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By Mary P. Shriver

As a Certified TRE Facilitator and massage therapist, I help my clients learn how to manage everything from everyday stress to deeply held trauma. I’ve found that most of my clients are stuck in a rut of trying to will themselves out of stress, pain, or disease, falsely believing they can fix their symptoms by trying harder, figuring it out, or simply being better. They’ve grown up in a bootstrap society, where the message is to pull yourself together. After all, this world doesn’t have time for you to fall apart!

So when I begin to teach my clients about resilience, they often confuse it with two other resources they have been taught to rely on, strength and stamina.

Strength is about harnessing one’s internal resources to meet a specific demand. Stamina is about enduring strength over time. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a stress or challenge.

Notice that strength and stamina both require system effort and sustained activation. Of course, we sometimes need to draw upon our inner physical or psychological strength in a time of stress. And perhaps we may need to keep pushing ourselves over certain periods of challenge. But our bodies are not designed to handle consistent, persistent high activation. The ongoing demand on our resources over time will eventually fatigue the system and the weaker parts of the system will fail. If our systems do not rest, reset, and restore, somewhere, sometime, something’s gonna give. Typically that something is our health and wellbeing.

Today more than ever, pushing oneself to the limits is a condition some wear as a badge of honor. I think of the mom who brags about being relentlessly busy, or the workaholic who is proud of the long hours they keep, or the extreme athlete who strives for eight-pack abs. Some of us, like me, have been all three! Unfortunately, this brand of relentless pushing with no breaks eventually sends us over the proverbial cliff. We see evidence of this all over the place: the mom is a zombie by the end of the day, the workaholic spends their vacation time sick with the flu, and the athlete cross-fits their way right into surgery.

So how do we sustain ourselves with these built-in limitations? We cultivate resilience. At TRE Los Angeles we believe that resilience is the key to unlocking our ability to survive and thrive. We teach clients how to honor the system’s need for rest, recuperation, and regulation. We help them cultivate inner peace and wellness on an emotional and physical level. And we resource our clients with a suite of tools designed to build resilience and capacity.

The result is a personal, and our ultimate goal, a global shift from struggle and stress, to lightness, care, and ease.

For more information or to book an appointment with Mary, call 323.254.7775 or email info@trelosangeles.com.


  • Leckey Harrison

    I like those distinctions, Mary. I have discovered a couple things relative to healing trauma. Developing the physical strength and stamina seems correlative to inner healing. As I started out with TRE, I then jumped into fitness, but injured myself repeatedly. I hadn’t mastered (or transferred) self-regulation, and I have to consider my age. Once I started to master self-regulation, and transfer that art, I could add the strength and stamina, and self-regulation there helps maintain the ability to bounce back from, and even prevent, the injuries I might get developing strength and stamina.

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