I'm stuck: a modern epidemic

“I’m stuck.”

These two small words spoke volumes about what was happening in his life. Over the last few months and years we’d had many conversations, so I knew about the challenges he had faced. Not all were negative situations, for example he had bought an amazing little apartment that he had renovated, but even positive things can tip you over the edge when the load on your mind is high.

He went on to explain that, while many of these challenges were now in the past, the pattern of worry that his mind had adopted over the last few years was still there, holding him tightly in its deep ruts, and this was why he felt stuck. Worry had become his default response to everything, and he knew it was not the way he felt about life deep down in his core, but it was drowning everything else out.

I knew he had a wonderful little business in Italy and some great ideas about how he wanted to grow it, and I knew that all of these ideas would work, if only he could start doing them! Each time I sat with him I could almost feel the inertia myself. I could see the circling thoughts in the occasional dulling of his eyes, and I could sense the lack of energy in the heaviness of his body.

Ironically, it was only days earlier that I had organised a workshop called UnStuck, to be delivered next month in Australia. So when my friend, without knowing this was happening, uttered those words, it further heightened my concern that this sensation of “stuckness” is a growing epidemic.

Over the years, every piece of work that Susan and I have delivered has always come down to this:

  1. You are at your best, happiest and most fulfilled when you are present, light, awake to life and clear of mind. In fact this state is our most natural one, and ultimately it is the goal we all seek, in our own many varied ways.

  2. There are so many things that can distract you from the present, weigh you down, shut you off and hold you back, and they can creep up on you very stealthily, or blindside you very suddenly. Often we don’t know where they come from, we just know they sit heavy, and it can seem overwhelming, complex and impossible to shake them off.

  3. Getting unstuck and finding the energy, clarity and confidence to move forward is about letting go and being willing to strike out on a new path. It is not about adding something more, it is about lightening the load. It’s not about working it all out in your head, it’s about quietening the inner voice. And ultimately, it’s not about reaching a goal somewhere far off in the distance, it’s about discovering moments of presence now, here, today.

As I walked my friend back to the door of his lovely apartment in the tiny cobbled back street of a gorgeous Italian village surrounded by vineyards, he was quiet and reflective. He had believed he could think his way out of this dilemma, but he was starting to understand that more “thinking” was the very thing that was keeping him stuck. He was ready for life to change, but I think he was still secretly hoping something “out there” would magically happen to create that change.

I’m secretly hoping that when I next see him something will have magically happened, but I know that the fog of mind that obscures our vision, the heavy baggage that weighs us down, and the growing doubt that halts our momentum rarely lifts without intent and action.

However I also know that everyone has the resources within themselves to get unstuck, and it starts with just one little step.

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