Be like a tree. Trees stay rooted and keep growing, adapting to the conditions around them. These are challenging times, which means that we are all doing our best to navigate the challenges presented to us.
There is a difference between adapting and changing. Adapting keeps the same core principles, but stays flexible on the details. For a tree, the core principle is to stay rooted and grow toward the sun. It is flexible about the exact location of the branches and roots. Change would be letting go of the goal, and there are times when that is called for. Adaptation, though, is a way to continue to move forward through challenges.
We have all made a lot of adaptations in the last year. We have adapted to wearing masks, washing our hands more often, and postponing travel where we can. This has been especially relevant for parents of younger kids, who are not only adapting for themselves, but also supporting their children through these adjustments.
There are ways for us to stay rooted through this process. A lot of our adaptations have been focused on our outward experience as we have moved to video calls, more screen time, and other technological solutions. And yet, so much of our relating is done non-verbally. How do we adapt so that the limitations of our technology don’t dictate to us? How can we engage instead?
We ourselves are also technology. We can intentionally adapt if our awareness is big enough to grow toward that. And sometimes we need help. We need support and can ask for it! Growing our own human technology begins by staying in relationship. We then move through a process, within the container those relationships create.
Being like a tree means growing and adapting, even through the challenges. It means becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. When we allow space for discomfort, we are able to engage with what is going right, what is broken, and what needs to adjust.