Today a distinction between striving and stretching.

In my 20s to overcome discomfort with heights, I learned to rock climb. The activity is rife with metaphors for growth, challenge, strength, flexibility and courage. I learned about perceived limits and moving beyond them.

As I continue my healing journey from childhood sexual abuse the distinction between striving and stretching stays with me.

Here’s an exercise you can do to illustrate this difference. Either seated or standing raise both arms over head and reach as far as you possibly can …. reach … a bit more … notice how high you are able to get the tips of your fingers. Now, drop one of your arms to your side and reach with the other arm as high as you possibly can … that’s it … extend … a bit more. Notice how high the tips of your fingers of that hand are. For most, the single arm extension gets a couple of inches higher with less effort and greater comfort. Consider this the difference between striving – both arms and stretching – single arm. You save energy and get further. In climbing this is the difference between getting to that next hold. In life, I find it a wonderful metaphor for seeing beyond limits and finding a different way.

  • Where can you release from striving with great effort and find more by stretching beyond a perceived limit?

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