There’s this moment where you look at a stuck and shake your head because you absolutely cannot believe it’s still there.

Blink. Blink. Nope. Still there.

And then you say things like this:

“But I’ve worked on this sooooooo much!”

“No, really. I have learned this lesson seventeen thousand times. There is no reason to have to learn it again.”

“Okay. How many more years of over-processing this to death is really necessary? Because I think I’m supposed to be done with this one.”

“Ow. Enough.”

You’re right. Completely frustrating.

Permission to feel hugely annoyed: granted.

Oh goodness. There are all sorts of legitimate reasons for why this situation comes up in its annoyingly familiar way.

And it’s still hard, even when you know those reasons.

What’s actually going on, not that this helps.

Well, a couple of possibilities.

You’re waiting for the last penny. You know, to drop. Or maybe the next-to-last penny.

The point is, you’re close to whatever it is that will finish rewriting the pattern.

Or it could be that you’ve downloaded whatever understanding or realization that you needed, and your mind gets it. Completely.

But for whatever reason, that sense of knowing hasn’t fully made its way to your body yet, and you’re still waiting for that visceral understanding where all of you has experienced it.

Or it could be that a current situation is reminding you so much of a past thing that it’s just kind of knocked you out of right now, and you’re reliving old patterns.

Either way, it’s still a horribly uncomfortable sensation and I’m sorry.


I know that when this happens to me*, I feel vulnerable and confused and irritated.

And disoriented, because I need to know that this stuff makes sense on some level, even if I can’t figure out all the details yet.

* That would be right now, since yeah, I’m writing about it.

Looking at my stuck. Hello stuck. I have a stuck.

Oh, the stucknesses, they are many. But this particular one is about not being able to practice something I know to be true.

What I know is that the less I work, the better I work. Or: the more time that gets built-in for rest and recovery, the more I get accomplished.

And there’s significantly more flow, ease and general fabulousness in my business. And in the rest of my life too, obviously.

I have seen other biggified people go through this process.

Better still, I’ve experienced it myself. I have written about the magic of emergency vacation, about taking time to make time, about practicing this, and how when you’re working on your stuff, there’s time, period.

And yet … I know it and I can’t live it. That’s where I am.

What I know about my stuck.

The thing I know to be true — that doing less creates more — is ridiculously counter-intuitive.

So it doesn’t really matter that I’ve experienced the truth of it or that I believe it in my mind. My body rebels.

I have pain around past experiences of not-doing that were unstructured and didn’t involve any kind of personal intention or whatever.

If I am going to create an environment where there is safety in doing less, we’re going to need structures that support me.

Some of these structures are going to exist in theory or in spirit or in energy, like my canopy of peace. And some of them are going to have to be very grounded in reality and have tangible elements that I can tug on.

What I know about stuck in general.

It always helps to give it legitimacy.

“Even though I’m not sure why this insists on staying stuckified, there’s probably a reason for it still being around.”

It always helps to give it permission to exist.

“You are my stuck. You’re allowed to be here. For now. Even though I don’t know how to be done with you yet, at least I’m interacting with you in some sort of semi-aware way, so hey, progress.”

It always helps to remember that it isn’t me.

“Even though this particular piece of stuck feels so familiar, and I’m positive that it’s this integral part of who I am as a person, I’m trying to remember that it’s not.

“It’s a temporary part of what I’m going through right now.”

It always helps to give it time.

“I do not have to resolve this thing right this second. I get to take whatever steps I need, at whatever pace feels right.

“Oh, and I don’t have to like this part.”

It always helps to have next steps.

“What are my next steps? Is there a way I can build in tiny pieces of what I want? Can I create small experiences (ten and fifteen minute chunks) of restorative time?

If “isolation is the dream-killer”, who are my helper mice?*

“Can I use the Deguiltified Chicken Board at the Kitchen Table?

“Is there someone at the Twitter Bar for me to check in with as I experiment?”

* “Isolation is the dream-killer” is a Barbara Sher-ism. And helper mice are people who like helping. I can’t believe I didn’t put that in the glossary.

How I’m trying to reassure myself.

By meeting myself where I am. This is where I am right now. Talking to a stuck.

By being all whooooooo scientific method about it. Obviously we’ve tried it the old way in a million different iterations. Can we try it this new way? Is there a structure for experimentation? Can we track this thing as we try new stuff?

By spending some time with my duck.

By using a negotiator to help me talk to walls. And the fog.

That’s what I’ve got for now.

For me, the most useful aspect of all of this is just remembering that the stuck is something I can interact with.

I might not be done with it today — or even for a while — but at least I have things I can experiment with. Me and my stuck. Not me being stuck.

We’re in some sort of relationship with each other, instead of me just tripping over being me all the time. Which I find weirdly reassuring, at least some of the time.

Comment zen for today …

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.

And, operating under that assumption, we try to give other people room to have their stuff, without thinking that it says anything about us. If we can. Or rephrase that in whatever way works for you (you don’t have to sound like a yoga teacher). See you in the comments. Or tomorrow for the Chicken!

The Fluent Self