Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stretching To Your Potential ~ Why It Feels As Good As Going To Yoga

When we sit too long we get stiff, our muscles rebelling from long hours of little movement, crying out for the nourishment of blood flow, begging for the movement that is natural to them. Our minds and souls are no different... without daily movement we stagnate, falling prey to inertia and negativity.

So what can we do to stretch our minds and souls? To give them as good a workout as we would like to give our bodies?

One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to have an open mind. You don't have to agree with an opinion to have an open and honest appreciation for what is being said and how it might differ from your own opinion. By searching out alternative viewpoints to our own and examining how the differences we are forced to stretch and contemplate the bigger picture.

Picking a subject you would like to know about and making a practice of learning more is a great way to stretch. Knowledge is like paddling in a small inlet. You can go in circles over and over or you can risk pushing your boat down a channel to explore the banks of a new estuary. The excitement of finding that new safe place could very well lead to finding the ocean, a marvelous way to set the course for new found enjoyment or perhaps even a new career.

Allow yourself self-care. We all do the basics to take care of our bodies like daily showers and tooth brushing but what about a periodic massage or reiki treatment? Your muscles hold not only physical memory but emotional memories, too. Anyone that has had a spasm in a muscle once injured in an accident knows the memories that can resurface. Alternative treatments like deep tissue massage or reiki can help move that energy and complete the emotional healing that may not have been finished in the physical healing.

Practice selflessness. Helping others is a great way to not only make a difference in the world but learn new skill sets. What do you like to do that you could share with others? I've always loved horseback riding and now give time at a local horse sanctuary. Cleaning stalls is a meditative process for me, I make a difference in the lives of 31 horses who would have gone to slaughter if not for this non-profit and in the process am learning to train and care for these wonderful animals. In working here I have been able to create an awareness among my peers to the plight of unwanted equines and been able to make a difference that way also.

Who are the most alive people you know? The ones who sit in the safety of the light from their TV night after night or the ones proactive in maximizing their time in pursuit of their passions?
Taking risks are an important part of being alive and and feeling that energy, too. It doesn't have to be daily but periodically it is good for your soul to take that leap and do something that you would love but think you can't or maybe something that is even a bit scary. It allows your vibration to raise, and shows you that you can achieve more than you thought possible.