Chef Evan Funke of the restaurant Felix in CA was recently interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts. At one point, Funke spoke to the secret of a good pasta dough: it needs to have balanced qualities of extensibility and elasticity, it needs to be able to be stretched and then, to return in. Swung too far in either direction, the dough doesn’t work- it doesn’t hold together or it’s too brick-like. Like a good dough, we too need to strike this balance to be able to reach and rebound.
Extensibility: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”― Pablo Picasso
When we think about stretching or growing ourselves, we are in the extensibility frame. This is where we may go beyond our “comfort zones” and familiar territories. We will most likely experience anxiety, apprehension, excitement, and an adrenaline rush as we creep beyond our limits. We need grounding forces and cues of safety to keep us in our ventral vagal or productive sympathetic state. We may take a photo or stone to rub when we go to interview for a new job. We may talk to a friend before taking a test. We take a few moments for deep breaths and stretches before the start of the race. We take a moment alone in quiet before walking down the aisle. Working through these stretch states shifts something within us-how we see, understand, or experience the world.
Elasticity: “If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”― Masaru Emoto
Elasticity brings us back to center and returns us to something that feels more familiar, even if we are now experiences it with new lenses. In American culture, we are not as encouraged to do this, to come back to stillness, to retract and not force our way through, which is unfortunate as this is a critical part of living a connective and intentional life. In these slower, stiller places we continue to thrive through freshness- fresh air, fresh conversation, fresh perspectives- and momentum- motion, movement, and ritual- even though we are not over-stretching our capacity.
B’well therapists embrace this understanding of reach and rebound, appreciating where we stretch for our goals while also valuing the pull back to center that can reset and recharge us.
We don’t approach therapy from a linear framework that expects a person to only move in one direction. Our job, our work, our deep desire is to provide space where people can find a flow through this growth-experience of pushing outward and pulling inward. We find the best way to do that incorporates creativity, vision, music, movement, breath work, imagination, sometimes a didgeridoo…
To start finding your flow and creating more balance, get in touch with us today. We’re here and we can’t wait to join you in this work.