Tuesday, January 7, 2014

adventures in alchemy query 6

How does one prepare to adapt?


  1. Evolutionarily speaking, one gets born adapted; it's not something done after the fact.

    So, extending that notion, it becomes a matter of finding the environment where one's already existent adaption fits. The tiger born underwater needs to get to somewhere with air, &c. So this makes me think i wouldn't prepare to adapt; I work towards or seek to find my niche, my place of adaptation.

    I'll leave it at this for now.

    1. Interesting perspective, Snow Leopard!


  2. I think we prepare to adapt by practicing our adaptation skills, however small or great. I think it is a challenge to take whatever life hands you, and try to see the beauty and goodness in it, however small it may be. I don't feel like I'm trying to push beauty in my life, or make sure everything has smiley faces painted on it, but I do know that when I am feeling balanced and centered and in the flow, this way of viewing life's wabi sabi imperfection as beauty comes effortless to me, and I enjoy it. It is a way I enable myself to be fearless. If I can always see the beauty in whatever life hands me, I have no need to live in fear of what the future may bring.

    A way of practicing adaptation skills, that I enjoy, is what I call life challenges. This is where I take a habit and put a constraint on it, and see how my life changes, and see how much I enjoy or dislike it. One of the first life challenges I did was to unplug my microwave. I found that I could replace it with a tea kettle, and not notice much in the quality of my life, and expand my limited kitchen counter space. It was a slippery slope.

    I went without a phone, and another time without a car. I tried not having a phone or a car, but that did not work well. I found when I did not have a car, I moved my body a lot more without trying. I also spent less money, because going to some big box on the outskirts of town is quite unappealing to me without the comfort of a car to shield me from all of the pavement and overwhelming sense of isolation. When I biked or walked, I tended to naturally take more notice of my surroundings. Life slowed down in a way I could appreciate.

    It's not really about taking things away, but altering them. What happens if I forage for one meal a day, or one meal a week or month? What happens if I pee in a bucket, and use it for fertilizer in my garden? What happens if I wipe with cloth instead of paper? What happens if I spend my time helping the folks in my community? What happens if I quit my job? What happens if I write every day? What happens if every time I am faced with a challenge, I do not say no, but yes?

    The constraints produce conditions inviting me to adapt. Sometimes, I really like the way my life has changed, and other times, not. This requires me to observe what is happening, and to be honest with myself about my feelings. I know this is not rocket science, but being present in my life and being honest with myself about the way I feel has been revolutionary to me. And it's been great practice!