I’m a big fan of alliteration but that aside, facilitate don’t force to me is a big lesson in the journey over the destination, consistency over intensity, daily efforts over perfection. It’s about having goals then stepping back and letting things naturally unfold as you move towards those things intentionally and even the most miniscully (is that a word?) you can each day.
To me it’s as much a training technique as a life value. Ok, big sweeping statement there. So one at a time.
A Training Technique
The reason so many of us can’t touch our toes has nothing to do with hamstring flexibility; it’s our body putting on the brakes. We have simply become more dependent on our legs for stabilization than our core and weight shift. So do we start stretching those hamstrings and mobilizing soft tissues to force the position? Instead we could facilitate that core reactivity and comfort in our weight shift to get out of our legs.
There is a huge difference between:
1. Forcing a position or skill endlessly against the current ‘setting’ of the nervous system and eventually through sheer repetition, achieving a resetting of the parameters (hacking).
2. Facilitating the conditions in which the setting of the nervous system change naturally to accommodate the new conditions (development).
It’s a temptation I’ve probably had with everything: get it done quicker and force it. Yet the more we fight it the less compliant it becomes. Instead we need to think about providing our body with the basic building blocks it needs then giving ourselves space, time, towards feeling and performing our best.
A Life Value
Have you ever noticed the harder you try to go to sleep, the further you move away from even dozing? Trying too hard is the complete flipside to just allowing it to happen.
We can’t make sleep, or awareness, or love (or arguably health too?) happen. Things arrive spontaneously when the conditions are right.
So what can we do?
Create the conditions! Putting our efforts into creating the framework allows these qualities or conditions to naturally arise. Although maybe ‘doing’ is still forcing so just trying to leave space or room for stuff to arise naturally?
In movement, that could even be just choosing two movements you feel good doing or that you need and feel better having done them and stringing them together with interesting transitions (there’s your framework). Then just try and do them each day. For a week (that’s the space). Experiment on yourself. I’ll bet you feel better, move better, change. You’ll be ready for another two next week for sure!
In health, whether mental or life goals, try the same. A new recipe, bringing your lunch to work, veggies at each meal for one day. A gratitude diary, mediating, creating a vision board but committing to look at it each day and even better translating it into an action board and then looking at it and feeling into it each day (there’s your frameworks). For a week (your space). You’ll be ready to add more when they start ticking themselves off. Time passes anyway, you may as well try to create yours.
We can’t force habits to change. But we can provide the conditions and allow for unfolding with time. By stepping out of our habitual thinking and letting things unfold in their own way, we can take a moment to really feel instead of letting old patterns decide for you. You’ll develop not hack; dream not drudge. In movement. In health. In life, man