It has taken a visit to the physiotherapist to remind me that I could stretch more. Adhering to advice, I am feeling 20 years younger or thereabouts ;) and as a consequence have resolved to stretch more...in body, mind and heart.
Taking you from where you are to somewhere new, untested, unknown, unfamiliar.
Going up to those limits and exceeding them.
Leaning into where there is discomfort but also leeway.
Breathing into previously fixed boundaries and seeing them dissolve.
Noticing the pain but also the potential.
Accepting the awkwardness, clumsiness and tension and moving through it to find new areas of ease, flexibility and possibility.
As I challenged a board last week, do your 2014 objectives include a stretch? We can take our cue from Collins and Porras and set Big Hairy Audacious Goals, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.
And in your day to day actions, moment to moment choices can you stretch? It can take unlimited forms. It may involve...
- resolving to sit on your mediation cushion, resisting that urge to get up and go
- increasing your speed, distance, intensity, variety on your exercise routine
- choosing an hour of play or study over an hour of work
- gathering the courage to speak up or the serenity and openness to listen
- investing time and money in a new idea, project, hobby
- having that conversation
- doing what you have never done or not doing what you always do
- continuing to hang on or finally letting go
If there is any inspiration to be had, it is in the fresh-off-the-press Gold Medal Flapjack Silver Medal Life: the autobiography of an unlikely Olympian. This is polymath Alison Mowbray’s frank, feisty and fun account of what it takes to explore one’s potential and as such is an exemplary example of stretching and compelling goal setting.
Mowbray, A (2013), Gold Medal Flapjack Silver Medal Life: the autobiography of an unlikely Olympian, Matador (UK). Available at http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=2468.
Thank you for the gift (gifts)!
Dr Alison Mowbray’s website: http://www.alisonmowbray.co.uk/index.htm
Image from Art,Crtl, Del on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ArtCtrlDel
Collins J and Porras J (2002) Built to Last, HarperCollins Publishers Inc