I have been pretty athletic for all of my life. I’ve gone back and forth with exercise, sometimes committed, sometimes not so much. I decided three years go to truly make the commitment this time to myself and for myself. When I grew up much of what I did in this realm was based more on the external. Will I look good enough, play well enough and perform in general well enough to be accepted? The external was my focus and that that’s where my drive came from.

I am now 41 and things have shifted very slowly with the compass now pointing inward, every day focusing on building the foundation from the inside out. One thing that I have avoided though, is stretching. I exercise three days a week in an class that I love. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I get to my 7 o’clock class just after 7:05. I am not terribly late, but I’m late enough to miss the stretching portion of the workout. Stretching to me is like water, I know I should be partaking, but I have some major resistance.

This has not been majorly conscious, but more of a subconscious thing that has grip on me that is slowly becoming more and more clear. When I go back to my past I can see that I didn’t really take time to build the foundation, I was treading water on the surface. I started to shine a light on my lack of stretching and water drinking a couple of months ago. I started to ask why? Why am I resisting these things that I know are good for me when I’ve started to incorporate so many other healthy habits?

Suddenly around a month ago my lower back started to ache. It felt so tight and it was very irritating. I’ve never had an issue with my back which I was always very happy about, but now there was aching. My mind had been able to avoid the depths of foundation building by skipping the stretching but my body was now saying no, it’s time. Take time to stretch. I have been listening.

I mention this because I think stretching applies to all different areas in our life where we are required from within to dig deeper, to build a foundation. This can be waking up earlier in the morning to have some extra time before we are off for the day, taking vitamins, opening our hearts and being vulnerable to those we love, taking time to express ourselves creatively. These are all ways that we can stretch and they are calling to us and getting louder and louder like my back did all at once one morning. What are you being called to stretch?

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

―Anaïs Nin