This month I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of how polarized our society seems. The nominations process has highlighted some aspects of this. We are presented with information as if there is one way to success. In the news, advertisements and even self-help type books ideas are presented as if there is a single solution to a broad range of issues.
A colleague friend of mine discussed polarity management and emphasized the importance of not relying too heavily on one side. She demonstrated this with a discussion of inhale and exhale. When we focus just on one of these, we end up short of breath. For a complete breath we need the inhale and the exhale. The importance of the “And.”
Here are a few examples of when holding onto one pole has tripped me up
- Flexible – Structured
- Classic – Trendy
- Deep – Superficial
- Being present – Caught up in the past or future
Flexible, it is important in life to be flexible, and when I was too flexible I ended up feeling like I was turning myself inside out and lost a sense of self. This was part of my experience of burnout, contributing to my low self-value. I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t realize that I had compromised my own values to the point of no longer valuing what I was doing, or at least how I was doing it.
Structured, it’s important to set boundaries. At UConn’s commencement ceremony May 8, 2016, the class speaker spoke about the importance of being organized as an antidote for being overly flexible. (You can hear Glenda Riley about 37 minutes into the program.) It’s beneficial to keep to a schedule, put things in their place so they can easily be found and to be aware of expectations. Without structure not much gets done and the foundations for your life are weak. But, if you plan every minute and just stick to your schedule and expectations, you can miss out on spontaneity.
Classic, it’s great to know that I can have something that will last and/or can be worn forever. And yet, sometimes I don’t need to buy the item that is for any and all time. Trendy can be fun, perhaps it is even a way to enjoy the present more.
No need for me to go on. What is a seeming polarity that trips you up? Leave a comment.
These polarities offer paradoxes, seeming opposites that can exist and benefit us when together. Each of us has a unique balance of when these types of opposite poles work in harmony and best serve us. They are not equally weighted in our lives. For people working in healthcare there needs to be a lot of structure, and yet each patient requires a certain amount of flexibility for the best outcomes. How do you manage the opposite poles and pulls in your life? When do you notice the power of the “AND”?
To transform polarity into paradoxes that work for you, contact me.
Revitalize Your Life,
Dina, 203.744.YOU3 (9683), Well-Being Coach
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