As children, we are naturally flexible. But as we age, we tend to lose that flexibility. In death, we become totally stiff, otherwise known as rigor mortis.
A way to offset this stiffness is through stretching. We can push ourselves slightly past our comfort zones. Do this often enough, and we can regain some of the flexibility of our youth.
If we lay in the bed or sit on the couch too long, for example when we are sick, our muscle fibers shorten and we become stiff. Our bodies become dormant and the ability to move becomes more difficult. Bodies in rest tend to stay in rest. And if this is true, then the opposite is true. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Motion leads to greater flexibility.
It is not just in our bodies that we can lose our flexibility. We allow ourselves to slip into routines. We mold ourselves into boundary sets (principles, standards, and ideals) that in time become difficult to break. If we become too afraid to step out of our comfort zones, our whole beings will stiffen. We will become dead to new possibilities.
Stiffness is thus a companion of death; flexibility a companion of life. –Lao Tzu
Our hope is to find the courage to move beyond the known. Beyond the safe and the comfortable. It is in this, we will find growth. We will find motion and in time become more flexible.