Flexibility is an interesting idea. Often we think of in terms of the physical body, and maybe less so regarding our minds and emotions.
Flexibility is important to not injure or hurt ourselves when doing physically demanding tasks. The more flexible our muscles, the more successful we will be navigating the unforeseen or sudden demands placed upon them.
Flexibility is not only for the body though, it is for the mind. Do you recognize the truth in that? How do you respond to a sudden change of plans in your life? Are you pissed off? Sad, fearful? What is the attachment or beliefs that create these kinds of feelings in you? What is the story in your head?
I recently missed a flight. I looked at the arrival time in the destination city and had it in my head that it was the departure time. I was pissed at myself for making the mistake.
In my 40 years of air travel as an adult male I’ve only missed two flights. One was driving in Texas before GPS, where I got totally turned around in the flat lands, the other was early post 9/11 where I was denied boarding because I wasn’t at the gate one hour prior to take off. Overall, I pride myself in being able to successfully manage air travel.
In this most recent case, in order to move from feeling totally pissed off I had to decide to be flexible with the outcome. And really, what other option is there in these situations?
I could have dug in, continued to blame myself, or maybe blame how the boarding pass was laid out and difficult to read…whatever. When I noticed the language in my head condemning me for being stupid, I decided to be kind to myself, and realize it was just a mistake and an opportunity for me to read more carefully in the future.
Being flexible with my belief that I successfully navigate air travel, giving myself room to make a mistake, I was able to shift my emotion from anger to acceptance, even curiosity as to how the outcome would unfold.
What happens when your belief or opinion is challenged? Even more so, what happens when you realize there are holes or inaccuracies of what you believe to be true?
Flexibility of thought allows us to be curious, to ponder, and to consider without being defensive. It provides an opportunity for our world to expand and grow.