If you are anything like me you sometimes get terribly stuck. A pain persists, you feel down or anxious and can't get centered, or you are seeing something from an obsessive or negative perspective that you cannot seem to see any other way. When stuckness peaks we feel lost, hopeless and disconnected. It can be hard to get out of this overwhelming feeling. The key is movement.
Reach out to connect with others. Just that action of reaching can bring about a big shift. Reach out to professionals (for therapy, coaching, energy work, healing touch) or reach out to friends for time together to talk or laugh or go out and break the cycle of being stuck. Moving your body is crucial to change. If it’s too much to go jogging or to the gym or a movement class, start small by dedicating twenty minutes to moving the joints in your body. Make slow circles one set of joints at a time: ankles, knees, hips, neck, wrists. Do a set of twenty circles in one direction and then switch and do the other direction. This is a warm-up we do in my Tai Chi class and I always feel a change in my energy after I’ve done it. When you do your knees, bring them together in standing position and rotate them slowly in subtle circles. The hips you do like you are hula-hooping. After you’ve done the wrists, bend all the way down to your toes and let your neck and back unwind. Hang there until you feel ready to come up slowly, stacking your spine back into alignment. Shake you body a bit and remind it that you are alive.
Part of the process of changing stuckness is recognizing it before it grows to be paralyzing. Imagine that there is a meter measuring your stuckness and you can check it any time you want. When it starts to bob past the half-way mark to you to take some action. If it’s already in the orange or red you will need to do a few things.
Stuckness is usually a response to stress. Stress may involve any aspect of the energetic body: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, or a combination. Moving your body changes it physically and that can trickle into the other aspects. To change stuckness on the mental level I find that talking and writing help. Looking at what you are thinking about and what the feelings are underneath. Studies have shown that re-imagining something troubling to be different and have the kind of outcome you have wished for can be a powerful tool for healing from it. NPR did a short piece on this recently that I thought was excellent. You can listen to it by googling "NPR Editing your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings."
To change my emotional body I often look to art. Art is the physical manifestation of emotional expression, and I think it is a tool we can use to save us from our worst selves. If you are feeling stuck I challenge you to try some of my suggestions involving art.
Google images of your favorite paintings and re-examine them. Imagine how the hands that created them might have looked. Imagine the determination and perseverance it took the artist to bring that work into existence.
Take the plunge and put on an 80s dance song and get into it. See if you don’t smile, feel lighter, feel your energy moving inside you more. Or get expansive in your chest and your mind by putting on a symphony, loudly.
Find a youtube video of dancers: Martha Graham, or Alvin Ailey, or my teacher Kemba Shannon. Mimic their movements, or if you can’t quite do that, imagine yourself dancing like them in your mind’s eye. Live out the whole dance like that in your imagination.
Find Storycorps on NPR on your computer or smartphone. Storycorps is a project where people sit in a recording booth (usually in an airstream trailer that travels the country) and interview each other about their lives. The Storycorps team edits the interviews down to short clips, just a few minutes, and stores the entire interview with the Library of Congress. I find that listening to these stories moves the energy in my heart. It evokes empathy and compassion. I often cry, feel inspired, and feel grounded again after listening to a few.
Those are my tricks and techniques for helping myself when I’m stuck. What are yours?
Wishing you health and happiness, Liz
Copyright © 2015 Liz Greenhill Acupuncture, All rights reserved.
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