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  • Writer's pictureMarilyn Halpern

The Mindful Path — Flexibility | Jun. 3, 2021

“To thrive, I must be flexible.” – Marilyn Halpern

The world is slowly shaking off the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic. The COVID vaccine has allowed our world to wake up. As the days unfold, our need for flexibility and patience is in high demand. This transition brings to mind the flexible and resilient hummingbird.

Hummingbirds are the only bird that can fly backwards and upside down. They can stop in an instant while travelling at full speed. They can also hover and fly sideways with ease. Their flight adaptability, versatility and flexibility inspired the invention of helicopters and drones.

Hummingbirds are flexible. They symbolize the spirit of adventure, joy, and play. As we await the arrival of hummingbirds, we can reflect on our own strength, tenacity, perseverance, and endurance of the past year. Fortunately, this spring brings hope. As we allow ourselves to hover in the now, we can enjoy the present moment. We can shift our perception to focus on things that truly matter – our health, friendship, family, nature, flexibility and wonder.

For this month’s meditation exercise, relax in a comfortable chair. Lengthen your spine. Either close your eyes or soften your gaze. Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Mentally scan your body for any pain, discomfort or tension. Breathe into those areas and gently move them to relieve the tension. Bring your attention to your breathing. Let the image of a hummingbird enter your mind. As you inhale, imagine the hummingbird fluttering upwards, and as you exhale, imagine the hummingbird gently descending. Allow this peaceful image to encourage you to breathe a little more deeply. When your thoughts drift, bring the image of the hummingbird back to your mind. Continue this relaxing practice for 10 – 20 minutes. When you are ready, slowly rotate your neck and roll your shoulders. After your meditation, ask yourself: “Compared to a few minutes ago, what has changed in my body and mind?” Try to feel the difference.

As we welcome June, I hope this gentle exercise brings you one step closer to increasing your awareness and joy. Look forward to seeing your first hummingbird of the season!

(Article originally posted in Prime Time News for Seniors: . Photo credit: Dick Vogel)

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