Posts Categorized: Getting Unstuck

Resistance is Not Futile

I procrastinate. Often. It’s a habit.  When I’m about to do something that requires a stretch, I immediately develop a bad case of Got to Do This! I tell myself that something else, anything else, is more important.  That I simply must react to what’s in front of me, that thing that in the moment seems to be screaming my name.

Then I tell myself that it’ll only take a minute. Just this phone call. That email. If there’s nothing else pressing,  there’s Facebook. Or the kitchen cupboards with the hope that I’ll find something with sugar tucked away behind that “safe” zone of good choices.

But, it turns out, no zone is safe when I’m in the self-distraction mode. There’s ALWAYS some little job to do, some little text to write, some habit of looking outside myself that will give me the instant gratification of Doing Something. Read More>>

What’s Your Trellis Look Like?

I was a lazy gardener this summer.  It took me until August to reclaim the garden beds on the side of my house, having torn down all the vines last year to paint. It was immediately obvious that the clematis and Virginia creeper were not thriving.  Without the support of a structure to hold them up, vines sprawl, unable to reach to the sky.

Sound familiar? Without the stucture of routines and rituals, I notice my direction and inner focus begins to sprawl, too.  Not to mention my waistline, but that’s just one of the signs I’ve lost touch with the structures of daily life that sustain me. Creativity and inspiration require routine.  I learned this when I taught writing.  Classroom routines set the stage the most imaginative writing.

So now that the school year is almost upon us, I look at my own trellis.  Morning quiet time to meditate, to stretch to write.  A food plan that sustains and fuels my body.  A calendar that allows me to manage the complexity of my appointments. A daily check-in on my To-Do list. Each year I examine my trellis and see how it needs to be strengthened. This outer focus is a big part of the commitment I make to my inner growth. I keep experimenting with ways to make this easier, and technologies from I-Cal to scheduling programs to blog support makes it all work better for me at this time. But I’m still very fond of the classic approach of a small calendar in my pocket with a to-do list.

The creeper is now climbing a standard trellis, and the clematis is climbing an innovative trellis consisting of a large chain suspended from the roof. But both now have all the support they need to flourish.  And my own new new trellis, the infrastructure that will sustain my spirit and allow it to bloom,  is almost in place.

What does your trellis look like?  What will sustain your growth in the coming months? Now that the sprawl of summertime is coming to an end, it’s a good time to ask the question. And to allow your own unique trellis to be constructed from your answers.

Hardening of the Categories & Other Hazards of Thinking

By luck of genetics, I’m apparently prone to hardening of the arteries. The idea of this bothers me somewhat, but since I’m without diagnosis or symptom, I tend to put this out of my mind, or (more precisely) into the foggy category called  “possible futures.” Then I go back to what’s in front of me, or the next “possible futures” category, whichever is first.

There’s another condition that concerns me more right now and seems to cause more damage in the aging process: Hardening of the Categories.   Read More>>

Impulse or Guidance? Start with Reality

Living a Summoned Life begins where right where you are, with the reality all around you. Right in the smack dab middle of it. In the cluttered bedroom, the sounds of the barking dog, the gray dawn, the body or the mind that needs to stretch.

That’s where current reality squats, waiting for you to answer its summons. The trouble is that often our listening focus is elsewhere.

Living A Summoned Life

There comes a time when the life that you’ve carefully planned and engineered just isn’t enough. Instead of treading on all the carefully planned and planted stepping stones, you find yourself knee deep in a swamp of uncertainty, plagued by a feeling of stuckness. Even your best strategies seem to fail at producing the anticipated results. Or sometimes you discover, as you grow and change, that what once fit like a shoe has begun to pinch.

Hanging Out in Puddles

This has been a season of puddles, and as the sun begins to show up I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned from exploring my own puddles. It all began with a small injury, to which I added lots of insults. I mostly rained on what could have been a perfectly nice parade by thinking that I should be more evolved and enlightened than to feel disappointment or frustration.

Brain Rats

The monkeys in my mind have been a bit quiet lately, probably because I’ve been putting in more time calming them and listening to them. But I’ve lately been taking some big personal and emotional risks, and they’ve been joined by their cousins, the Brain Rats.

A Personal Prescription for Happiness

I love a good fight. Whether I’m “fighting traffic, fighting the Battle of the Bulge, or having a disagreement (aka “fight”) with my husband, I know that somewhere in there is my “prescription for happiness,” as Byron Katie describes what happens when you turn a painful belief around and discover what’s there that you might have been missing.

He should be more sensitive? Once I can really see how that deep belief causes suffering in my life, really close-up and personal, the little slights and unkindness it creates, I’m more than ready to let go.

It’s the Glue

I recently heard of a Tibetan Rinpoche who said “it’s not the thought. It’s the glue.” Body and mind shouted, YES!

I’ve spent a whole lot of time in the last seven years looking for THE thought that would bring freedom, finding thought after thought that opened the doors of truth. Painful beliefs have a way (only always) of not being true.

But, dang it, some of those doors are pretty determined to slam shut again. It’s as if there is a very viscous and sticky substance that allows them to open just enough to get a peek of possibility, but then pulls them closed. So I’ve been getting curious about that glue, poking a stick in it and then pulling it out and seeing what happens, as I sit in my own inquiry.

Dipping Deeply Into the New Year

It’s pretty darned hard to miss the flashing ads and headlines that remind me, and all of us, that this is the time for resolve, discipline, will power. My own natural desire to get more in touch with my healthy body through diet and exercise at this time of year always finds plenty of support from the culture around me. I don’t mind riding that wave. But anybody at my gym will tell you that the new spurt of activity lasts about six weeks.

What makes it stick is when I dip deeply to discover what’s been in the way of change. I’ve discovered for myself that any resolutions for the new year just don’t take unless I spend some time thinking about where I’ve been, getting my bearings for what’s ahead.

Because the unquestioned past seems to have a way of becoming in the future.