I’ve been helping out some family members recently, and I’ve called upon this one skill more times than I can count; using my Flexible Mind.
Both of these family members have severe mental illnesses and I can see the rigidity they respond to challenges with. I can’t get anywhere in that atmosphere, so I turn things upside down and look at the situation differently and say to myself…
If nothing goes right, go left!
I Don’t Fight Fire with Fire
If you work with others who seem difficult, you know how hard it can be when you are presented with an unreasonable brick wall, or find yourself at an impasse of wills.
So rather than meeting rigid with more rigid, I ask myself questions like these:
- How do I remain open enough to allow Grace to enter here?
- Can I reframe this ‘problem’ by stretching my viewpoint?
- What right brain activity can I engage in to create more elasticity and embodied connection for myself?
Let me expound on that last one about right-brain activities because that’s the resource that fills my flexibility well in a very big way.
Using the Right Brain to Go Left
The right hemisphere of your brain is the home of non-linear thinking and excels at problem-solving. It loves symbols and art and is a crucial bridge to processing emotion.
The activity that nourishes my flexible mind is enjoying movement and expression in a state of non-judgmental listening and responding. It’s improvisation without pressure.
Narrow thinking is a survival mechanism. It’s protective and allows us to focus. Thank you left brain! Yet it’s the right brain’s wide-angle perception that takes in less detail and more spacial understanding that feels like more than survival to me. It feels like thriving.
The Soul of Possibility
Using the very cool symbols within Chinese medicine; I discovered that mental and physical flexibility is a gift derived from the properties of the element of WOOD. This element is tied directly to my breathing, creative soul.
Time engaged with this gift feeds the FIRE of my spirit which allows me to really connect with something larger and more empathetic.
This Ethereal Soul we’re each bound to feeds that sap-like moisture within us that allows us to bend. Otherwise, we get dried up, tired, and rigid. I felt like that a few moments this month- thank goodness I have these tools!
Dipping into the Flexibility Well
So when I find myself on a one-way mental track and hit a blockade, I realize it’s the moments I’ve taken to nurture and ‘moisten’ my creative, connected spirit that has created my flexible mind resilience.
It’s that bendability that comes from expanding my current concept of reality as it seems right now. This happens when I play with possibilities without judging them right off the bat. I step out of the problem mind and into the creative, possibility mind. Funny how that feels a bit like floating.
So I am carving out little spaces to paint in exploration, free-hand journal in the morning, and going inward with mindful, kind stretching and movement.
Sometimes these activities will bring up healing tears that many times simply feel like GRATITUDE.
In what ways do you unplug from the narrow mind that can’t see solutions and thinks everything is wrong?
How do you plug into something completely unrelated and free?
And, how does it feel when you return to the situation?
For me, I usually feel more tolerant and inspired by new solutions I couldn’t see before.