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View

Change your view. Try a new movie, play, or program or different scenery. And, of course, changing your point of view would be a big stretch!

My example: I’m not a big movie go-er, but a friend invited me to see Lady Bird. I’m not very good at watching violence or suspense and at the time, I was fairly fragile and wasn’t up for anything very sad, either. That kinda limits potential movies! I checked out the preview and decided I would be comfortable with it. I went and enjoyed it a lot.

How did/will you stretch?

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Undress

Ha, I got your attention! We each have a unique style of dressing and presenting ourselves. Get out of your comfort zone and undress in some way. It could be adding a vest or sweater – it doesn’t always mean less clothes! Consider colors you don’t usually wear or materials that aren’t your norm.

My example: For many years, I couldn’t wear heels due to a back injury. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a short heel, especially on boots. I can’t wear them for a long period of time, but it opens up many more options for shoes.

How did/will you stretch?

Telephone

Although not as good as face-to-face, calling someone on the telephone can be a wonderful way to connect. Maybe a family member or friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time would appreciate hearing from you.

My example: I called a high school friend I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. We had a great conversation and were able to click as if the years hadn’t passed.

How did/will you stretch?

SHine

Let yourself shine! Be the light in a difficult time or place. Step forward if it’s out of character for you to do so. Or chose to be positive at times that are usually more challenging for you.

My example: recently, I went walking with some folks I didn’t know. Physically I wasn’t feeling great but I decided to reach out, get know some of the participants, and put aside my discomfort. Amazingly, by the time we ended our walk, I’d forgotten that I hadn’t been feeling well!

How did/will you stretch?

[In the spirit of providing daily commentary, I’m adding digraphs, those two letters that unite to consistently form a single sound, to my A to Z posts.]

Sing

Aloud, in the shower, in a room, alone or with others. Even if you don’t think you can sing, just let the sound out. And join a group to help the stretch or do some silly karaoke with friends some time. The vibration helps your body, and the joined energy helps connect us.

My example: this winter, I rejoined to a sing-along group that meets monthly. I don’t have to have a good voice but I do show up. And smile a lot.

How did/will you stretch?

Resolve

Find closure on an issue that has been disrupting your life. Perhaps this means finding the courage to apologize or to make financial restitution for an item. Maybe it requires you to finally let go of your image of yourself as a victim or the sick one. Sometimes, it just means you resolve to do differently in the future and move on. Start with an easy one!

My example: I saw a turtle on the road and didn’t have time to stop to help it across. When I returned, it was dead. It haunted me for days that I hadn’t stopped. So, I resolved to always stop, unless it was dangerous for me to do so.

How did/will you stretch?

Queer

Expand your understanding of queer issues. If you’re very familiar with them, encourage someone else to understand better through conversation or reading. Attend a movie or presentation on the subject, hopefully with some opportunity for discussion. What we don’t know or understand can threaten us unnecessarily.

My example: I opened a discussion with a gay friend about a current event (a bisexual man coming out at the time he was accused of sexual misconduct). I wondered about his perspective on it (turns out he’d met the man involved) and feedback on my interpretation of the issue.

How did/will you stretch?