Stretching means to reach further, beyond, and past the customary tasks that we are used to performing. Stretching means enlarging our comfort range so that we are more able and more capable. The result is that we become more powerful and more human than we were before we made the extra effort.
Physical stretching is just one kind of stretch. Take a psychological stretch! Here’s how:
a. Interlace the fingers of both hands. Notice which thumb lands on top. Is it the right thumb, or is it the left? For every person that winds up with a right thumb on top, there is probably a person somewhere in the world who prefers the left.
b. In the second part of this exercise, exchange all your fingers, so that the opposite thumb is on top. As yourself how this feels. Does it feel awkward? If you are sharing your experience with other people, consider that probably half of them would find this way of interlacing their fingers to be comfortable.
c. Continue to hold your hands laced in this unusual (for you) way. After about five minutes you may notice that what once seemed awkward and uncomfortable now has become a new position that you have made your own.
By trying something new, by doing something in a way you might not have thought of before, you have experienced two important lessons. First, whatever your way of doing things, there is always someone who can come up with a different (and equally effective) method. Second, when you take the risk and try something new, after a while, that new way of adapting becomes incorporated into your repertoire. The willingness to adapt increases your options for coping with any situation.