What do two psychologists, a Scandinavian “lagom” champion, a terribly supportive award-winning techno GoT uber geek who escaped from the world of investment banking, a fashion designer and a lady called Daphne have in common?

Lucy Marks.

A few weeks ago, Lucy asked me to chair an event called Mind Your Own Business. Which, contrary to my initial suspicion, wasn’t about nosey neighbours.

When Lucy explained she had assembled her very own team of Avengers, the aforementioned characters, and the topic would be resilience in the workplace, I was delighted but…

Surely there was someone more qualified than me, a proper presenter type person I mean. That’s what went through my head. Imposter alert! Imposter alert! Imposter alert!

“And you want me to ask them questions?”

“Yes. You love a good question and you did a good job with George.”

Compliment alert! Compliment alert! Compliment alert!

There ensued an almighty internal struggle to suppress the standard British response of “Oh that, it was nothing really” or “Are you sure you haven’t confused me with someone with actual talent?”

I don’t know what possessed me, but instead, I deviated. I took the compliment square in the face and replied.

“I’d love too.”

And that was that. I won’t repeat what was said on the night, you can read the highlights on the Norfolk Network, but one thing that struck me afterwards was how hard it is to visualise something like resilience and other concepts relating to mental health and wellbeing.

Even if they have emotional or physical aspects, they are abstract, internal feelings and cognitive concepts. So, after seeing the artwork Darren Leader created to promote the event, I had a chat to Daisy, one of our illustrators come designers come animators.

All I asked was how she would illustrate the word resilience. And this is what she came up with…

A side profile of a woman's face and a series of images inside the brain showing someone pulling a rock up a mountain.

And then we chatted some more. How would you illustrate supporting someone who’s going through a tough time? And this is what she came up with…

A side profile of a man's face showing an image inside the brain of someone holding a brolly over a friend in the rain.

And then, I remembered something one of the panellists, Marie Oakes I think, said on the night about finding time to take care of ourselves. And this is what Daisy came up with…

It’s true, a picture does paint a thousand words, and maybe these illustrations will help us give a shape, colour and texture to our thoughts and emotions. Help us make more sense of something that can be hard to put your finger on.

Then again, sometimes, one word can say it all:

Love.
Hate.
Give.
Take.
Try.
Fail.
Crash.
Burn.
Try.
Again.
Fail.
Safe.
Live.
Learn.
Survive.
Thrive.

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