As we gather this Passover, we recite the Shehecheyanu, grateful for having reached this season. I think about what our ancestors encountered and the qualities that aided their survival.
I hold in my heart the Holocaust survivors and have read accounts of what helped them endure. With the challenges from the pandemic that we’ve been dealing with, the word, “flexibility” comes to mind. It has helped us pivot and regroup and is a gift to be cultivated for the journey forward.
Flexibility generally refers to our physical body’s ability to move through its full range of motion, in a fluid way, without pain or difficulty, but the mind can become rigid and inflexible, too.
Some of life’s situations remain out of our control, but the maintenance of our bodies, minds, and spirits are ours to strengthen, like staying physically limber and supple. Especially as we age, being able to reach for things on shelves, stand up from a chair, and maintain balance, can increase our ability to remain independent.
Quality of life improves with fewer aches and pains. Being mindful of posture aids digestion as organs aren’t compressed and compromised. Movement, circulation, and strength training through simple weight-bearing exercises help us remain flexible, as does walking, which airs out the mind as well.
Meditation keeps us from becoming rigid in our thoughts. We can dissolve old habits and patterns that don’t serve us and ward against the continuous loop of mental conversations that shut out new information and possibilities. We can stop traveling down familiar dead-end roads and create new neural pathways toward peace.
Developing a practice of noticing G-d’s beauty in the world contributes to a flexible view of it.
May we become more flexible this Passover, find greater freedom, and go from strength to strength.
Dr. Terry Segal is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in Energy Medicine.