Imagine that no matter how challenging a situation, or how someone presses your buttons, you meet it with grace and clear equanimity. Imagine how great you’d feel. You radiate confidence and self-love, and therefore easily accept and accomodate others.
Rigidity and the habitual are the opposite of adaptibility and acceptance.
Over the last three weeks we’ve looked at how we can reclaim self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence before, during or after, burnout. Once these three steps are integrated in body, mind and psyche, the next step is flexibility and adaptibility, leading to self-acceptance. Because mindful yoga practice is reflective; connects the dots between body, mind and psyche, through physical flexibility we discover mental and emotional adaptability.
PHYSICAL FLEXIBILITY EQUALS PSYCHOLOGICAL ADAPTABILITY
Our physical body is like a map, a template, for our mental and emotional bodies. When it’s flexible and able to move into different spaces and places without too much resistance and friction, it relates this to our mental body through how we feel as we accomodate new dynamics and forms. Take for example nimbly running with your child in the forest, dodging branches and jumping over fallen trees. Your ability to quickly change speed and shape enables you to move with grace, possible when your joints have mobility and muscles flexibility.
Flexibility gives flow to the many physical movements, changes and taking up space in new places. Because Yoga reflects different facets of self, flexibility in body equals adaptibilty of mind. Adaptability gives flow to your relationships and vitality to our sense of self in social interactions. Your body reflects your mind and energetic stance in life. Flexibility equals dynamism to lifes’ challenges and changes.
3 KEYS TO ENHANCE ADAPTIBILTY
- Self-acceptance and adaptability go hand in hand
- Grief, sadness and an unwillingness to let go and accept changes; external or internal, withhold your natural ability and receptivity to give and take; stopping flow and flexibility
- Accepting the changes; personal, professional, relational, creates space for growth and finding peace with our new self
Accepting our self means accepting all of it; the great, bad and utterly ugly. It’s holding space for whatever comes up within ourselves, but also outside of ourselves, and remaining emotionally present, or connected to self and other. And learning to let go of ingrained habits and beliefs is key to mental and emotional self-acceptance and adaptibility. What helped us in the past, but may not serve us any longer, is outgrown; what got you here, won’t get you there.
LETTING GO TO GROW
Sadness and grief are emotions that ask us to let go. To release, the familiar, the unseen, the unaccepted, unappreciated, unforgotten and unnecessary.
If we fear letting go, maybe because subconsciously we believe we can’t deal with the consequneces of releasing a habit, no matter how detrimental it is, can result in depression. A coping mechanism to prevent change; supression of other emotions such as anxiety, shame, guilt and denial, which are associated with the sadness or grief, are held at bay in this way. This holding on is strength, but it also prevents growth.
TO GROW WE NEED TO LET GO!
Adapting is stretching into the new of self and life. Reaching into the unknown with light-heartedness, a willingness to open up and see. Closing off is a great way to avoid possible pain, but it also stops newness coming in. New experiences stretch our awareness, open up new ideas and inspire us. Revitalising our mind, opening our emotional self to possibility and promise.
And sure there’ll be more bumps in the road- such is life- but we’ll be carrying less baggage.
Now feel your heart and distinguish how open you are to new experiences, is there a flow of incoming and outgoing? How does it feel if you were to see it as a stream? Now using safety, rest and strength feel that you are resilient enough to open up a little. See how that feels, breath in and out from your heart. Can you hold whatever arises with lightness, strength and trust? What happens to your mind, energy and body?
Strength, rest and safety enable us to soften and open up, allowing a sense of flow back into our lives. Knowing we can connect as participants of life again gives hope and revitalises us.
The body becomes an entry point, or map, to create flexibility in mind and psyche so we open up to new capabilities.
Holding back, resisting change and not letting go because we fear the unknown, is keeping life from flowing through us and us from flowing through life. Accepting our self and the changes we return with dynamism more quickly.
“Working with Shira has taught me I have the capacity to uplift myself and there’s a sense of coming home”. – Nelleke Scharroo
Want to know more about the Yoga Wellness & Resilience Course? Click here.