Thursday 16 September 2010

Notes to my unborn child: Flexibility

"In matters of opinion, go with the flow.  In matters of principle, stand firm like a rock"   
Paramhansa Yogananda 

I can think of no greater advice than this, dear child, it has helped me enormously.  

Flexibility is like bubbles in champagne: they animate, they bring sparkle, they joyfully explode in different directions.  And so it is with life: it can be a sparkling, joyful, animated affair, as long as we are open to it, engaged with it and playing with life.  The key to that openess is Flexibility.  

As we get older there is a real danger that that we think we have 'learnt life's lessons', we know how the world works.  But what many of us are really doing is limiting our choices, closing down our boundaries... in sum, we are becoming more rigid.  To live without flexibility, without a willingness to experiment, a curiousity to discover the new, is to wring all the joy out of life.

What I have learnt about Flexibility
I have areas of my life where I am open and flexible, where I believe anything is possible - and so I am often surprised and amazed by life.  There are other areas where I am closed, and in those areas, there are less surprises and gifts!

If I have had one challenge, it is learning when to be flexible and when to stand in a firm, centred sense of Self.  Possibly because 'Agreeableness' is possibly one of my strongest character traits, I've had to learn how to balance pleasing others with pleasing myself.  

I used to be infinitely flexible in an attempt to make others happy, without always realising that I was resentful of going too far for them and not far enough for myself and my happiness.  The quote above really helped me understand flexibility in a new light, and how to use this value with more discernment.

Flexibility is a wonderful blessing, and like any other blessing, it has taken me time to understand how to use it effectively, as a skill or a tool, that enhances life for all, rather than feeling as though it owns me.  

My wish for you
My wish for you is very simple - that you remain supple and open to life's possibilities, with the wonder and curiosity of a child.  Life only closes down and becomes predictable when we close down and become predictable. 

If caterpillars refused to change, we would have no butterflies!

So allow yourself the luxury of personal challenges, of exploration, of going beyond your comfort zone, and of attempting what others think is impossible.  If you can remain open and flexible, you will be able to relish life and its dazzling gifts most fully.

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