I stood before my home office bookshelves and stretched, volumes of thought gazing back at me.
The morning began with a short but intense swim at the recreation complex, then a hot shower to soothe the muscles. I dressed and made my way into the office, at first stretching on the carpet in various positions before standing before the books with my arms above my head, spread wide as if ready to receive.
My eyes could not help but scan the titles and authors. Writers of various backgrounds, genders, perspectives, religions, with one common denominator: They have all stretched my thinking, poured gasoline onto the fires of my creativity. They have stretched me, and as I stretched before them I tapped into even more of the residual power for critical thinking that has been their enduring gift.
Stretching is great for the body; I’ve only started to fully realize this in recent years. Stretching the mind, heart and soul are just as vital, if one aims to embrace life holistically and integrally.
Every person, organization or movement only grows stronger and increases endurance through regular stretching. Fail to stretch and you grow brittle, cramped up, too tight to see the bigger picture and too immersed in pain or fear to maximize your full potential. Ah, the many tasks and distractions each day that obscure the conscious need for a great stretch.