“Adaptability does not prioritize drastic change over fierce rigidity. Adaptability is the conversation within us between stability and change, between continuity and innovation. It is the marriage of our fundamental needs for security and adventure. Adaptability is our ability to bend and come back to center over and over again, increasing our flexibility each time, whether we’re in our daily stretch or the fight of our lives. And the more we practice becoming adaptable, the more we can tolerate change and harness its power.” Esther Perel
I love this quote. Adapting is sometimes seen as being about constant change and a lack of stillness, the metaphor of bending and coming back to centre, even as that centre itself adjusts and moves is a powerful one to me.
We are not trees, we are not rooted to the one spot. We can move and flex. As we do so, keeping our sense of groundedness is essential, otherwise we become a will-o-the-wisp, we can lose our sense of ourselves in our quest to adapt and fit in to ever changing circumstances or being acceptable to other people.
In NLP we say they who are the most flexible have the most influence. Again, yes, but only if they also know who and what they are, and what they wish to influence! To hold ourselves lightly we first need a strong sense of the self we are holding, so that we can willingly evolve and grow.
The last few years have been so filled with change, with vastly different experiences, with old assumptions falling away and the uncertainty of life being thrown so sharply into contrast. It is destabilising and hard to cope with for any of us. And it’s clear the change will continue, we are not shifting from one stable state to another, the situation is fluid and the direction of travel unclear.
Within this, finding our own centre and energising from it is essential. Regular stillness, inner reflection, management of our own internal ways of being are critical, when there is so much that may feel out of our control.
Perel poses a lovely question in her blog on this subject. She asks ‘what is a part of yourself you need to break up with?’ I love this. It got me reflecting on what used to fit that no longer does, what I might gracefully leave behind as I create and move forwards. The thing is with breaking up, inside or out, it is best done with love and gratitude, and a heart full of the memories of the good times. Then, we can let go with a full heart, and step forwards open to what might come next.
How do you want to extend your flexibility? And where do you most feel your own centredness?