Sometimes we learn life lessons in unexpected ways. During a recent mobility (stretching) class at CrossFit, my coach said something that really resonated with me, and I experienced one of those ‘aha’ moments. We were rolling out our quadriceps on a foam roller and she was talking about freedom in mobility and how being mobile in our joints will affect our ability to perform better in all our movements. Through being more mobile we will squat deeper, lift heavier, and get into those difficult gymnastic based positions easier. This all makes great sense. Stretch out, allow for space in the joints, perform better.
Then the thought occurred to me about how having more mobility in our mind might benefit our lives. Not allowing ourselves to be so tight, and stuck in our perfectionist ways, but rather being more free and flexible. How would we achieve this without a foam roller? As we rolled out our quadriceps and hit some very painful ‘hot spots’ our coach reminded us to hold pressure on to those hot spots for a few minutes and really feel the pain, and then release it slowly. She went on to explain how in doing so we will develop greater hip flexibility, as we will be freeing up space between our joints. I envisioned more space-more fluidity and freedom of movement.
What if we allowed ourselves to feel and hold onto the pain that comes up in our minds for just a moment, and then released it? How would that free up our ability to be more fluid in all other areas of our life? Would we develop mobility of the mind? Would we perform better in life? The answer is an absolute yes. Just as mobility in our joints helps us to become flexible, securing a stronger foundation for our body, so does mobility of our mind allow us to be more flexible with life. Less hard on ourselves, less rigid, less tight, more fluid, more open. By not allowing ourselves to hold and release painful experiences, we tighten up and end up feeling stuck-following holding patterns and unable to move forward in our life. We stifle and block, and build up. By allowing for some space-freeing up and releasing, we open ourselves up to more flow and fluidity, more freedom, more living.
It’s important that we allow ourselves to feel everything we need to feel, and also to allow ourselves to release it. We didn’t hold that foam roller onto our quads until the pain went away. We simply held it through the most intense part, and then released it. The same is true when dealing with our thoughts and emotions. In doing so, we give ourselves the gift of mind mobility, and we will be able to free ourselves from those negative thought processes and patterns, which are holding us back in life.
Focus on creating new spaces-freeing up where there was once a tightness and negativity. See where those new spaces allow you to go. What new experiences will you create with that added space? How far can you open up and stretch your mind? How much can you release? Are you willing to create the space needed to be able to accept more goodness?
Just like joint mobility will increase our athletic performance, our mind mobility will increase our life performance! Let’s get flexible and mindful!