The Power of Flexibility: Increasing Your Own Well-Being
If you think I am talking about how much you can bend or stretch your body, touch your toes or how much range of motion you have, you would be only partially right. The more flexible our body is, the better able we are to preform our everyday tasks with ease. As we age, we know that this is an important aspect that helps preform the things we want to do with less pain and discomfort.
Since we know that physical flexibility keeps us healthy, so does mental flexibility. By that I mean the ability to be able to consider many ways to overcome an obstacle, the ability and willingness to change how we think about things so that we can move from our old ways of thinking and doing things to embrace something new. All of us can get stuck in the way we have always done something but that seldom serves us well.
Most of the limits we have in life are self-imposed. We make and create ways of being that can keep us stuck in a pattern of behaving and thinking that does not serve us. Every time we do that, we limit our life. For example, I find that I like things in my house to be a certain way. However, when family come to visit for an extended visit the house looks like a tornado hit it. I used to get crabby and upset that everything was in such a mess so I would focus my energy to restore order, missing the fun of enjoying my family. I had not realized how stuck I was in having to have things a certain way until I felt the discomfort of not being present for my family. When you look at your own places you might also see behaviors or thinking that have kept you stuck and not able to move forward. Especially as we get older, it is easier to say I just won’t do that anymore, rather than to look for ways that you can do what you want.
One of the most powerful tools that we have in our personal growth toolbox is the opportunity to change our perspective. In essence, with every obstacle before us, we can stay stuck where we are, or we have the opportunity to move forward: it is always up to us. In other words, change your perspective, change your life.
Keep in mind that we live in a faced paced world, so our ability to transform what we are given every moment is our greatest skill and most treasured asset. Learn to recognize the places where you have emotional discomfort and rather than accepting or fighting the feeling, take a moment to STOP and name what you are feeling and be grateful for the chance to change it. PAUSE to take some deep breaths and let yourself find a calm place where you can REFLECT. With a journal in hand or a piece of paper, make a list of what is happening in your life that is causing issues for you. Try your best to stay out of the story of what is happening by making the list as simple and true as you can. It is the story that we create that keeps us stuck more than the actual event.
When you are ready, TAKE A STEP. For each item on the list, ask yourself what you need to make a positive change. Ask yourself what mindset or perspective would help you take a small step forward and then do it.
When life happens, we must adjust our sails and find new ways to navigate our lives that will open us to possibility, rather than limiting what we can do or accomplish. It is so not so much about what are circumstances are now, but more about the mindset that anything can and does happen when we open ourselves to possibility.
I believe with each choice; we are making our own possibilities. Just remember, never underestimate the power of your choices, as they propel you forward or hold you back.
When choices are made from a place of what is possible, rather than limitations, we add energy to the process by creating many paths to reach the same place. I have found that each step taken, it leads to the next when er are open to what is possible, and that that can lead us to new ways of thinking and acting that will increase our overall well-being.