“Go as far as you can then stretch a little further.” Barbara Stanny,  Six Figure Women



This reminds me of my dancing days. Stretching was necessary to increase flexibility. You didn’t want to force a stretch and tear a muscle too much-that was overkill and could backfire on you putting you out of commission. What’s the gain there?

The idea was to stretch a little bit further every day.  Eventually, you would be sitting on the floor in second position with your legs outstretched to the side 180 degrees with your stomach and floor kissing.

It was accomplished with gradual coaxing. By stretching a little bit further each day, you were able to eventually go farther than you ever thought possible.
This same idea could be applied to anything: starting a business, working with a coach/mentor or any thing or goal you set your mind to. Stretch.


I’ve said it before. I’m an ‘everything in moderation’ kind of girl. I believe slow and steady wins the race; that once I set my mind to something and I persist, the payoff will be greater than I ever dreamed possible.



Once I saw a well known dance instructor come over to a male student sitting in second position on the floor (that’s legs outstretched to the side for you uninitiated dancer types) and forcibly pushed hard on on his back to shove his chest to the floor in order to hopefully increase his stretch. All this did was probably create painful groin muscles for a few days for the dancer–not a particularly smart move. Although a beautiful performer this teacher’s teaching left much to be desired-in my opinion.
So, how far should you take the no-pain-no-gain theory?
In any situation, I would say, don’t let anyone push you into doing something or accepting an offer that doesn’t resonate with you. If something doesn’t feel right, trust that. Your gut feeling. And, don’tgo there; hold out for something better.


I hope that student complained to that egotistical celebrity dance teacher after class. And maybe he did and maybe he didn’t; not sure what the lesson was he got out of it. But, what I got was: Don’t tolerate abusive behavior.; don’t always trust authority as they’re not always right.
Whenever we give someone else our power, we’re subject to their whims or desires–that’s the downside–we have to play by their rules.
But, really we have to determine what is right for us.
Maybe that  student needed that extra push–maybe the added pain was worth  it even if it was administered rather insensitively. To stretch beyond his limits. Maybe he’s into pain! Who knows.
There’s an upside to learning from bad teacher experiences: They teach us what we know we don’t want!


So, here’s to those egotistical bitch or bastard teacher guides-in-disguise who help clarify what it is we would like more-or less-of. Maybe it pushes us further into finding a better way.
Stretching in all areas of life should be a little painful–if it’s a healthy stretch and not taken to extremes. It literally tears the muscle fibers a bit. But with a little give and take-stretching followed by resting then more stretching, etc., performed a little every day the muscle heals and new strength and flexibility is gained.
Each teacher has their own style. Some resonate with us more than others; we each have to find our own groovy guru(s). We can learn from the bad ones as well as the good. We can learn something from them all; they all can help us stretch beyond our self-imposed limits.
I hope you find many teachers in life who have something that resonates with you.
What about your most memorable, good/bad teaching experiences: Did they ‘stretch’ you? In what ways?

How do you plan to stretch in 2012?

Let me know in the comments.

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