Tag Archives: resilient

Resilience: How To Bounce Back When Life Knocks You Down

After being orphaned at a young age, Dr Neeta Bhushan developed resilience.  If you look up the word resilience, the literal definition is to, bounce back. The bounce factor, is your ability to, bounce back, and be resilient when life knocks you down. A glass that holds water is tough, it's strong, it holds things together, but if let that glass go, it’s going to shatter into a million pieces.

On the other hand, if I have a basketball, it has a little give and if I let it go, it will,  bounce back. So we also need a little give.  We can’t be rigid.  Like the glass if we are rigid then we shatter into a million pieces when we fall. The, bounce factor, is how we become strong and soft at the same time. That is how we, get back up, when life knocks us down.

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Dr. Neeta Bhushan is a cosmetic dentist turned three-time international best-selling author and world-renowned emotional health advocate. She is also the founder of Global GRIT Institute, a wellness education platform for optimizing wellbeing, and cofounder of Dharma Coaching Institute, a coaching organization training coaches to become the highest versions of themselves. Neeta has shared her thought leadership on grit and, resilience, on international stages and as the host of her popular podcast, The Brave Table.

After realizing how trapped she felt running the million-dollar dental practice she built, Neeta embarked on a journey that led her across 45 countries as she researched blending the intersection of human behavior, ancient wisdom, Eastern philosophy, and therapeutic psychology. That knowledge, along with other life experiences overcoming multiple adversities, which include being orphaned at a young age, surviving an abusive marriage, and extensive loss, contributed to the powerful message of resilience she shares in this book. Neeta is a mother of two, and currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and children. Visit her on the web www.neetabhushan.com

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What is Resilience

Myrna: What is your, bounce back, story?

Dr Neeta: I lost my mom at 10 years old and then my brother a year later, then my dad a few years later. I really didn’t deal with the grief until I was in my 20’s.  I didn't really go through the feelings of the loss of my mom, my dad, my brother, I was in survival mode.  I just became resilient. I'm like, Okay, we gotta get out of this tunnel. And so getting into my 20s I had all my coping mechanisms on full blast. My coping mechanisms was that I stayed in relationships for too long. Especially romantic ones that didn't really serve me, because I was afraid of being alone. I was trying to fill that void of loss with someone, anyone.

And I think a lot of times, we do something because it is so painful to go into that void. It's so uncomfortable to feel those feelings, so we self-medicate with people, sex, drugs, food etc. Today we have the greatest dopamine device ever, our smartphones. All we have to do if we're having a bad day, is to swipe, or scroll and we feel better. We don't have to feel it anymore. Or we go home and turn on the TV and we can Netflix all night. These are all activities to stop us from feeling. I did this for years, staying in bad relationships because I didn’t want to feel lonely until my life was in danger and I had to go.

I'm was waking up and this is what I call, flying forward,  in my book. That process of, flying forward, after a life situation makes you choose instead of being knocked down, you fly forward.  Denzel Washington called it, falling forward. If you have a fall, it could be a literal fall, or metaphorical fall. I teach you how to, get back up, and, fall forward.

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Resilience:  the ignited stage

Sometimes we are ignited by someone crossing a boundary. In my case, I was not safe.  I feared for my life. I was ignited, I had to go.  When you're in so much of that pain that you start letting people in. When the shame is overshadowed by desire to be safe.

I was so ashamed because I grew up with immigrant parents from India and the Philippines. Divorce is a taboo and so it took so much courage and bravery to leave that marriage. You can also get ignited if you have that medical diagnosis or if your child is sick, you just lost a job or maybe you're just not feeling in that right mindset anymore. You've lost it, whatever that was you lost it. There is now a trigger. That says nope, you got to do this.

And that's the ignition and for me the ignition was I'm leaving, packing my bags and asking for help by telling my aunts and grandmother, the matriarchs that supported me that I was actually in this situation. I was a cosmetic dentist at the time and I remember going into that practice that day and saying, I need support. I cannot do this alone. I don't know if I can keep his office open because right now, I'm going through the darkest time of my life.

This was the first time in my life that I could actually focus on breathing, that I could actually say the 3 words that saved my life. “I need help.” And I think you know a lot of us go through these stages and times in life where things can get really big. But you always have those three words. “I need help.”

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Flying forward after rock bottom

Myrna: You mentioned your immigrant parents and I'm not quite sure whether it's an immigrant thing that we have a problem asking for help. But I am from Guyana and I have a very hard time asking for help myself. I always think that, I can do things on my own.  So, I'm glad that you were able to put that aside maybe because you were at the rock bottom. And you asked for help and that is great. You mentioned, flying forward. You talk about the, flying forward, framework. What is that?

