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How to Take a Psychological Stretch

How to Take a Psychological Stretch

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.

Read more: Spirit, Exercises, Guidance, Self-Help

Adapted from Bodylessons by Marian Wolfe Dixon (Findhorn Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Marian Wolfe Dixon. Reprinted by permission of Findhorn Press.
Adapted from Bodylessons by Marian Wolfe Dixon (Findhorn Press, 2005).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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3:00AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Be open and welcoming

1:19PM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

it doesn't work

7:19PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

interesting, thank you!

2:56AM PDT on May 29, 2011

I like the points in this article. It is good to be open to receiving and creating new and better ways of doing things. Being aware of this and incorporating it into one's modus operandi could be meta-learning.

1:29AM PDT on May 29, 2011

good info

5:17AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Thank you!

8:19PM PDT on Aug 14, 2010

A simple exercise that made me think, thanks.

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