There are tasks that get done according to others’ whims or habits. Vacuuming. Gift-wrapping. Making hospital-corners. Meanwhile, there are things that I prefer to do according to my whims or habits. Packing groceries. Recycling. Folding laundry. Feeding my cats. When it comes to each of these particulars, you could say, “I’m married to it.”

Years ago at a company far, far away, I was working in the advertising department and needed to acquire a camera-ready item from a colleague. She came to me to explain the current predicament at hand and to ask me, with trepidation, if if she could responded to my request in about an hour. I had no immediate deadline and told her that would be fine. “I’m not married to it!” I said Her immediate and palpable relief made a deep impression on me. How else could I relieve people of the pressure to cope with demands and decisions? My agenda in life then evolved with an awareness about control and FLEXIBILITY.

Control is not without merit. We thrive with a sensible degree of order and efficiency. And when other people interfere with our familiar, if not reasonable, whims and habits, we may feel uncomfortable, annoyed, defensive. The question becomes… When do our control patterns become neurotic, meaning, they serve(d) a purpose but have become irrelevant and even obstructive. For example, I turn on the outside lights at night and turn them off in the morning. My housemate turns off the outside lights at night once we are all home. The disparity in our habits required a very mindful adaptation on my part. But my habit is essential irrelevant.

FLEXIBILITY presents opportunities to let go of control patterns, and I far prefer the lack of attachment to whims and habits that have become irrelevant. However, lack of attachment poses challenges in any situation in which “I’m married to it.” I cannot control the manner in which someone packs my groceries. Innumerable people fail to recycle properly (maybe even me). If I wish to, I may re-fold my clothes following someone else’s attempt. When I go on vacation, I can only leave instructions on how to feed my cats. At some point I need to let go.

How do you manage control and FLEXIBILITY?

If you would like to learn more about control patterns and FLEXIBILITY, please contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation, and I will guide you in the evolution of your adaptability.

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