Dr Neeta: Stage one is, when you when you have that breakup, when you have that fall when you go through a loss when you maybe get sick yourself, when you have financial troubles. You look at your bank account and you're like, how did I get here? And you have to make a decision, and then we get into that ignition phase where it's like, are you going to stay? Are you going to go? Are you going to keep doing the same thing? Are you going to ask for help. Are you going to, say you know what? I am going to book a session with my healer, my therapist, my coach, I'm going to sign up for that training because I said I wanted to lose the 20 pounds and I can't take it anymore. This is where the ignition is.

This is where that fire is lit under our bellies. And we're like, okay, we're going to do something completely different. That's scary. That's uncomfortable because I don't want to go back to that reality, that reality is painful. And I'm going to step forward so it's kind of like we get into them.

Stage three which is the phoenix rising from the ashes. We're actually asking a different question.

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Resilience: Rising from the Ashes

We're actually saying, Okay, well, this is uncomfortable. This is messy. It's not perfect. This is a chaotic, and I can't explain it right now, but I'm feeling a little light and feeling that because I am in this mess.  I am rising like the Phoenix Rising, I'm leaning into things that are uncomfortable, so maybe it's being imperfect. Maybe it's saying yes to a new hobby, saying yes to something that really scares you that you've been putting off. Maybe it's saying yes to going to the gym with a trainer.

Or we're or sitting in a time of the suck where it does actually suck and you're okay with feeling the uncomfortable feelings there because you've been suppressing it for far too long. And that's happened in my case where I said, I don't even care anymore. There was uncontrollable crying and heaving. Scientifically, the cry signifies us getting closer to ourselves, and most of us are so afraid. Right? And it's and we're in and it releases our tears released the cortisol, it's releasing the stress that we're holding.

So that the Phoenix  rising stage and when we get into the Magnify stage,.

The Magnify stage is, I'm in full acceptance. I'm in full acceptance of my reality right now. I have this new confidence that you know, maybe I am starting to go on dates or maybe I am starting to invest in this thing. Or maybe I am starting to get better at public speaking or whatever the thing is that I want to be able to transform my life with and then we get into thriving.

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Bounce back to Thriving

Thriving means that you know, it doesn't mean that we're immune to falling again, because it's a cyclical cycle, right? We are going to have things that challenge us. But thriving just means that now you have things that are built into you that check in with your boundaries. You know, check in with people that support you. I call them my SSP, our sole support policy, and in our sole support policy.

It could be one or two friends, maybe it's family members you mentioned your amazing parents. Oh my God, it's amazing that to have people in your life that you can actually lean in on that can hold that space and be present with, who could say I got you don't worry about this.  Thriving also means that you have your personal check in. I call it our POC, your personal observational check in to see how am I actually doing? Do I really want to go to that thing this weekend? Or am I doing it because I'm obliged to somebody else? Can I say no?  What will that mean? So, we redefined our boundaries to work for us.

Myrna: Yes, I love that. So, I understand the question now, flying forward is moving from that stuck position and going through the stages to get to thriving. The very first stage is making the decision to do something about it. Your story is your, resilience, and that is why you founded The Global Grit Institute. So it's almost like that your story helped to build your purpose.  So, let's talk now about the, resilience, because you talk about something that's called the, bounce factor, to build an increase your, resilience. How do you teach your clients to build this, resilience?

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Resilience is not mental toughness

Dr Neeta: Yeah, well, so for those listeners who have ever been taught about, resiliency, or, resilience, we think mental toughness, we think we have to be strong. In fact, when I was growing up, my parents and my dad specifically, he was from India. And he would say, Neeta, you're so strong. You're so strong, and I would hear this over and over and over again. And I think that as parents now that I have my own children, I questioned myself whether or not I want to even share that with them because that's also implying that they also can't be soft, that they also can't have compassion for themselves.

When we look at the root of the word, resilience, the root of the word comes from Latin, of course, and it's resilient, which means the literal definition is to bounce to, bounce back. And so, if I were to take a glass of water, you would say, well, Neeta that glass is tough, it's strong, it holds things together, but if I actually let that piece of glass go, it’s going to shatter into a million pieces. Right?

On the other hand, if I have a basketball, it has a little give and if I let it go, it bounces back. So we also need a little give.  We can’t be rigid.  Like the glass if we are rigid then we shatter into a million pieces when we fall. The bounce factor is how we get back up when life knocks us down.

