<em>Flexibility is the Key to Strength in Times of Change</em>

Flexibility is the Key to Strength in Times of Change

Rigid comes from the Latin word rigere, which means be stiff.

Our current definition of Rigid is unable to bend or be forced out of shape.

It also means not able to be changed or adapted.

Dr. Susan David, the author of Emotional Agility, told me in an email once,

“Rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic.”


Life is a complex business.

Even when things are seemingly chugging along just fine, it’s interlaced like a finely spun spider web…tug on one string, it will ripple through the whole.

When things in life begin to change, and they will, one must remain, or at least, learn to become more flexible.

Flexibility is a difficult mindset to learn if everything in life has been viewed in terms of a rigid set of filters.

There are times when we need to be rigid in our standards, faith, and be uncompromising in our values…

But, even in those times when we are unyielding, can we remain teachable to a better way of being?

If our values and our faith are questioned, or perhaps life shakes our “faith tree”, will it break apart and rain down rigid, splintered shards of harsh denial, condemnation, or confusion that pierce us, and those around us?


Can we stand as a flourishing tree that moves and flexes with the wind, and yet remain solid and grounded at the same time and provide shelter to others?

This is an area that takes patience, openness, and humility to shed unhealthy rigidness.

It takes a willingness to learn and a certain amount of self-awareness to know ourselves and to identify those areas that our rigidness creates toxicity inside and outside of our lives.

Being flexible with life, ourselves, and with others, is a far more relaxed way of being.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Life Hack, Living Better, Reinvention, Self, Self-Improvement
<em>What Frankenstein Teaches Us About Life</em>

What Frankenstein Teaches Us About Life

I discovered a few years ago that I really enjoy older books.

It started when I picked up a copy of Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities—published in 1859. Later, I snagged a copy of  Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace—published in 1867.

Not long ago, I came across an old hardcover at a garage sale. Never heard of the author or the work before. It’s called Danger; or Wounded in the House of a Friend—copyright page has 1875—by T.S. Arthur. It’s a fictional take on a big issue at the time dealing with the excesses of alcohol and who takes responsibility for when someone gets drunk at your party and winds up getting killed in a tragic accident in the same night.

What I found interesting with Arthur’s book is that it mirrored much of what I had to deal with in my last career as a law enforcement officer.

The heart doesn’t change much, and though we are ever evolving, much remains the same on the inside.

Like someone once told me…

“The only difference between people today and 5,000 years ago, is that they used to ride camels then; today, we smoke ‘em.”

Hm. He had a point.

This past week, I started reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Published in 1818. Mary Shelly began writing Frankenstein when she was 18. Finished working on it when she was 20 years old. She’s also regarded as the Mother of the Sci-fi genre.

I’m halfway through it, and it’s a page turner for me.

Not that it’s on the edge of your seat type of story, but there’s much to appreciate with Shelly’s writing.

Word usage. Verbs. Adjectives. Structure of her story and the mechanics of her piece.

Outside of the inner workings of her writing and technique, there’s a human element that is constant in our lives; whether it’s fiction or reality.

And…I find that fiction seems to have more life lessons than some of the non-fiction I read.

Victor Frankenstein, our scientist in Shelly’s book, is overwhelmed when a couple of deaths happen, and he automatically attributes the deaths to the creature/monster he created.

Victor, in reflection of his life and the unfortunate circumstances he finds himself in, loathes the way his life has turned out. It’s not the life he envisioned when he set out from home.

Victor states in chapter 9…

“I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow beings. Now all was blasted; instead of that serenity of conscience which allowed me to look back upon the past with self-satisfaction, and from thence to gather promise of new hopes, I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe.

This state of mind preyed upon my health…”

Victor’s mental state mirrors many I’ve spoken with over the years…myself included.

We graduate high school and head off into adulthood with grand dreams, desires, and notions that we will do things better.

Then, life occurs.

And after time, we find that what should’ve been, turns into a monster we’ve created, and there’s no turning back.

Like Victor, we’re seized by guilt and remorse which begins to take a toll on us physically.

We’ve made a lot of monsters in life; bad decisions that just compounded upon the next.

The biggest mistake I see that Victor makes immediately after creating his monster is that he runs from it, and then pretends it doesn’t exist. It’s not until a whole year that lapses before he realizes that his creation is still alive.

The book is much different than the Boris Karloff movie I watched growing up.

The point is, Victor didn’t take responsibility for his actions.

We all have doubt, regrets, remorse, and guilt over the monsters we’ve created. For some, they still linger in a closest. That’s draining. It’s soul-sucking. The energy pours out quicker than anything when it is allowed to linger that way.

I have found is that shedding light into my inner world has taken care of the monsters.

Journalling, prayer, meditation, practicing gratefulness, being physically active, and surrounding myself with people that are not into gossip and drama have flung the doors wide open on otherwise dark and gloomy areas.

But then there’s the guilt and remorse. The side effects of a life lived.

This is where learning to love yourself comes into play and also being able to forgive yourself.

At some point, you have to decide what you’re willing to give your thoughts to.

It does no good, for you, or anyone around you, to keep conjuring up the past and dwelling therein.

Incorporating a grateful practice into daily life helped me to shift my focus onto things that are full of hope and life.

Journalling helped flesh out those things under the surface that pricked at me like needles that I didn’t have a clue what they were; no less could put a name on.

Prayer. Yes, I prayed for forgiveness, then I needed to forgive…those who I felt wronged me, violated me and left me for dead.

Then? Forgive myself.

Quieting my life to meditate or just spend time alone with my thoughts and feelings has done wonders in figuring out who I am these days and the direction I’m headed.

There are many routes to take, remember, it’s never just one thing; it’s a combination of things that help.

In the end, it’s a short journey, but it takes a life time to do, and honestly, I don’t want to be Victor.

<Photo Source-Pixabay>

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Change, Life Hack, Living Better, Reinvention, Self, Self-Improvement, Writing