The theme and Mood Lady this month is Stretching – how could you Stretch in your life right now to move toward more of what you want?
We’re used to stretching physically – loosening up those muscles so they allow us to go further and further.
I love how this feels in my body. How when I stretch in a new way, even for a few days in a row, I can see a difference in how far my body allows me to go. It’s liberating and invigorating.
I also love how this feels when I do it in an emotional and/or more social way. There is ample opportunity to stretch myself this way, but of course it is unique to me. What feels like a stretch for me, might not be for you and vice versa.
A personal stretch for me right now would be reaching out to someone for partnership in business. I can easily get stuck in an old thought, such as “Oh, they probably wouldn’t be interested. They are so successful, why would they want to work with me?”
My stretch includes remembering who I am now and who I want to be and not simply who I’ve been.
It’s about feeling a bit uncomfortable as I do this new thing and step into this new role in myself.
And please notice I said “a bit” uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve been told (as I bet you have), “no pain, no gain”. Because of this, sometimes I thought I had to go so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn’t healthy.
Instead of leaving me excited and exalted that I did something new, it shut me down because it was too much for me at the time. And then I ended up feeling bad about myself.
This is not the goal of personal development.
I did this once when I started a class after attending a workshop. The workshop itself was a bit outside of my comfort zone as I did it in Sweden and had to speak Swedish. That in itself was a challenge.
I thought I should continue to develop the parts of myself I discovered and so I said yes to a continuation class. It felt VERY stretchy to me, but I was told that it was good if you were terrified each time.
For some reason, I thought that must be true. I thought that if it was that scary, there must be something in there I needed to learn.
But each week before the meeting I realized I really didn’t want to go. I had to force myself to get there and when I did, I ended up feeling like I was in the wrong place. It felt hard. It felt painful.
If you think about that physical stretch, what do you know if it hurts? It means it’s too much. It means it’s time to ease up a bit so your muscles can adjust and can get used to the new position.
Remember this when it’s time for that personal development stretch. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but not so much so that it hurts. If that’s the case, ease up so that all of you can adjust.
At the time of that class, it took my coach to remind me that growth does not need to be painful. In a way, I even had to stretch into the new thought that this kind of learning, this kind of personal growth, could be both stretchy AND invigorating. THAT thought was exciting and I wondered from that place, what might I stretch into next?
If it’s time for you to Stretch into something new, let’s start with the Stretch Mood Lady.– Where in your life, do you most need to stretch right now? Is there a small shift you could make that would allow this Stretch – to bring a bit of energy and excitement to some area of your life?
And if you’re ready for something bigger, perhaps a change and/or a transformation, let’s use the beautiful Enneagram personal development tool.
This month we’ll look at the Enneagram 7 – the Enthusiastic Visionary.* If you are a 7, ask yourself this: How can I connect with my internal energy and anchor in myself instead of focusing on the external energy of all the opportunities out there? What is possible as I stretch into this place?
If you aren’t a 7, how could you use the 7 type to support you in Stretching right now? That is, what is a new idea or some unique innovation that you could stretch into? Or to simplify, the 7 is all about having fun. So what is something fun and new that you could stretch into this month?
Since that ‘over-stretchy’ class many years ago, one thing that has supported me in many Stretches I have explored and taken on, is remembering the essence of that 7, which means enjoyment and lightness. Even if it’s uncomfortable, the Stretching can feel Fun.
Instead of thinking the shift or the change had to be hard or heavy, the 7 spirit allows me to remember that the Stretch is meant to leave me feeling alive and full of possibility.
So, what do you think? Where are you planning to Stretch this month?
If you want to share, go to my FB page. I’m monitoring it and would love to hear your thoughts.
Mood Lady images created by Debra Valentino. See more of her amazing creations at debravalentino.com
*Enneagram type names copyright: https://integrative9.com/