When you are rigid in your thinking this state manifests itself physically in your movements and your behavior. Learning to be flexible in life softens your body and allows you to flow more with life. The result of being more flexible in life is that you keep an open mind to things, and you become gentler with yourself and those in your surroundings.
To contemplate gentleness, imagine that you are holding a butterfly in your hand. That is softening – holding something gently. Today, explore what it’s like to hold yourself gently – to hold attitudes, expectations, and awareness about yourself softly. Softness offers an immediate opportunity to relax into experience rather than fight against it.
Softening is a whole-body/being experience. It involves a way of thinking, feeling, and physically relaxing that is quite profound, and the process itself, asks you to abandon the insistence that you always need to know what is going to happen or why things unfold as they do.
The next time you find yourself in a situation or state of mind that creates tension or a wish/need to control your current surroundings, explore what happens should you choose to become flexible with the situation. If you relax your body/mind being into your experience, what changes? Does your thinking shift, along with your body? When you soften your thinking, what thoughts disappear and what thoughts emerge? How does your mood vary when you soften into what is? Becoming flexible doesn’t mean giving up your intentions to achieve certain outcomes. It just means, that you allow yourself to move with what appears on your way to the next steps in fulfilling your underlying intentions.
Are you angry or resentful toward someone close to you? Notice what happens if you soften into those feelings and simply allow them to be there, without building on them or pushing them away. Flexibility doesn’t mean you have to agree with the other person or the situation you don’t like. It simply means that your internal experience shifts. That’s the benefit from this gift to you. Flexibility eases stress and distress.
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