Stretch it Out, Baby!

It's important to stretch. Most of us agree with that statement. When it comes to the body, working out, exercising, moving our bodies, we agree, stretching helps. Whether it is a yoga class once a week, a few minutes of touching your toes a few times a week, or regularly stretching pre/post workout, stretching helps the body to stay limber and flexible.

What about the mind and spirit? Do you spend time stretching those each week? 

The mind, you might. That Sudoku or crossword puzzle that you work on each week might give you a mental workout. Perhaps at work you are regularly challenged to figure out and create. Stretching the mind, much like the body, keeps us active, sharp, and focused. When the mind is challenged, sometimes the rewards are unnoticed. We don't even know (as the average person without access to an MRI/CAT scan) the parts of the brain getting lit up when we stretch our thoughts.

When it comes to spirit though, what does that even mean to stretch the spirit? How do we challenge spirit?

Let's pause to ensure we are on the same page. When I refer to spirit here, I mean our higher power, our higher source of wisdom and insight. When we connect to our own spirits, we know our truth, we have our information. 

Spirit stretching looks like meditation (one way). Meditation creates space to communicate and dance with spirit. It often leads to growth as next steps are seen clearly. When we give ourselves 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or 60 minutes (the actual amount of time is less my focus, it's more about taking the few seconds regularly), Spirit expands, creating space for our mind and body to expand. When we use meditation as a tool, as a resource, amazing things unfold and open up.

Next time you are at the gym, walking in the woods or your neighborhood, exercising at home, make sure to do a few stretches - body, mind, and spirit - physically stretch your body, mentally challenge yourself during your exercise be it counting steps by 3 to 100 or something fun, and spiritually meditate. Yes, while you are walking, working out, or lifting weights, meditate.

You just might find stretching all three brings on opportunity to take a step toward more focus, clarity, energy, and whatever else you seek.