"Irwin, trying to fix your problems, as you put it, can often cause us more frustration and can actually make the problems seem worse. A wise frog adapts himself to his circumstances just as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. I believe your human friends might say, going with the flow." I hadn't really thought about it in that light, but it did make sense and, too, would make my life easier if I wasn't struggling to make it conform to MY wishes. "Dharma, learning to go with the flow doesn't come naturally to some of us, I'm speaking about me specifically. How do I learn to let go of trying to control the outcome of the things that are troublesome to me?" Dharma smiled and replied, "It isn't easy for anyone, Tadpole, to let go...even me, but here are a few helpful tips that I hope will ease your struggle. It starts with remembering these three facts; 1. Like it or not, circumstances are always changing. 2. Other frogs (people, too) are always changing. 3. We, ourselves, are always changing. Knowing that change is inevitable, here are a few things to ponder that can make "going with the flow" a little easier.
1. Recognize your biological predisposition to change. Frogs start out as an egg, Then we become tadpoles. Finally, we mature into adult frogs. We don't think about these changes. They just happen and we take them for granted. Human change and evolve too, plus their brains a moldable, as well. it's called neuroplasticity. People learn habits, both good and bad. This means that their brains can also learn new and better ways of doing things, of looking at their problems. frogs can do that, too. We are, all of us, adaptable to change; physically and mentally. if we weren't. We wouldn't have it hard-wired into us.
2. Learn to make adaptability a habit in itself. Adaptability is, really, only thinking. Neural pathways get formed when we do and think the same things repeatedly, We can, however, take a new path. It's as easy as doing something that's out of our comfort zone a little. If old ways of dealing with problems aren't working for us. Then wouldn't it be wise to try something else? We can call it intentional thinking. And all that means is thinking before acting. It's easy for frogs and humans to run on autopilot. it's not so easy to stop and think about what we are doing or what we are thinking. But that, my boy, is how we escape our bad habits and poor judgment. So, becoming more adaptable requires recognition of its possibility, a change in attitude and finally, a commitment. Think of it as clearing a new path to hop on. While it can take time and effort to clear away the debris, once it's completed we can see and experience a world of new things....new possibilities spring up before us.
3. Commit to time and repetition. Everybody can change. That means you, too. It's a fact that some people have a harder time with change that do other. Our thinking affects our behavior and our behavior influences our thinking. It's an endless loop that will continue to play unless we consciously choose to change it. We must learn to work consciously to change our thought processes. We can, in time and with a little effort, change those neural pathways and thus become more adaptable. Adapting to change requires time and repetition. You will fail, of that you can be sure. But failure simply means another opportunity to get it right. A piano students just sit down one day and flawlessly play a difficult piece. they struggle and practice day after day, correcting their mistakes until they get it correct. The we think and act in specific and conscious ways, the stronger your neural pathways become. Adapting to change becomes easier. maybe even pleasurable! Adaptability is really about adopting the attitude that we can change. Once we do this, life becomes easier and less stressful. We can flow with the situation presented to us, just as water can adapt to some very strangely-shaped containers.
Dharma isn't just wise. he is also a wonderful guest. For after my lesson this week, he stayed and helped me tidy up my kitchen. After he hopped away, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't automatically freak out when I was presented with an uncomfortable situation or problem. I would choose to look at it as an opportunity to evolve and grow. I can adapt to new situations. I can do it! (And so can you.)
I invite you back tomorrow for another blog. Until then, I wish each of you a glorious day, filled with love and PEACE.