What to Do When You Feel Stuck or Blocked
I learned a long time ago that there are tides in life. Times of clear vision. Times of pure blindness. Times of productive activity. Times of forced stillness.
But over time, as I learned to create a life I love, I forgot. I got used to the assumption that the constant pace of life, like the internet, would always be, well, up. Live. Moving. Achieving. Climbing. While I remembered the tides during times of pregnancy; for the most part, life became (and is) a steady cycle of achieving a goal, dreaming bigger, realizing it, dreaming bigger, in an ever-evolving state of expansion. I love the challenges each goal presents, I love the thrill of uncertainty, I love the risks, the stretch, the burn. It’s all good.
But what I’ve realized lately, is that this constant “always on” pattern denies the pattern of the natural world. It ignores the tides. It tries to convince us that the tides are a mistake, that they’re unnatural. That we’re doing something wrong when we experience them. Yes, we think there’s something wrong when the tide goes out. When we go through dry spells. When our finances dip. When we can’t see five years ahead. When we don’t know what we’re going to do next.
Where did we get the idea that we’re an exception to nature, rather than the rule? We understand the tides of awake/sleep, hunger/nourishment, day/night, winter/summer – we believe these are normal, positive aspects of life. Why do we then not see that the low tides in life – the drought, the uncertainty, the periods of less income, the in-between times, the creative blindness, the waiting times — are just as natural, positive and normal to our experience here?
What happens during times of drought? Trees push their roots down deeper. What happens during times of creative or economic drought? We push our roots down deeper – not that we can force it, but that we grow. We stretch. We learn to trust our ability to endure, to survive, that life is germinating in the unseen. We face our fears and learn to wield our power to choose between faith and fear.
But there is something else that the tides teach us. And that is how to be quiet. How to be still. How to be. Present. Here. To cherish our blessings. To see them, sometimes for the first time. Creative blocks, feeling stuck – sometimes they’re caused by fear. Sometimes they’re caused by the project not being ready to emerge yet. Sometimes they are simply a natural tide of creativity. A tide we are not meant to fight.
What’s hard to hold on to when you are in the midst of a low tide, is the fact that the tide will turn. It will come back in again. It always does. And it brings with it fresh insight, fresh energy, new possibilities.
What do you do when you feel stuck or blocked? Accept your place in nature. Let it go. Refuse to believe that there’s something wrong with you.