I wrote this when my son was much younger. What a sweet time.
We went on a family hike yesterday in the foothills. As my son and I walked through the forest together alongside the creek, I noticed him bending branches and heard him say, “These are all still living.” “How can you tell?” I asked. He said, “They bend.”
Living things bend. They change. They do not stay stiff. It got me thinking about the effects of rigid patterns of thinking. We can limit ourselves through old stories and ways of being in the world. Keeping the body flexible in spiritual practice helps the mind to flow and enter new patterns of thought. When we bend, sway, dance, and honor the organic, moving nature of our bodies, we remember that we are alive. Like the branch that is living, we are less likely to snap when something bends us.
Sometimes, I act like I am much smaller than I am. It’s an old story, usually employed when I want someone to like or approve of me. Rather than try to change the story, I move. Whether that is dancing, or noticing the movement of my breath, I focus on movement and something shifts. Rather than try to willfully change an age old story that at one time protected me, I align with Life through movement and let Life do the rest. Life is forever moving. Life heals, restores, and regenerates. My will can’t do that.