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Why we need good stress

We can look at our current environment and ask, are we invoking what I call, good stress? What is that, good stress, barometer?  You're probably asking, why would you want, good stress in your life? Well, good stress, can look like leaning into and exploring your edges, exploring what is comfortable for you. And what is maybe a little bit out of your comfort zone.

I'm saying let's go into out of our comfort zone. I'm not saying let's jump out of a plane tomorrow, but maybe, you know, you want to improve your health. And maybe the edge of your comfort zone is walking a mile a day, walking more than 10 minutes maybe the edge of your comfort zone is not eating unhealthy sweets, replacing it with something else. Or maybe the edge of your comfort zone is going, meatless on Mondays or no carbs on Thursdays.

Myrna: Yeah. Wow. The, bounce factor, is the process to help people cope with their setbacks and challenges after their sucky moments? I love that word. Sucky moments.

Book: That Sucked Now What
Book: That Sucked Now What

That Sucked: Now What

Dr Neeta: There's three parts of the book “That Sucked: Now What.” The first part is that magical moment what you realize that this sucks, we've talked about so many different types of sucks. And, that's kind of where the book starts where it's, gosh, that sucked, I can't control what happened, but we can actually be in a space of vulnerability to say, how am I feeling right now? I am feeling really X, Y, Z, fill in that blank and giving yourself pause to say, oh, yeah, this really hurts or I'm feeling really sad right now. I'm feeling really frustrated right now. And many times, when we go through a second sucky moment, we often let our brains want to gloss over it.

But what we really want to do is we really want to give ourselves the awareness and the space to actually say out loud and identify the feeling that we are actually feeling because most of the times, we're ruminating in our head, we're getting really upset. We have our physical attributes where you know, we clench our fist or we clench our jaws. Or we raise our shoulders up, and that's when we need a little give to bounce.

So, part two of the book is when we get into the, bounce factor, and as we've already kind of illustrated, there are four pillars of your, bounce factor. And then we get into part three of how we, fly forward, once we've strengthened our, bounce factor, and how we, fly forward, pass any stuck that we come across.

As I mentioned we have:

  • igniting stage
  • the rising stage,
  • the magnifying stage,
  • and the thriving stage


And that's how you know the book is arranged. At the back of each chapter of the book I have a resources section.  If you when you go to www.thatsucksnowwhat.com, you can pick up a copy of the 44 page color coded guide on how to do this with your kids, with your families with your team members. And it's just a great resource to see how we're actually processing.

Myrna: So that's amazing. All right.

Dr Neeta: The book is a big culmination of all of the low points of my life from all of the, sucky moments, right? That's why the subtitle is called, how to embrace the magic and the mass and the joy and chaos.

Myrna: And what do you want the readers walk away with after they put down your book?

Dr Neeta: I think to give yourself permission to suck, life doesn't have to be perfect.

I also have a podcast called “The Brave Table” where we drop episodes twice a week on how to be brave in your life and your actions as well.

Myrna: How can we connect on social media?

Dr Neeta: Yes, I am @NeetaBhushan Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Additional Resources

How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect Your Success In Life

How The Army Train The Mind To Achieve Purpose

Lusene Donzo started life in the US as a, refugee, from Liberia.  After arriving in America he enlisted in the, US Army, and began, training his mind, to live his, calling.  Listen to Lusene's story of how he overcame a grand mal seizure, living on, welfare, to find success in the, army, as well as an entrepreneur and speaker.

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Lusene grew up in Monrovia, Liberia, and came to America as a refugee 17 years ago. October 20, 2016 his life changed forever where he ended up having a grand mal seizure and ended up in a coma. He quickly realized that tomorrow is not promised and as long as you have life you should chase after your dreams and things that matter.

He later graduated from Virginia State University as a computer science major, commissioned in the US Army in 2018. Today Lusene is an author, speaker, credit consultant and a United States Army Officer who loves empowering people and helping them build their credit. Lusene is the author of “The Power of Determination: Train Your Mind To Live Your Calling

Myrna: We are witnessing a war in, Ukraine, at this moment, I'm having chills now just thinking about it. We all know that the life of those, refugees, are not going to be easy. Right now, they don't know where they're going to be living or how they're going to eat. So, your journey is an interesting one to talk about in this climate.  Tell us, your story.

Lusene: So, originally, I grew up in Liberia, at the age of six, in 1990, Liberia had a civil war. I was born in 92. So I was born during the height of the Civil War. And I remember at the age of four or five years old that we would have rebels coming up coming the house and my mother at the time, she would hide me on the ceiling from the rebels, because they were looking for young men to fight the war. Children are the easiest individuals to take advantage of.

