Ripened Like Good Wine

I have been pondering two words lately: congruent and conflict. The reason for the reflection is because I have noticed that if I am unclear or in conflict with myself in any way, that it is more difficult to move forward effectively and/or accomplish things in a timely manner. When I was younger I had lots of energy to burn, which also meant I had the ability to override or ignore any inner conflict, and just push through to make things happen. Sometimes the end result was great, and sometimes the end result was not so great.

As I have matured, or as my father used to say, “…ripened like good wine”, I find I can no longer approach life from that place of raw force and will. That approach is now being replaced with a softer, wiser, and gentler way of approaching life. Sometime I miss the adrenaline high of the old approach, but the new slower approach provides me with a bigger picture, deeper wisdom and often less wreckage.

When I was young I used to spend time in the summer with my mother’s parents. I didn’t get along with my grandmother, but I adored my grandfather and spent many hours just walking by his side. He was a very peaceful, wise, and religious man. It didn’t matter if he was walking to church, puttering in the garden, or going to the store, I always wanted to tag along. As I got older and he got older he moved at a slower more ambling pace.

I can remember him laughing as I would run ahead and back again to him several times on our journey to the store, because his pace was too slow for me then. He found my quick, impulsive, and strong-willed behavior charming and entertaining, but he would also make a point of reminding me how the strong-willed part of me got me in more trouble than most children.

I can now see that he was trying to help me find a way to become more settled in myself, and more harmonious or congruent. I didn’t understand what he was trying to show me then, but his gentle wisdom stayed with me, and it began to serve me when I was older.

Many years later when I was in college, I found myself really upset about a situation. In desperation, I jumped on my bicycle. I didn’t get on my bike and ride as fast as I could, like my friend David would when he was upset, instead I began peddling slowly in a meandering way, very much like my walks with my grandfather many years before. As I peddled in this meandering way I began to feel my frustration dissolve, and clarity begin to rise. I even found myself laughing at my impulsiveness like my grandfather had so many years before. I realize now, I was using movement to shift from conflict to a more potent state of inner peace.

That experience opened a door for a new way for me. Instead of getting crazy when I was upset, I began to use purposeful movement to bring about a calm, clear state inside of myself. Since I couldn’t always jump on my bike to resolve my inner conflicts, I began to find more ways I could use movement to clear mind. Sometimes it was just walking, sometimes drawing or doodling, while other times it was as simple as wiping a counter. The trick, which is very similar to the scribbling activity in the ICWIB program, was to find the right pace, the right amount of resistance and remember to breathe.

When you find the right combination, it is easy to move out of conflict and into harmony or congruency again. The added bonus is that you also activate your conscious problem-solving mind in the process, which means you then have the ability to find a new solution to your problem.

So if you find yourself unable to bring about a change in your life, ask yourself: “Is any part of me in conflict with this action? If the answer is yes, then try pondering other solutions that are more congruent with who you really are.

For more information about the ICWIB program:

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