Develop a More Flexible Mind in 6 steps

BY GINA FEGALI

I believe that a flexible mind do helps us to deal with chaos, loss, big life changes, small frustrations, and all that life throws us during our way. But still, how do I develop a more flexible mind? to make my life easier, happier and less chaotic?

Well… with time, I have gone through different paths and I want to share with you, 6 easy yet effective steps, that are actually helping me, to achieve a more flexible mind.

A flexible mind leads to more peace. You’re not as stuck in your ways, and can adapt to change. You don’t always think you’re right but are curious about other people. You can take on new challenges with a smile.

I don’t always have such a flexible mind, to be honest. I’m working on it. Every day.

When I’m not flexible, I can feel it: my mind starts to feel rigid, I feel frustration, irritation, anger, disappointment and naturally it turns into anxiety. There’s a feeling of not wanting things to be the way they are, feeling of being wronged, attacked, attached and exhausted. It’s the result of being caught up in whatever story you’re telling yourself.

So here’s what I’ve been working on, to develop a more flexible mind:

  1. See the tightness. If I notice myself getting frustrated, hardening up, feeling a tightness … this is the sign that I should practice. And the good news is that practice helps me get better, so I should celebrate! This is a lesson that life has gifted me, and I try to say thank you. Just observe and listen to your body.
  2. Don’t act, nor re-act.The most harm comes when I act out of my frustration, actions that might include shutting down and not talking to someone. So when I notice the tightness, I try not to take any harmful action. Instead, I try to turn inward to face whatever is arising.
  3. Stay with the feeling. Turn towards the feeling, and just observe it. See it as something that is arising, but isn’t necessarily me. Listen to your body and observe where’s actually the feeling being blocked. It’s a feeling, a cloud passing across the sky, not a big deal. What does it feel like, physically in my body? Explore it with curiosity. And just let it go. A good way, to feel better or safe, is repeating the affirmation: ” Everything is all right in my world. I am now safe”.
  4. Give it some space, and compassion. If the tight feeling that is arising is a cloud, then I try to give it a big, expansive blue sky to float across. Instead of being immersed in the cloud, I try to widen, open up an expansiveness. And then I give the feeling some compassion. It’s OK to feel this! And it’s good to give it some love. An expansion of your heart through a deep breath, where you visualise how you heart opens up to the world and sharing your inner love to the universe.
  5. Relax, and loosen my grip. The tightness comes from wanting something or someone to be a certain way. Is an attachment. I’m holding on tightly, and I really want this. Instead, I try to loosen my grip on whatever it is. It doesn’t really matter that much, I can flow around this. Instead, I try to relax into the moment, and be with whatever is going on. Notice the world around me, right now, instead of being caught up in my story. Relax, and be grateful for what’s around me. Gratitude, is a very powerful energy and vibration. Feel it!
  6. Saying “I don’t know.”. Here’s the key to it all. Once I’ve relaxed a bit, I can now tell myself, “I don’t know how things should be. I don’t even know how they are now.” So this gives me space to not know, and to investigate. What is the truth about this moment? What would it be like to allow the future to unfold without knowing? What is it like to not know how other people should act, but be curious about why they’re acting that way? And to give them some compassion too?

Not knowing. A flexible mind is one that doesn’t really know what should happen, and is not even sure what will unfold in this next moment. It is curious, like a baby exploring the world afresh. When we sit in meditation, or take each moment as it comes, we allow ourselves to not know, and to be interested in whatever arises.

That’s what I’m working with, imperfectly and forgetfully, and I find it helpful. Specially, to accept that not always I need to be in control.