“When we get stuck there is a tendency to push and push harder. A square peg just does not fit into a round hole, no matter how hard we try. Often we fail to recognize this fact. We keep on pushing. But pushing is exhausting, and does not produce the desired result. We must mentally step back and take a few deep breaths. We can recognize that everything is like a dream: oneself, the desired goal, and desire itself. This allows space for inspiration, imagination, and creativity. Then almost like magic, approaches present themselves. We feel movement once again. There is openness. There is flow. There is lightness. The dance of freedom and joy begins again. The glue has dissolved. We are once again whole.”
I can’t tell you how many years I spent in push- pull mode. From the time I was born, I was kicking and struggling to move forward. My mother told me that the umbilical chord was wrapped around my ankles when I emerged from the womb. I would fall asleep when being fed initially and the nurses would tell my mother to ping me on the bottom of my foot to wake me up. I broke both ankles in childhood (one twice and one once). I was diagnosed with asthma at age four. I had this internal drive to prove I could keep up. Is it any wonder I became a workaholic?
I had a desire to succeed beyond all expectations and the truth is, I set the bar far higher than anyone else did for me. I hurtled over most of them, stumbling occasionally. I recall times in my life when I sleepwalked and coasted. These days I am conscious and aware of choices I make. In my work as a writer and speaker, I would effort in order to spread the word about what I did, scrambling to find writing and speaking gigs. The result is that I would ‘spread myself too thin’ and indeed experience exhaustion. Wise words from motivationally kick butt teacher and author Lisa Nichols pushed my reset button, when she told me a few years back that I needed to “attract, not pursue.” Although I flinched at first, I realized that all of the pushing I had done, wasn’t what brought about success. It was a combination of seed planting and surrender.
Consider the birth process. If all the mother did was push, without breathing and relaxing, the process would be even more arduous.
In times of ‘stuckness,’ I contemplate what I can do to grease the wheels and ease my way through the impediment. I can twist and turn with thoughts of ‘how did I get here in the first place?’ or I can extricate myself and THEN revisit the process. It is like that Chinese finger puzzle in which your fingers get stuck. You can’t struggle your way out of it. It is when you relax your fingers that you can free them.
I love the idea of creative flow too. Colorful creativity is the life blood that enlivens me. When I gently clear the blockages in that realm, I am astounded with what comes cascading through.