Whenever I enter a period when I feel like I’m juggling more things than normal…or that life is more of a blur…or that my nice, orderly chaos is getting a bit unruly…heck, whenever the proverbial wrench gets thrown into the system…I think back to one of my Regina-ism’s… “Don’t be flexible. Be fluid.”
Usually you’ll hear a nice motivating speech about being flexible. The only problem with this analogy is that no matter how flexible something is, it will always reach a breaking point. Being fluid is a little different. It’s about going with the flow. When I was first introduced to this mindset I was told to picture a river. No matter what gets thrown in a river’s path, it will find a way around it. It finds the path of least resistance and goes with the flow. Being fluid is also about adapting. Liquid has this amazing ability to immediately conform to and fill the container in which it is placed. That’s more than just being flexible!
If I was in super snarky mode, I’d point out that even if something is flexible, it will ultimately return to its starting position. In contrast, being fluid implies moving forward…constant change…continuous improvement. And a river is a change agent and great source of power in its own right.
Ready for the geeky side track? Brace yourself and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Eru (“The One”) or Iluvatar (“Father of All”) created Middle Earth—the world of the Lord of the Rings saga. The cool thing is that he created through music. His song brought things into being. The first beings he created (the rough equivalent to angels) were called Ainur and were invited to join in the music and help Eru with the whole creation process. Of course one of them (Melkor) was a nasty fellow, and kept adding dissonant notes into the otherwise lovely chords. But instead of marring or de-railing the song, Eru kept finding ways to take the dissonance and turn it into something harmonious. This of course frustrated Melkor, but it takes me back to the idea of being adaptive…being fluid…and not letting one “wrong” note ruin something beautiful. In fact, I find that some of the most beautiful moments in music are resolved out of some kind of dissonance.
Anyway, the next time you feel like you’re bending under pressure, that your camel can’t take any more straws, or you experience the wonderful surprise of an unexpected obstacle or addition into your regularly scheduled program.... change your mental picture.
Don’t be flexible. Be fluid.
You might just end up with something beautiful.