest. Disgusting as it was, the leech attack was a minor annoyance because our greater concern was making it through the forest alive.

Our bodies were wrecked, and we longed for our basecamp. This trek felt far from a meditation retreat until our sage guide, Raven, asked, “When we have a weak body, is our mind weak?” We all replied, “Yes.” And we all failed—most likely we were exhausted, not paying attention and trying to get out of the forest and make it to safety. Nevertheless, Raven said, “No, no, no, weak body, strong mind,” meaning that through our suffering and pain we needed to cultivate a strong mind, adapt, and never give up.

To continue reading this excerpt, click here. You can also click here to learn more about the book Insight into a Bright Mind, or listen to this podcast from Artists with EM featuring Nicole Tetreault, Ph.D.