We live in a gray world. It’s true in everything: diet, exercise, thoughts, emotions, health or lack of health. I believe, at times we can be too rigid which compelled me to write this article. Yes, sometimes it’s called for but, for the most part, our mentality and intent should be flexibility.
“Consider being flexible like a tall, stately palm tree in a hurricane.”
I have found that trauma and experience can take us from seeing life as black and white to a more flexible gray. There was a point in my life when I had no choice but to change my thinking. I literally felt that I was either going to die or heal this 100%. In moments like this, we need to be open to whatever might help us. This requires flexibility. When choosing to grow and change it has led me to great freedom and joy. This decision required me to not accept status quo…worrying about money, job, etc. I had to re-evaluate things and stay away from the thought of lack and the fear of losing or missing something. Focusing on the journey of my healing kept me from slipping back.
Causes of Inflexibility
Many things can contribute to an unyielding attitude. For many of us, we have taken on generational energy and don’t even realize it. These can be beliefs we have taken on or were taught growing up. Insecurity, fear or the thought of lack can also contribute to rigid mentality. I believe another big instigator would be “the shoulds” or expectations that society places on us and the expectations we place on ourselves.
Setting Yourself Free!
In my own personal journey, these are some of the steps I take when I find myself in a rigid state.
- Take Inventory. Become aware of where you are at. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment. Are you enjoying life? Your job, family, friends? It’s important to recognize and be real with where we are and what we have become.
- Be Realistic. Depending on the person; this can vary. Slow, constant improvement is okay! Remember, you never know how deep rooted something is. Layers can take a lifetime to peel away.
- Recognize the Small Changes. This one is HUGE! Notice even the little areas of improvement. I had a patient in my office the other day. We were talking about mix-matched socks. She said she could never wear them! In her desire to move from a black & white mentality to being more flexible, I encouraged her to go out and buy mix-matched socks and wear them. This might not seem like a big step but its one move closer to accepting flexibility.
We have a tendency to go back to our routines and habits. Reminders like this help us get out of the groove. We can simply begin by:
- Setting the intent to be flexible and understand that through the process the intent can change.
- Be genuine and open. Recognize that everyone is on this journey in life. No one has yet to “arrive” and we all know that about ourselves. If we can be real with each other; there would be no reason to manipulate.
With everything in life, I want to encourage you to be open. Life brings us hope and healing every day. It is up to us to see it, embrace it and learn from it.
Enjoying the journey,