One of my supervisor's favourite stories is about how lobsters grow. It turns out this humble hard-shelled animal can teach us a thing or two about how to cope with stress.
My supervisor is not the only person who likes this story, so does Rabbi Twersky. One day he was sitting in the dentists, and picked up an article about how lobsters grow. At first he thought "I don't care how lobsters grow!" but he was interested and so he read on.
This is a slightly edited version of what he learnt about lobsters,
A lobster is a soft mushy animal that lives inside a rigid shell. That rigid shell does not expand, so how can the lobster grow?
This idea is very much like the Learning Zone Model by Senninger.
We need some stress in order to be able to grow.
One thing Rabbi Twerski doesn't mention in his story, is that for the lobster to grow it must also make itself vulnerable.
When a lobster first emerges from the old shell, its new shell is soft and offers little protection. It can take several hours before it reaches its full size and for the shell to start hardening.
You may also like Brene Brown's TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability, looking at how key vulnerability is for living a rich and full life.
Just like lobsters, vulnerability and stress are key ingredients in enabling us to grow.
main picture by Fotoredaktion drs.online
Would you like help to grow?
I am an experienced counsellor in private practice in the Southampton area of England, UK. Counselling is like the rock lobsters hide under when shedding their shells. It creates a safe space to allow you to be vulnerable so you can grow.