I used to think that people with stiff bodies were rigid thinkers. I really loved this idea … because after all I am a physically flexible person. I believed “I am not stiff, so therefore I am not a rigid thinker”. My ego really embraced the idea of being a flexible thinker!

And then I woke up and realized that my thinking wasn’t flexible at all. In the words of  Sri K Pattabhi Jois  “Body not stiff. Mind stiff.”

rigid thinking

When I want to appear to be flexible and accommodating in my thinking, it will be … but the reality is that my ego is still in charge of this aspect of my mind. Ego keeps the mind stiff!

I used to like things to go my way, or it was the high way. I still react when things don’t go as planned. Its usually when I am running late or I forget to do something or someone does something that isn’t the way I would have done it. Now the reaction quickly changes into a chuckle. After a deep breath or two ☺️

I observe myself most of the time and let it go.

The key element is the ability to let go. Yet we can’t let go unless we acknowledge and accept that we are being rigid and inflexible.

This is not an image of ourselves that our ego is likely to embrace. After all, its way too close to home…

So we find ourselves in a cycle of rigidity – contraction – resistance – justification – righteousness – rigidity.

How do we recognize our own rigidity?

Noticing whenever we feel we are in the right or we know better! 

Holding on to the way we see the world and thinking we have grown so much that we know the answers.

When our body becomes chronically tense and stiff. (Our body does hold this truth).

How do we get over it?

By realizing  it is our ego’s need for feeling safe and in control.

By understanding  that its just our thinking and its not the truth. 

By being open to other viewpoints and seeing the world in a new way every day – Practicing Beginners Mind.

By physically releasing the tension and contraction in our body. Laughter is one of the most effective ways to release mental, emotional and physical tension. And of course, practicing yoga helps too 🙂


About Val Boyko

Val Boyko is originally from Scotland and came to the United States over 25 years ago. At "Find Your Middle Ground" Val brings together her experience as a life coach, yoga teacher and mentor, to inspire awakening to the light and inspiration within us all. This blog is a place of exploration and discovery as we all explore finding harmony and peace, in the highs and lows of life 💛

38 comments on “Pondering – Rigid Thinking

  1. This is great Val, I was smilling through it all, as I recognized my own ego mind ha! I love the quote “Body not Stiff, Mind Stiff” Perfect and so true. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Practice always! 😉 And boy, do I love my yoga!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful and practical advice, Val! Needed it right now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. But I so like things my way Val! 😉
    Diana xo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I consciously remind myself, and often. I’ve gotten to the place where I can actually feel the rigidity rising up, both mentally and physically. Much of the time, I think it stems from my want to remain comfortable. As uncomfortable as rigidity may be, flexibility can be too, just in another way. Does this make sense to you?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed it does eM. When we become more flexible we are more open and therefore vulnerable. Thank you for stopping by… and keep practicing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think compassion is essential to this. I must have compassion for my weaker, more rigid self. I have to be willing to love this part of me that fears being wrong. Fears not having the answers. Fears a loss of control. When I can have compassion for her, letting go becomes a fete accompli.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. very interesting concept. thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. suzicate

    It’s a constant cycle, isn’t it? Then again, life is just that, a cycle!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Enjoying this bit of mind stretching, Val.
    I was only thinking the other day how ‘do onto others as you would have done onto yourself,’ doesn’t necessarily work as well as we were led to believe.
    Recognising diversity seems key in moving from rigidity.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like your thinking Jean. I prefer
      “Do unto others as they would have done unto them” It is called the Platinum Rule for interacting with people from different cultures. When we can step back and notice our beliefs and thinking, it opens up a different way of seeing the world … and our place in it. We no longer think we know it all or are in control. Its a vulnerable place to be … yet its how we can grow.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “Body not stiff. Mind stiff. True Self never stiff.” 🙂 H ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I remember reading the Dalai Lama’s book, “The Art of Happiness”. I read it on vacation and just floated through the holiday. I came back feeling positively Buddha’ish! Then I got in the car to drive to work through rush hour traffic. Whoosh…. enlightenment gone in twenty seconds.

    I have come to the conclusion that life is meant to be this cycle, as susicate noted, of learning, growing, relishing in that growth, that ultimately fills us with light, then being challenged again. Because each round builds are strength, increases our light and spreads the distance that light goes. It sucks, often, to be in the challenge and learning phase. To be confronted by our own tight hold to who we were. But think of yourself ten years ago, hell, ten months ago and then now. How lovely that we are still evolving beings who can be challenged, learn, grow and spread light.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Once we see that our thoughts and opinions are not “the truth” . . . we see that the thoughts and opinions of others are also not “the truth.” That realization allows us to let go of the constant craving for external applause, approval, accolades, and acknowledgment.

    After all . . . what do THEY know? :mrgreen:

    Let go and go with the flow!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like this perspective Nancy 🙂 My own experience has been a bit different … I let go of being concerned about other people and approval before I realized that my thinking was not the truth.
      When I realized I was a witness to my self, it opened up a knowing of something that is bigger than me… (Presence, Source or Higher Self ) and that others are also a part of this consciousness. When I see the connection within all of us and around all of us, it is easy to accept others as they are and to go with the flow. xo
      Different path. Same mountain. ☺️


  13. I totally agree that acknowledge and accept are the big steps that have to happen, and that’s where I’ve been working… am always working! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Learning how to “let it go” has been once of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. Too bad to took over 40 years. 🙂 Great post, Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. As a regular yogi, I relate to and appreciate your sentiments here Val. I have recently been introduced to some zen philosophy to create a good structure then let go and allow freedom, creativity and purpose to take charge. It feels so right. This is a good reminder to stay on track!🌸🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ohhhh, LOL If only you could read what I was journaling about this morning. Basically, I had my own little Come To Jesus about being rigid or getting pissy about a situation when, in all actuality, what the woman in question had done wasn’t “wrong” in the least – I was just having a “my way or the highway” moment! 🙂 And while I agree that letting go is ULTIMATELY important, I think that the ability to “observe” ourselves objectively in this manner…so we can own our stuff, and let it go….is of great important as well. Not many are able – or willing! – to do that!

    Always a pleasure reading you. Trying to get back into blog groove. Just know I appreciate you and your visits very much! xox

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This kind of rigidity can be benign, but in many of people it can lead to prejudice and “hate” often of the unknown or different.
    All of us would benefit from a greater dose of both self and other compassion. Not the most fashionable of emotions at the moment, but ones that we can cultivate and develop.
    Kindness is compassion in action, and we can all work at being kinder and supportive of those around us.

    Liked by 1 person

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