FULLY ALIVE Skill #2: Flexibility

FULLY ALIVE Skill #2: Flexibility

Kimberly Sogge

Thursday July 29, 2010

Are you like flowing water or like frozen ice?   One of the qualities of effective psychological work is that it cultivates in you the flexibility of flowing water.  Water as it flows towards its destination doesn’t demand that obstacles move out of its way;  water flows around or through obstacles.  (No need to point out that ice flattens obstacles but is glacially slow in doing so! Which would you rather be: flowing or glacial?!) Healthy individuals tend to have the flexible approach of flowing water in the face of changing demands.  They keep moving toward their destination, but simply respond to changing demands with fluidity.  Psychologically speaking, flexibility is the ability to persist with a behavior or change behavior in the service of what is most important to you.  Flexibility is your responsiveness to the changing demands around you;  it is the flowing, water-like qualities in your behavior that enable you to stay in contact with the present moment and work around powerful experiences that could take you closer to or farther from the values you hope to embody in your life.  Contrary to “mental toughness” approaches to improving performance, ACT promotes a flexibility approach to performance that is focused on values and emphasizes acting in ways that are responsive to changing demands. Let yourself flow now…

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