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Coming into The Edge

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Mel Schwartz, LCSW

I was in the middle of a challenging stretch in a yoga class recently, when the instructor encouraged us to come into the edge. Move beyond the boundary of our comfort zone, was how I interpreted her coaxing. She was suggesting that moving to the edge of what our muscle memory was comfortable with, would propel us into physical if not spiritual growth. Coming to the edge in yoga provides the body with a new or forgotten experience. As we age our bodies tend to mold into habit and conformity which leads to a constriction of our physical being. Clearly, stretching into some new flexibility seemed wise. I reflected that this was also precisely what we need with our thinking.

As true as this rigidity may be for us physically, it is equally problematic for our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts tend to replicate themselves into a never ending cascade of similarity as they evoke more and more of the same emotional reactions. As our thoughts become more habituated they create a literal groove in our thinking, which after a time may become very difficult to escape. The deeper the groove the greater the effort required to break into new territory. This is why we struggle with change. If we continue to become enslaved by old thought, change remains elusive. Choosing not to carry the encumbrance of tired, old thought is the key to self-actualized change.



Mel Schwartz is a psychotherapist with offices in Westport Ct and NYC. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory or his website. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.