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.”
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 🙂