Monday, March 19, 2012

Stretch Yourself

Sometimes we get frozen in rigidity. We get so focused on a pattern or routine we hate to vary it. Why is that? Is it because anything that isn't in our normal routine might cause questioning - discomfort - nervousness? It's always easier to stay in our ruts, and we all have them. But the thing about ruts is that if we walk in them long enough they become our graves.

Sometimes we need to learn to stretch, to go out of our comfort zone, reach for something new. If I'm a first baseman on a baseball team and I stand by the base, stiff and rigid I'll never catch the ball unless it's thrown into my glove with undeviating accuracy. However, if I keep one foot on the base, bend my knees, be prepared to stretch, reach, jump if necessary, I can catch the ball thrown to me at almost any trajectory. I guess the point is, how many of life's balls will I catch if I'm rigid and unyielding? How many will I catch if I stretch and move?

Of course, I'm not suggesting we all take up Pilates or yoga to become more flexible, but I would suggest we practice Mind-Pilates, or something along those lines. We can learn to become more accepting and relaxed in our patterns, make our lives less about rigid structure and learn to "go with the flow".

Learning to be more open doesn't mean becoming a doormat and it certainly doesn't mean ignoring your moral code. But it does involve learning how to engage with life as it comes, in each moment, rather than focusing on baggage of the past of fear of the future. We are usually more hard on ourselves than anyone else, so relax, stretch yourself in new ways and enjoy life a little more.

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