I have discovered in my own bodymind that many of my habits and preferences are not necessarily due to any major commitment or physical deficiency but rather to a lack of involvement in new and stimulating activities. The forces of laziness and the easy way out all too often outweigh the more risky routes of change and development. In our culture of instant everything, it’s pretty simple to just slip into a comfortable set of patterns and become trapped and fixed within their structures.
For example, I recently decided to paint several of the rooms in my house. After I began spreading the paint, I noticed that my arm was getting tired, so I tried switching the brush over to my left hand. At first, I was put off by my own awkwardness of movement in this arm, and my immediate response was to take the brush back into my right hand again, no matter how exhausted it was getting. Then I stopped myself and decided that I would try to learn how to paint with my left hand as comfortably as I had always done with my right. It didn’t come easy at first, but after a while I found that either arm could be used for the execution of this simple household task. This process of growth involved first discovering my limitation and then allowing myself a chance to transcend it.