I love my body balance classes. I love the way we start with gentle Tai Chi movements. Followed by the balance section of the class when we all try really hard not to wobble, then ab-workout which is always killer, and lastly the twists. Our instructor often tells us at this point of the class to ‘embrace the stretch’.
So I lean into the stretch and I feel my muscles lengthen and protest slightly in a good way.
It makes me wonder how often in life I actually lean into things that grow and stretch me. How often I embrace the stretch and how often I flat out resist it.
See the important thing about stretching your muscles is it enables them to strengthen to do the work they have been created for.
When I am asked to stretch beyond where I am comfortable I am building strength in areas that previously did not have it.
I embrace stretch by saying yes to something, and learning how to do it as I prepare. I grow as I learn.
Actor and author, Tina Fey puts it perfectly: “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.”
I embrace stretch by saying Hi to that new person, even though we may have nothing in common. I embrace stretch by saying yes to speaking engagements with people I don’t know. I embrace stretch by trying to learn a new program or system for my blog.
And when we are stretched on a regular basis we become elastic. Elasticity is important, because without it we have a tendency to break when under stress.
Without it we have a brittleness that is not useful when we are put in places where we need to stretch. Stretch gives us a flexibility to adapt to new situations.
The thing about stretching is you do it slowly. The body balance teacher tells us to stretch until we can feel it, but not so far that we feel pain.
In life that is the same, you have to be careful that you are not trying to do everything all at once, but rather a little at a time. In my balance class, I slowly train my muscles to give in places that they never have before.
So I need to do the same in life, mindfully accepting that I need to grow and stretching just enough.
Where do you need to embrace the stretch? Is it in learning a new system for your business? Or is it in embracing a new learning opportunity?
What would happen if you embrace the stretch, just enough?
Give yourself grace to grow in your journey,
PS: My latest stretch is my newsletter, so if you’d like to hear from me once a month sign up here.