When we think of what it means to stretch, the first thing that comes to mind might be stretching the body. Yes, this is important, but what is more important is how we stretch, not what we stretch. The how, informs all that we can stretch, i.e., our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our beliefs and the list goes on. If we can learn to create Self-honoring stretches with curiosity, intention and skill, we will surely open new doors to a higher level of experience.
Let's begin with curiosity. Why? Because it is a playful energy. As adults, when we stretch our minds, bodies or lives, we are usually pretty serious and "linear" about it. We already have the end-goal in mind, and in general, we are already sure how to get there and are in a hurry to achieve the end result. Yet the quality of our experience can be negatively effected by that seriousness. Bringing in curiosity gives flexibility, by offering a more non-linear experience with greater spontaneity. This sparks joy and entertains "I wonder, what could be." It enlivens and lightens the quality of a stretch with a sense of openness and wonder.
Now, let's look at intention. This is good place to focus on, because if we can broaden our intention as we stretch, we can learn and grow on more levels. For instance, if your intention is to stretch your willpower and let go of sugar or caffeine, you will only "see" the results of that limited intention. If you instead broaden that out to "how would my life change if I incorporated more clean, nourishing food and drink?" Here, you would be getting a more holistic sense of information about what this stretch is bringing forth for you to see and experience on multiple levels. This way, the success feels "bigger," more meaningful and gives a more global result. You also get to know yourself better, by noticing and notating with compassionate detachment, the fruit of these Self-honoring stretches.
When we stretch with skill, we invite other considerations. Doing so, we are moving with awareness as we create and activate our stretch. We are attending to each moment or element with a keen observation, providing a high level of quality and care that we are taking as we move along this path. We cloak our stretch with our highest quality energy; and that means intellectual, emotional and physical in a holistic sense. Skill means we move more deliberately into the unknown with a high level of precision, attentive awareness, integrity, and an openness to what is being revealed. We make appropriate adjustments and give appropriate amounts of time to learn/achieve or adapt to where we wish to go.
The beauty of using Self-honor in our stretches of the intellect, career, physical, bodies, hearts or beliefs, is that they will hold greater value as providers of information and experience. These are what will nourish our vast abilities to grow a Self-honoring lifestyle, and how we continue to rise and expand in our stretches of personal growth. As we choose to stretch with Self-honor, incorporating curiosity, intention and skill, we may just find that these are indeed the choices that open us up to not only our own infinite capacity, but the joys of infinite possibility. This is the most important stretch of all, the stretch of life.
I hope you enjoyed this week's blog on stretching with Self-honor. I'll see you soon with our next topic!
Always for YOU®
Karen Palaszek, founder, Quiet Mountain Wellness