Take Two for Greater Flexibility

Our practice this week focuses on gaining flexibility in the moment, real time.

When you notice that you are getting even a tiny bit rigid (you might notice your body becoming rigid, your jaw tightening, your breathing getting shallow, your stomach tightening, etc.), and you are willing to experiment with gaining a bit more flexibility, explore the following:

  1. Ask yourself the question, “What if I calmed down, got curious, and considered this other idea deeply? What is the worst that could happen and could I deal with it?” See if that allows you to quiet your nervous system and begin to ask open ended questions such as, “Help me understand how you arrived at this approach” or “How do you think this will fit into the whole project?” Think of this as you getting more curious about the other person's position rather than staying rigidly with your own position. If you consider someone else's opinion, you may change or modify your position and you might not. But give the other person your full attention with the idea that you might be open to something new.
  2. Another idea to use follows:
    • When you notice yourself taking a firm position, allow your body to relax, breathe deeply and exhale a few times, and inside your head, say something to yourself that helps you to listen to the other person/people.
    • If you begin to notice that your position is not being heard or appreciated by the others, ask the others if they would be willing to listen to your position and give you specific feedback about what works and what doesn't work with it from their point of views.

Have fun playing with being more flexible with your point of view and in conversations that you have. Practice the idea of “no one is wrong or bad and there is nothing wrong with listening deeply to another person's ideas.”

As as usual, please write in with questions and comments about your experience.

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