Yesterday, the AFFIRM page on Facebook pulled up some memories from the 2019 Sprint postgraduate women’s development programme that I facilitated at the University of Exeter, UK. Oh, what a wonderful programme it was!

I particularly love this drawing by one of the groups at the programme, to represent their own lived experiences. It shows a woman with her hands carrying so many responsibilities and expectations including relationships, work, children, PhD (or other studies), parents, society etc. 

The title of the drawing is RESILIENCE.


What a word!

Here are some of its meanings:

“The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors”. (American Psychological Association)

A situation where people or systems “bounce back from negative experiences and disturbances”. (Kate Knuth, ENSIA)

So, adaptation, survival, bouncing back. The power of positive over negative.

This drawing from the Sprint group is a fitting one. Because with responsibilities come challenges. Think of the numerous struggles that a lot of women face in our daily lives. Sometimes, just getting up in the morning to face each day is a challenge in itself.

How do we cope with these issues?

Today, I would like to encourage you. I see you, I feel you, I’m here with you. Need to share? I will listen. Please click here to send me a message. We can support each other. Let’s draw on our resilience together!

Or would you like to let us how you overcome challenges? Do you have any strategies on becoming (more) resilient? Please drop a comment below.

First image shows four groups of women participants sitting around separate tables and discussing their activities at a Sprint programme in 2019.