Sound when stretched is music,
Movement when stretched is dance.
Mind when stretched is meditation.
Life when stretched is celebration.
Shri Ravishankar Jee
Life stretched beyond it’s current dimensions never returns to the same shape.
We stretch, we grow, sometimes by our own choice, sometimes by choices that are made for us. Regardless we are pushed, pulled and molded by life as we live it.
So if change is going to happen, if stretching is inevitable, then perhaps we should be more proactive to inviting it in, to taking a first step in guiding the dimensions we want to be stretched in.
Perhaps we have more control in our stretching than we had originally thought, perhaps we have more say in which ways we want to grow than we previously have ever admitted to ourselves. So does life happen to us, or do we conspire with it?
Two different ways of looking at things, but incredibly different places to come from… a place of power and a sense of an internal locus of control, or a victim mentality always caught off guard and too busy responding to things, too tired to create opportunity in your life.
More often than not over the past few years I have become very conscious of which place I am coming from. Recently I was struggling with a situation and nothing felt right in how I was responding. And after talking to a trusted friend, I realized that it was a function of me giving away my power, me not taking responsibility for where I was being stretched, or taking any responsibility for where I wanted to go with it. I was frustrated because someone else wasn’t responding how I wanted them to (misguided expectations which weren’t clearly communicated by me in the first place). So I clearly communicated my needs, released my expectations, but more importantly realized that I could either lean into this growth or continue to be pulled and stretched (the pain compounded by my resistance) and ultimately the actual outcome was the same, and it wasn’t in my control. But I was in control of me.
The exciting thing was that it was so immediate. Because I have been looking at my patterns and responses it was so very clear, when the stakes weren’t high that I was giving away my power. Ultimately in the scheme of things it was a little hiccup barely worth noticing on the emotional landscape of my life… but worth celebrating because I now see it so much more clearly. I am so much more aware of where my power, where my joy, where my peace comes from, what it looks like for me and how to create it. I know where to go when I am being stretched and need support and where to turn when I want to celebrate.
So often it isn’t about what we can change in others or even the situation, because when it comes to others we can’t change them and more often than not we can’t change the situation… but we can always change our approach, our intention, our purpose, our direction. Sometimes it is about holding on just a little longer, sometimes it is about letting go a little bit sooner, sometimes it is about trusting and acting on faith and sometimes it is about waiting for a little more evidence.
But the one thing I know for sure, a life worth celebrating is one that you carefully craft, holding the balance and tension of love and loss, growth and pain, hope and despair, laughter and tears.
It is a gift.
And in finding your way through, being stretched, being held, being guided, I hope you are learning to dance in the midst of it all.