Endings, Beginnings and Getting Unstuck

In All

I’m back. I’ve been stuck between the gap of endings and beginnings, which is an unnatural place for me to be. In the past, my endings and beginnings would normally be processed through a snap decision, a natural transition, or a big giant leap of faith. Maybe you’re like me, and have this core limiting belief and subsequent fear around being trapped.  Well, I do, and the gift of that fear has kept me moving through shifts and changes and transitions my whole life.  So it is not necessarily in my DNA to stop or get in any tight position that feels like being stuck.  Because my instinct, should things get too constricted, is to bolt.  Like lightning.  Run for my life.  To anywhere but here.

So I’ve been stuck.  And what does the Universe do?  First, it sends me a woodpecker — a rare occurrence in AZ — who came each morning for a week and hung from the pillar of my porch where I routinely sit.  One morning, I didn’t go out, and he came to the window and looked inside.  I can’t make this stuff up.  Of course the messages we get from animals, Nature, the Universe, God…are all what we interpret them to mean for us.  When I looked up “Woodpecker Medicine,” tapping into native wisdom, I found woodpecker wisdom to include:

  • Connection to the earth
  • Ability to find hidden layers
  • Understanding of rhythms, cycles and patterns
  • Warnings
  • Prophecy
  • Associated with thunder
  • The Earth’s drummer
  • Pecks away at deception until the truth is revealed

Interesting.

And then I had the amazing opportunity to spend a weekend with one of my amazing colleagues, a true kindred spirit, working together with a group of women on setting boundaries, saying NO, abolishing shame with forgiveness and compassion, and basically living a brighter life. (Everything I needed to hear.)

Amazing.

And then, the Universe showed its uncanny sense of humor by sending me an unsolicited call from a MAJOR  magazine, who interviewed me for an article about…drum roll…how to get unstuck!

Seriously.

So I’ve been stuck.  Between a big ending and a huge light bulb beginning.  And like the rumblings of an earthquake, most of this is happening deep below the surface.  Yes, the ground is shaky, unsecure, and unprotected, but at a much deeper level there is greater movement and shifting, a rhythm, a pattern, that if I peck away through the hidden layers, truths and deceptions are slowly being revealed.

I do not have control and I cannot stop the endings.  And I cannot run anywhere and force a beginning.  Here is the only thing I, or any of us, can really control:

We can prepare for what MIGHT happen; and,

We can respond to what IS happening.

That’s it.  Because what is actually happening — at any moment — is not ours to control.  THAT, we must hand over to Nature, to the Universe, to God.   Because when we don’t, and instead try to control a circumstance, or in other words, argue with reality – we lose.  And we will then interpret this as hopeless.  And we’ll feel stuck.

 

So here is how I am responding and preparing.  If you’re feeling stuck and want to get moving again, perhaps this will help you as well.

1.         Breathe.  Cliché, I know.  But so important.  If your stuckness is bringing up any fear (for me it’s flat out fright factor), your physical body is being hijacked into a stress response.  When we are in fear, we take shallow breaths, or hold our breath, and our hormonal and adrenal alarm systems are in 2-alarm distress.  So stop and practice deep conscious breaths.  I have been going to yoga almost every day.  Namaste.

2.         Name it.   What are the emotions that you’re feeling?  Name them and experience them.  I’ve been vacillating between anger and sadness.  I’ve been allowing a lot of space for the anger to come up (not directed at anyone) and the sadness to flow.   For others it might mean huddling around supportive talks and visits, or therapy.  For me, this requires lots of time alone.  Hello, woodpecker.

3.         Do Nothing.  Now is not the time to act or problem-solve.  Imagine you’ve been thrown overboard and you’re stranded without a life preserver and no relief in sight.  For me, my survival instinct to run will not help me right now, because I will doggy paddle my way to exhaustion, and I will not survive.  I must resist my instinct, and I must be still and allow the discomfort.  Hope floats.

4.         Get Present.  Another cliché.  I will add to this one to pay attention to the messages.  Now is the time to look deeper, beneath the surface that you are seeing.  Peck through some layers and see if you can uncover some truths.

5.         Follow the Patterns.  Cause here’s the thing.  You or I are never really stuck.  There is always a natural  pattern, cycle, or rhythm occurring.  What happens is we become numb and unaware when we believe we are stuck.  So now is the time to be hyper attentive to what is actually happening (the hidden facts.)   It’s like a Connect the Dot puzzle.  You need to find the next number, and then stand back to begin to see the image that is slowly being revealed.

 

I still do not know what is before me.  But I have uncovered a pattern.  And what the pattern is providing me are some choices that I can begin to wiggle loose.  I am responding to what’s happening, and I’m preparing for what might be next.

And the choices feel a little more like freedom, and a lot less like feeling stuck.

 

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