Posts Categorized: Getting Unstuck

Building a Kinder World

There’s a line in the recent Sherlock Holmes movie that grabbed my attention.

“Give me some evidence, Holmes. With a little mud I can build bricks and from there I can build a case.”

I’m struck by how often we use the evidence we have to wall us into a world view that isn’t kind to us or the people around us. Someone cuts us off in traffic and we take it personally. Our kids are acting out. Proof we’re a bad parent. And so it can go, if we believe our case that we’re failing or not measuring up, somehow.

What I’ve been discovering as I work with my own mind and assist others in inquiry is that there’s another choice.

Hitting Refresh

Have you ever wished you’d come equipped with an Auto Refresh button? If I had one, I’d use it today. Where was I before the weekend? Oh, right. There. A place to start on Monday morning. A place to Begin Within. This is the time of year when Things come up. Things to prepare for. Things to complete. Friends and family, too. Their things. All of those things we call life with others, life of community.

I’m one of those people who needs to stop and listen to my own directions before I can go into the world and do my thing.

Simply dropping in to a deeper level of connection with my own needs, wants, and inner promptings can be….well, a little more difficult than hitting Reset. There are days I’d give anything for a little curvy upward arrow that I could click and magically reset my screen, putting me back in the loop of my own deeper thinking/knowing.

The Space Inside Stuckness

Sometimes I find myself slipping into an old robotic pattern, a certain contracted stuckness. This trance-like state of being shows up in different ways: reading late into the night and awakening tired, heading to the snack cupboard instead of going on a walk. Leaving a little late for an appointment and then rushing to get there, forgetting my goal of staying present in my life. As if this added drama gives me a life of purpose. I slip into a way of moving through my life as if I’m wearing blinders. There’s very little space for different choices. After all, that would upset the robot with blinders.

Traction

I just arrived home from a trip Over the River and Through the Woods to a mountain cabin. The way there was a bit treacherous, but once there the scene was a holiday card in 3D. Heaps of soft snow and stillness. Fine powder drifting aimlessly through the starry night sky. A wood stove to feed and long nights of dreaming.

A much-needed respite from my usual busy life (and mind to match).

On the way back we came face to face with a snow plow and needed to move over perilously close to a ditch. Our wheels began to spin as we struggled to get traction once again.

The very thing that had cleared our way nudged us into a little stuck place.

Tolerating Peace

I’m learning to tolerate peace. I’m shocked as I see myself writing that, which takes me right out of peace. You see, my identity is so wrapped up in being a Peacemaker that it’s a Giant Step to admit that peace very often in my inner life has often been missing.

I’ve been a Peacenik my entire adult life. My credentials are impeccable. I became an anti-war activist when I discovered the realities of the Vietnam war. I organized an anti-nuke installation using little tree-farming cones to demonstrate insane levels of nuclear warheads in the early 80’s.

When the Outside Messes with the Inside

I was just so proud of myself a month or two ago. I was fairly convinced that I’d figured out the major puzzles of my life. Or at least one major puzzle, the tendency to put stuff in my mouth when I wasn’t hungry.
I honestly believed that attending Geneen Roth’s residential retreat and living the Women Food & God Way had brought such a bolt of enlightenment that I would never eat compulsively again.
That was before I started moving everything out of half of my house for a long-anticipated remodel. Before I began traveling and celebrating the freedom of summer. Before I started working on a book project, or at least before I experienced my favorite procrastination technique.

The Cafe at the End of the Search

I’ve spent a whole lot of my life in a search for truth, beauty, goodness, The Way. Much of what has motivated me has been from that deep longing that propels each of us to connect with the sacred in life.

No regrets. But lately I’ve been thinking of calling off the search. Because it feels like peace. (What better reason would there be?) When I’m craving something to eat, drink or do that will fill a hole, I’m usually believing that my current state isn’t okay.

Change on Unseen Levels

I’ve become more and more aware of how change shows up in the last few years, working with dozens of clients and mentoring many of them over an extended period of time.
What one principle emerges from this work? This: Change happens on unseen levels first. I learned early on that focusing on a problem (say, weight loss or clutter clearing) as a first focus just doesn’t usually work. Yes, there may be improvement out front, but it usually doesn’t last. That’s the not-so good news.

Is It Kind To Just Let Yourself Be?

There’s wisdom in the advice to “let yourself be.” As in: to get off of your case, stop pushing/judging/blaming. There’s kindness there.
But when does it stop being kind? When “letting yourself be” means sliding into the same old groove, the patterns that are creating the results that keep you feeling stuck.
“Letting yourself be” isn’t kind if it’s a strategy for avoiding the discomfort that comes from taking action and moving out of your default self. The best way to get unstuck doesn’t always feel kind. It can feel very awkward. It can require staying with whatever’s coming up instead of going robotic in an old tried (but not so true) way.