So my mom would always hide me, up in the ceiling, just to make sure they don't find out that she has a male child. She eventually gave me to my grandmother to go live in a village in a different country, Guinea. So I lived in Guinea for about two years. It was a lot of struggle there we used so to eat in the same bowl. We all used to play together. It was more family, but it was a lot of struggle because at the time I didn't know who my father was.

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I didn't have my mother, I was just living with my grandmother and all my cousins and we were fighting to eat food. So it was it was one of those things that when I look back, at the position that I'm in right now, I am so humbled because especially I can resonate with what some of the individuals in, Ukraine, are going through because being a, refugee, is something that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

So once I left Guinea, I went to Ivory Coast, there was a civil war in the Ivory Coast and everyone that was not Liberian they were trying to kick them out the country. You needed this thing called les de Paseo, which is kind of like in America, a green card to stay in the country.  America had a resettlement program for, refugees, in Ivory Coast to bring them to the states so my family applied. Nine months later, we ended up coming to America as, refugees. Initially we were on, welfare, collecting checks, food stamps, and all that, but eventually my mother got off, welfare.

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Training the mind to get off welfare

Myrna: That is such a beautiful story. I came from Guyana, we weren't that poor, but it's still a third world country. I had the opportunity to go to Canada. That's what's got me out of my poverty. And then I ended up coming to United States. I support a charity that's called food for the poor. And one of the things that they show are the kids in Africa eating from one bowl of rice. Oh my God, it breaks my heart. So you went through all that and then you ended up with a grand mal seizure? How did that happen?

Lusene: So after I came here, I moved around a little bit, and I moved to Philadelphia, I was living with my uncle in Philadelphia, where I graduated high school. I was working while in college, I was working a lot. I was, training the mind, by working hard and being determined to get off, welfare.  I was working  about 18 hours, I had school, I had ROTC, I was the Army Reserve. I was just doing too much.

I ended up having a seizure because I wasn't getting adequate amount of sleep. I wasn't eating a lot of nutrients. So my brain went into a shock and I ended up having a coma. I had a seizure initially, where I broke my left shoulder while I was sleeping, I then had a grand mal seizure, at the hospital. The seizure was so bad that I ended up in a coma for about six to eight hours.

Myrna: How old were you then?

Lusene: 24 years old.

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The Army trains you mentally and builds character

Myrna: Wow, so somebody told you about hard work, you came to America and you worked. It's one of the things that immigrants do. You know, we're not lazy. You're trying to make it in this world and overworked yourself. Alright, but again, all our experiences in life are guiding us through something and what that you said in your bio. What you realized after this happened to you is that tomorrow is not promised and you should chase your dreams. So why did you decide to go in the, army?

Lusene: One of the main reasons I decided to join the, military, was because I wanted to challenge myself as an individual. Prior to joining the, army, I realized that I wasn't challenging myself while I was living my life. And one of the things I realized that a lot of successful people have trials and tribulation, but they get through things that challenge them.

I joined the, army, because I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that I was not mentally where I needed to be. I wanted to develop my character to become better. So that's one of the main reasons why I joined the, army. I think the, army, has been a blessing to me because it has helped me to be very resilient in everything that I do.

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Training the mind to become present

After I had the seizure, the doctors told me that I should give up on all my dreams because I was disabled and would stay on welfare since I would not be able to get a normal job. And that never resonated with me because I looked at myself in a mirror and, trained my mind, to become present. I said I did not come to this land of opportunity to be on, welfare.

So I challenged what the doctor told me. I started to, train the mind, with, meditation, until I was able to get off my seizure meditation.  I told the doctors  I did not want to stay on a seizure medication. I have a dream and I will return to the, army.

Another blessing was the fact that because I was in the, army, they paid for my medical bills which was over $350,000. I told my physical therapist, I can overcome this, I'm already, resilient. I've been through so much as a, refugee, so much, mental training, in the, army. I didn't come to America to collect a disability check.

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Training the mind to build character

Myrna: Your first goal was  that you recognized that you wanted to, train the mind, and you wanted to build your, character, and that's why you went into the, army. And I'm understanding why the doctor was thinking that you would always be on disability because normally the cause of a seizure is something mental. And maybe he diagnosed that you're always gonna have seizures.

Lusene: To, train the mind, to build, character, I asked myself:

  • How determined Are you?
  • How bad do you want to establish yourself?
  • How bad do you want to tell the world your story?
  • How bad do you want to write a book?
  • How bad do you want to set yourself up for success outside of the, army?

