When we imagine how we want to feel and steer toward that feeling, magic happens. The pull of our desire combined with flexibility, an open mind, and willingness to receive allows the life of our dreams to become real.
Which is the exact opposite of what we’ve been taught.
Common wisdom directs us to set a specific and measurable goal. It tells us we should define precisely what we want, then barrel ahead forcing our will to get to that destination. Even though that method can be successful, it can take a long time. Plus, it’s exhausting!
By the time we get that thing we thought we wanted, it isn’t what we wanted after all.
What works best is to stay flexible on the precise definition of the final outcome and enjoy the thrill of the journey with an open mind and a gratitude-filled heart.
What Is Flexibility?
To be flexible means to be limber—an ability to stretch to new shapes before the environment shifts. Then when change arrives, the capacity is already in place.
Think of what a yoga practice brings. We stretch our body so that when we need to respond suddenly, we have the flexibility to avoid injury. Yoga also invites flexibility of mind.
When we look at flexibility’s synonym, adaptability, we learn that the species able to adapt to environmental shifts fastest are the ones who survive. Adaptable beings are able to change something, or even themselves, to fit changing circumstances. Because they are adaptable, they will live to see another day.
When we’re adaptable, we survive by squeezing our shape into the world around us; when we are flexible, we allow ourselves to flow with surrounding energy and be shaped by the world around us.
Flexibility gives us permission to expect the unexpected and keeps us open to the richness that life offers.
How to Stay Flexible
To change our mindset from adaptability to flexibility sounds simple, but it’s not always easy. We often have unconscious beliefs and actions that prevent it. We need practice.
Here are five ways to train ourselves to be more flexible:
- Stretch your body.
One of the myths about change is that our attitude is the driver, in other words, our attitude determines our outcomes. That’s not true. Action is the driver. Attitudes follow behavior, they do not predict it. When you stretch your body, perhaps with a yoga practice, your flexible body will teach you to have a flexible attitude.
Find a cause or need that is bigger than you and do something to help. When you see the infinite variety that surrounds us and are able to integrate it into your perspective, you will be more available to what paths are possible.
When we explore new places, we stretch our concept of how the world truly works. We learn that people are much more alike than they are different. Sometimes, we may be put in situations that force us to accept less than ideal circumstances. Travel helps us learn to be flexible in our expectations.
- Let others be themselves.
Recognize and accept that inside everyone’s head is their own world. Your perspective is only the window you use to view the world. Everyone else has a window as well. No one can possibly see what you see through your window even though it may seem they align with your perspective. They’re looking out their own window.
- Remind yourself often.
I once had a client who decided to wear a rubber band around her wrist to remind herself to stretch. When we find a token or affirmation to help remember that things are not set in stone, we remind ourselves that the world is much richer and more bountiful than we could ever imagine.
People that know me often hear me say, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape!” I say it only half in jest because it’s really true. Flexibility is life’s secret sauce!
When we stretch and become more flexible, it opens us to the serendipity that surrounds us. Flexibility allows our dreams to come true in magical ways.