Monday, May 7, 2012

Staying flexible

"Everything changes, nothing changes" is an old quote, but one that is so true! This morning sees new regimes installed in France and Greece with Europe appearing to be headed into new and challenging times: but then one just has to read the history of Europe to find out that this is "par for the course" for this part of the world.

And it's not just change "out there in the wider world" that happens, change inexorably happens in our own lives too. Usually it's slow and almost indiscernible, such as the greying of hair, the subtle loss of high frequency sounds and the gradual awareness that your back is bowing forward and your shoulders becoming round! But inside we still feel as young as ever even though it's more difficult to shake off that pall of tiredness that clings onto you throughout the day.

Change brings challenges, but often they are just variations on the same theme. In our physical life these are still based on good nutrition, appropriate exercise and avoidance of known toxins - such as smoking or too much booze. But Shakespeare gave us some useful insight when he wrote of the "Seven ages of man". What these ages demand of us is flexibility in our attitude and perhaps flexibility is one of the more under-rated facilities that we humans have. We tend to ossify in our attitudes and get set into routines and "beliefs" - and I don't just mean spiritual beliefs but all those certainties that we thought were true, like the tooth fairy and Santa when we were young, or that money can solve all life's problems when we're older!

So as our physical bodies get stiffer and we work harder on maintaining flexibility and function, lets also work on flexibility of mind and spirit too so that we can maximize our potential every day of our lives. Probably the best way to do that is to stay in close contact with young people who have all that energy that we wish we had, and they're usually brimming with ideas and confidence too. By interacting with them, we get a bit of what they have - energy and enthusiasm - and they get a bit of what we have - wisdom and experience! 

So let the theme for this week to be try to "Mix it with the kids": that should test our flexibility!
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