But the sofa pillows have accepted me as one of their own, how could I ever leave them?
How to unstuck yourself in pandemic times.
Do you ever get stuck? I can tell you, I do. I get stuck on the sofa, I get stuck in front of the screen, sometimes I even get caught and stuck in my own thoughts. Paralysis by analysis. Sometimes the lower part of my spine gets stuck too, causing pain and, yes you guessed it, more stuck'ness.
There are so many ways to get stuck when you start to think about it. We can be stuck in behaviours, situations, relationships, a job we don't like, or no job at all. Like fully - boots in concrete - kind of stuck. We can be stuck in our body, not being able to move the way we want to. Frozen shoulders, inflamed joints, hormones playing tricks with our mood and wellbeing. The list goes on.
In yoga there are two terms I remembered lately, sukha and dukha. Simply put, sukha can be explained as when things are good, going with ease, pleasure and authentic happiness. Dukha, on the other hand, is often described as discomfort, suffering, or the feeling of being squeezed. I'm pretty sure we can add stuck to it too.
I believe it's ok to be stuck sometimes. It's part of our human experience. Let's not fight it. Let's instead take a closer look at where we are stuck and try to figure out the why. Accept the s(t)uck and go from there. Honor the feeling, let it be, and know that nothing lasts forever.
At some point we will get the urge to move, in what direction is less important.
A few years back, I worked in a long term project, where I especially worked with individuals coming from serious trauma and illness. Many were people just like you and me, where life had taken a turn for the worse, and things crashed and got really really stuck. My role was to be part of a team of people helping these individuals to restore balance and get back on track. At times, this was a very challenging task, but also one of the most rewarding I have ever experienced.
After some time in the project, years, I noticed a pattern. A pattern how to go from stuck to unstuck. I began to see what made the difference between who managed to restore balance and have a good life again, and who didn't. Of course, I'm generalising, and things are more nuanced, but the pattern was still there. I often remind myself of this when things get stuck or scary. And it's not something new or revolutionary.
For almost everyone who accepted how things were, took action, a step in any direction from where they were, towards where they wanted to be - a solution presented itself. And, on many occasions, the solution was not something me nor my clients could have had imagined. It just appeared. Just like that.
Accept the s(t)uck and go from there. Honor the feeling, let it be, and know that nothing lasts forever.
My takeaway was that, as long as you try something, you set things in motion. You get unstuck and doors are opened along the way. It may not be the ones you thought of, sometimes even better treasures await on the other side. I guess you can say the universe works in mysterious ways. I try to remember this when my own life takes a turn with a plot twist I did not wish for (pandemic anyone?) and I get stuck.*
When my sacro coxis gets stuck or my hip flexor fights back, I move. I do the yoga moves and stretches I know will turn it back around. It may take a while, but as long as I trust the process, my body will thank me and the pain will subside. And I learn to listen better and take care of myself.
When I get stuck in my thoughts or ways or fears, when I don't know what to do, I move. It might take a little while and some Netflixing, but I know that when the time is right, I will start pulling some threads and by trusting the process, doors will open. Or maybe a little window I didn't know was there.
I've put together a week long program I call The 7-day Get Unstuck Challenge. It's a shorter version of my three week training program. You can download the 7-day challenge here. It is one micro challenge per day, and can help you get some momentum going. I hope you can have some fun with it too.
And if you are struggling with aching joints or feeling stuck in your movement, try some gentle stretching. Just start to move according to your own terms, and take it from there. Yoga is my go to, what is yours?
Action point and reflection: How do you get stuck? Is it in your body, your thoughts, in situations?
What are your strategies for getting unstuck? What is working, not working, for you?
PS! Remember that it's ok to spend time on the sofa too, sometimes that is what we need. We are human beings, and don't have to be human doings all the time.
*I want to add that setting goals and visions and moving towards them is really good, and maybe the ideal way to go. But sometimes we just get stuck and when it comes to getting that momentum going, it is about moving in some direction. You can pick up the goals along the way. Trust the process.