During the last few months I have been living in a strange state of limbo. Feeling such an intense drive and motivation to do things, make things, create, grow, work on my business. Yet weirdly at the same time, I feel like I’m a car revving its engine with the handbrake on and jammed in park. Something is holding me back, energetically, physically, emotionally. Something bigger than me, bigger than my little fears or concerns.
It feels as if Life, the Universe is saying “hold on, wait, breathe”. And because of this, I am stuck.
I do not like stuck.
My modus operandi throughout most of my adult life has been forcing, pushing, making things happen. At any cost. Health, self care, emotional stability, personal safety, dignity – at various times they’ve all gone out the window in the pursuit of forcing Life. And because of these tendencies, much of my journey now through my 30s has been an almost reverse engineering of my life. My health, body and soul took a battering through all my forcing during my 20s, and now I approach things with a (hopefully) more gentle touch than I used to. But it doesn’t mean that it is always a comfortable place to live.
In times like I am experiencing now, I first ask myself the question “what would old Felicity do?”. More often than not the answer comes back with themes of forcing, demanding, pushing, striving, making it happen! And with these answers in mind, I then stop, soften, relax and formulate the way new Felicity will handle the current situation.
So while I am experiencing this deep frustration with being stuck, my softer approach is to hold a gentle curiosity as to how things will play out, what Life has in store for me. I trust that when it comes to Divine timing, force only seems to make a situation worse and its easier and softer to wait and see. And then I wait. I don’t give up and surrender, feeling like a victim of Life. I wait with grace and keep up my self care practices, continue to tune into my intuition, move my body and allow myself to be open to receiving the next nudge from Life.
Here are my top 4 ways to find softness in the stuck-ness
1. Get on my yoga mat
There is nothing like some yoga to shift things around in the body, mind and emotions. Just because you’re feeling stuck in aspects of your life does not mean you have to feel stuck in your body. The very act of getting on your mat when life seems to be on hold is also a gentle act of self love. Your life might not be moving forward in the way you want right now, or perhaps you can’t even fathom how your life COULD move forward from this present situation. But getting on that mat will claim back a little bit of strength and provide some much needed kindness.
Plus, moving the body through yoga asanas provides a way to reorder the energy in the body, bringing the chakras into a more balanced state and helping balance the sun (masculine) and moon (feminine) energies. The very act of moving and balancing your body with yoga can sometimes be enough to shift some of the mental and physical stuck-ness which, in turn, can make Life stuck-ness feel more bearable.
2. I journal out the crazy
When life backs me into a corner I have a tendency to go into overdrive trying to think my way out of a situation. However, I’ve found in the most challenging, life changing times when Life has literally brought me to my knees, the solution or answer to a problem never, ever came in a way that all my over thinking had tried to predict.
I now save myself the headache and energy drain when I feel stuck and the solution to a situation doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to arrive. I get my journal out and I free write. I write out all the crazy. I whine, I complain, I get angry, I get sad, I freak out. Then I close the book, take 3 deep breaths and let it go. I trust that when the timing is right, the answer or solution will appear.
In the meantime I might as well put that energy into other things like yoga, meditation, being a present wife, friend and yoga teacher, walking my dogs or creating some artwork. Trying to find the answer in the narrow spectrum of my thoughts, ideas and experiences only cuts me off from the infinite possible outcomes that Life can provide.
3. Accept my stuck-ness rather than fight it
So you’ve done some yoga, written in your journal and STILL feel stuck. Roll with it. Accept it. Stop wishing that you felt a different way. Right now things are perfect, even when they’re crappy, confusing or you’re stuck.
Many times our suffering during an uncomfortable period in life comes from all the energy and brain power we put into thinking about how we wish things were different. This is not to say we just give up and accept a bad situation, become a doormat or victim. But there is a big difference in being fully present in our lives even when things are less than great, and the flip side of spending time in our heads, replaying all the things that suck or fantasizing about how we WISH things were.
Accepting the stuck-ness, the suckyness allows space to open up for the answers, solutions and space to enter. Stop fighting it and see what happens!
4. Make sure my bowels aren’t stuck too!
Ooh did that one catch you off guard? In my experience personally and as a Yoga Therapist, when clients are feeling stuck in their lives and in their thoughts, they can very often also be stuck in their bowels too.
Within the body we have 5 Vayus, directions that our prana (life force, energy, chi) moves. When it comes to the bowels, one of the most important is Apana vayu. This downward motion of energy is responsible for allowing us to eliminate and release feces, urine, menstrual blood and also aids in the downward motion of a baby during childbirth.
A busy mind thinking lots of anxious thoughts about the future can start to pull too much energy upwards in the body towards the head. It might seem innocent enough, but this pull starts to effect the subtle energies within the body and in particular, Apana vayu. Too much upward energy and not enough downward causes the digestive system to become sluggish, the bowels to slow right down and constipation to manifest.
Making sure you drink enough water every day is one simple step towards easing constipation, because when we’re up in our heads, thoughts whirring around and feeling anxious, who remembers to drink water!
Another yoga therapy tip is to start the day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice. This helps stimulate the digestion and when combined with leg lock pose it can be a powerful way to ease constipation and get the bowels moving properly.
- On waking drink one glass of warm (not hot) water with half a lemon squeezed into it.
- 5 minutes later perform one round of Supta Pawanmuktasana aka leg lock pose or wind relieving pose. (This short video I made gives you the run down).
- Go to the toilet. Even if a bowel movement doesn’t occur, sitting on the toilet each morning after your water and Supta Pawanmuktasana pose can help the body get into a routine of a morning bowel movement. Ideally we should have a bowel movement every morning which helps us meet the day feeling light and energised, rather than blocked up and heavy.
\\ Feeling stuck? Try some of these techniques and let me know in the comments below if you felt anything shift.
\\ Do you have your own ways of dealing with stuck-ness? Share them below
Love and blessings