Hello beeple people,
When working with clients who are transitioning in their career, I often use the following personal story to illustrate the importance of introspection during the transition process, a step we often underestimate. You will soon understand why humans are very much like pasta ;)
When I was little, staying over at my late nonna Angelina's house during the summer, there was nothing I'd love more than to see her pull out her big old wooden board. It meant magic was about to happen because it was the board on which she made all of her delicious creations: cookies, panettone, pizzelle, cakes and of course pasta. I immediately pushed a kitchen chair up to the counter for me to kneel on next to her, you know, to watch the master at work. I remember being particularly impressed with the pasta making since in no time, she made a perfect flour circle in which she cracked a few eggs. Not long after that, she was mixing in the flower with the eggs with a fork and in minutes she was working a beautiful pasta dough with her hands. Those strong yet gentle hands of hers. They knew exactly how much flour to sift on top and how much kneading the dough needed. She was concentrated and silent when she was kneading yet, it seemed so natural to her. I, of course, wanted to knead some dough too. So my nonna tore off a small piece of her dough ball for me to "work" with next to her. I was happy as a clam. Then came the weird part I never understood.
Once my grandma had made this perfect pasta ball, and I mean it was immaculate, she would cover it up with a bowl and leave it under there for some time. Seeing her do that, I had done the exact same with my not so perfect ball and hidden it under a smaller bowl. I never got what was happening under there and was always curious to know, so I would often go peak under the bowl. My nonna, who was supervising the process, saw me and always said "Lascia stare, la pasta deve riposare" which meant that the pasta needed to rest. "What? but why does the pasta need to rest? " I thought to myself. "Is it tired?" I went back and lifted the bowl once again to see what was happening thinking perhaps I would witness some sort of transformation. As though I was in a laboratory and was experimenting, I imagined maybe the pasta was changing shape or colour even! But I saw nothing. Just the beautiful ball of pasta sitting there looking the same as it did before. Disappointedly, I placed the bowl back down. I didn't get it... what are we waiting for? But somehow, I knew nonna's words made sense as this part was essential to the rest of the process in her pasta making. So I inevitably let the pasta be until it was done resting and it was ready to be uncovered. Then came out the rolling pin!
Unfortunately, many of us are simply too rushed. Rushed to jump into "action" and taking the time to reflect is often perceived as wasteful. Why fill out this self-evaluation questionnaire when one could be working on a resume? Why reflect when one could be actively applying. To which I respond "Go ahead, apply, but before you do, answer me this. What achievement are you most proud of? What are your career objectives? How would you describe your leadership style? " Usually, silence follows and my point has been made. How can you possibly be ready to apply for a job or to step into an interview no less when these simple questions remain unclear?
We are social creatures and consequently often too concerned by what others are doing: "If someone else is applying to a job, maybe I should too. " Even though we know it may not be the best of ideas for our situation. Let's go back to the pasta to get perspective. Did it care about being alone under a bowl? No. Did it care about what other pasta dough balls were doing? No. It did its own thing on its own and the heck with what everyone else is doing. It was working on what it needed period. It wasn't distracted by anything. Granted, it was under a bowl and didn't have facebook ;) but bottom line? Our own needs and that of our surroundings can be very different and sometimes, taking some time off to focus is important.
Introspection is action
You see, taking the time to consult ourselves and talk to ourselves IS being in the action. It is an imperative step, like the pasta's resting period, to calmly prepare our foundation in order to properly build our next move. If we skip it or do not take the time, we may succeed anyway, but not in the same way we would have had we invested in ourself more. The personal shift will not happen and the transformation will not be as significant, I guarantee it. See it this way: if you aren't willing to take the time in yourself, why should someone else? You are the most important person in your life before anyone else. Yes, that includes children as well. Can you pour from an empty cup? No, you can't. So how can you care for them if you are barely hanging on? That's why you have to put your oxygen mask on first in the plane and that is also why you need to take the time to rest and to silently work your magic first and you will find your energy and the answers afterwards. Especially when you don't think anything is happening...just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not happening. Like the pasta, the transformation is internal.
Thank you for all the wisdom Nonna! Sometimes we just need to "let it rest!". It seemed like all of life's answers were in her precious hands in those days. Now I realize, they are in mine as well; as they are in yours.
Eeeeeeeehh! Bee like pasta ya?! x
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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