And that's where my, determination, came from because I kept on talking to myself.  I kept on repeating affirmations. I kept on turning down all the haters and naysayers that were saying I'm too young, I don't have any credibility. And one of the things I realized is how can you get, credibility, if you don't have a product? The best way to have, credibility, is what to get, credibility, so you have to start something.

Myrna: You were in the, army, and wanted to have a job outside the, military?

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Finding a product to build credibility

Lusene: Yes, I've always had multiple jobs even while I was in college. So I was never used to having one source of income, but it was a little difficult, with senior leaders constantly discouraging you and telling you that you cannot do this because you don't have the, credibility, because in the, army,  your rank is low.

Myrna: So what is it that you wanted to go after? Is that your credit consulting business?

Lusene: One of my ultimate dreams is to become the number one speaker on the planet, but the credit counselling business came very easy to me. I wanted to chase my dream of, entrepreneurship, and at the time, I didn't have a product.  So, I actually enrolled in Eric Thomas program, and one of the things he said was the best way to get credibility, was to write a book.

I started researching things that came very easy to me and, how to build credit, was very easy because I took my credit score from about 585 to 840 in 18 months. I realize this was an amazing accomplishment, and I said to myself, I have a skill that can teach other people. I started teaching people, how to build credit, for free and when I had 20 clients, I started charging and then eventually I went ahead and got certified. Check out my credit counselling course @

Myrna: Okay that's awesome, I love that determination.

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How the army trains the mind

You book is about, training your mind, to achieve your calling. How did the, army, train your mind?

Lusene: So this is how the, army, train the mind. When you first get into the, army, you go through this thing called reception and immediately they tell you drop your bags, and you have sergeants yelling at you telling you what to do trying to break you. They tell you this is what you're gonna do, they strip out all the civilian out of you. They now tell you, you are no longer a civilian. You are in the,  US army, you're a, soldier.

Now you're going to be told what to do. Once you have acknowledged that, some people don't, some people do. But once you have acknowledged that now they tell you to call your parents let them know you're safe. You're now in basic training. They're now telling you when to wake up, when to go to bed, when to have personal hygiene and all those things.

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Transform Your Mind PTWWN TV – Training Your Mind 

Why the army trains the mind

The reason why the, army, train the mind, is to condition you as a, soldier.  You're going to be told to execute missions from higher officers, so they start, training the mind, on accepting orders in basic training. The first thing that the, military teaches you, is you have an assigned weapon. When you have an assigned weapon, what that does is that teaches you how to take care of something that you're going to use to eventually kill someone.

So you're going to learn everything about that weapon, because at the end of the day, if you're deployed and your weapon jams, you have to know how to fix the malfunction. That could save your life.

After you learn how to take care of your weapon, you start training your legs. The, army, trains your mental toughness because they want you to be, resilient. They want you to be mentally fit, so when you're tired, you stay sharp. You're going through this training in the span of eight to nine weeks, where you're waking up at four in the morning, you're sleep deprived, and you haven't seen your family, you don't talk to your family, and you're constantly being challenged.

That is how the, army, train the mind. You're constantly waking up at 4 am in the morning, you're constantly going to bed exactly at 9 pm, you have to make up your bed. You have to make sure your bed is detailed. You have to make sure your laundry is done. You have to make sure your lockers are clean. Don't say these are small things. They're, train the mind, to be a, US soldier.

You can take those lessons and you can apply them in your personal life or whatever it is that you want to do in your career.

Myrna: I absolutely love it. I read a few books on the Navy Seals training, but they, train the mind, of every, soldier.

The Power of Determination: Training the mind to live your calling

Tell us about your book  why you wrote it and what you want the readers to walk away with.

Lusene: The book: The Power of Determination: Training the mind to live your calling  tells the story of what I went through as a, refugee, being abused by an uncle who was mentally and physically abusive, joining the, army, having a seizure while in the, army, and still ended up enrolling myself in a speaker program. I talk about my credit program and , how to build credit, and give steps to help you, repair your credit.

The power of Determination train the mind
The power of Determination: Train the mind to live your calling

The reason why you should get the book, it's a highlight my story of all the things that I went through, all the trials and tribulation, just to stay on course and stay, determined. I think one of the most important things in life is for you to literally, train the mind, to find your, calling. I wanted to, train the mind, to live my, calling, because I believe that every single one of us have a, purpose. We all have a, calling. And my, calling, is to inspire millions of people around the world by speaking. Check out Lusene on his website https://lusenedonzo.com/ and follow him on instagram @lusene2motivate

Additional Resources

Mindfulness: Training Your Mind to Be Present