A Trent Voices/TRENT Magazine Exclusive
When Being OK is Enough: An Interview with Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe ’00

The summer edition of TRENT Magazine featured an excerpt from Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe’s newest book, Calm Within the Storm: A Pathway to Everyday Resiliency. As a bonus feature, we present this audio interview. For more, including the book excerpt, please see the online version of the magazine: https://mycommunity.trentu.ca/trentmagazine

Dr Robyne Dafoe for trent news storyTrent University alumna and professor Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe’s newest book, Calm Within the Storm: A Pathway to Everyday Resiliency, couldn’t have come at a better time. Focusing on how to overcome adversity through self-acceptance and self-alignment, it contains themes and messages that are sure to reverberate in these difficult pandemic times.

As a sought-after public speaker and lecturer specializing in resiliency, Dr. Hanley-Dafoe delves into navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness. Described as transformational, engaging, and thought-provoking, her keynotes provide practical strategies grounded in global research and case studies that help foster resiliency within others and ourselves. In Calm Within the Storm, she builds on this sustainable model for everyday resiliency, identifying the obstacles that derail us and keep us from moving on in our lives.

For Dr. Hanley-Dafoe, resiliency is how individuals emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually make it through challenging circumstances.

“Often, resiliency is referred to as bouncing back or moving forward,” she said in a recent Trent Voices podcast interview. “But for me, it’s more of a whole embodied way of being able to navigate our lives, with the inevitable ebbs and flows that we are going to face. Resiliency is a full experience: it’s what we think, how we behave. It’s the next right decision that we make.”

Her message in Calm Within the Storm is both simple and achievable: that the ultimate goal of everyday resiliency is to foster a deep and personal sense of being “okay.”
Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe sitting
“Being okay is one of the most forgotten places that we can strive to be. What I mean is that we live in cultures, and have been conditioned to believe, that we are supposed to be faster, smarter, richer, better, more successful. We’re always supposed to be at that top echelon of human performance and functioning. We can’t just be a great parent; we have to be the best parent. We can’t just be a good staff member; we have to go above and beyond as the norm.”

When it came to Calm Within the Storm, Dr. Hanley-Dafoe wanted to create a sense of reckoning.

“I want people to be okay. This does not mean being average. It does not mean soft or in the middle. It means wholeheartedly showing up where you know what you stand for, you know what matters most to you, you choose to make what matters most. Maybe not everyone is going to follow suit or necessarily see it the same way you do; but you know, wholeheartedly, that you live by your values and that you are okay. Which means some days you do more, some days you might do less. But, ultimately, it’s the idea that you are your own person and you show up in a way that is meaningful and purpose-filled for the life you choose to live.”

Dr. Hanley-Dafoe is an instructor and faculty advisor in the Trent University School of Education, an instructor in Psychology, and a senior educational developer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. She was named the 2018 recipient of the Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation as well as the 2015 Award for Excellence in Teaching.

                                                        Calm Within the Storm was released on March 23rd and is available at bookstores everywhere.
Dr Robyne Dafoe's new book