I have all kinds of things I want to say about this fox.

But if this is going to even slightly make sense, I have to explain the Video Game Technique.*

* A useful thing my students/clients use to simultaneously practice several of the principles we work with. If you’ve never played a video game, just pretend. No video-game-secrets needed in order to get this.

The Video Game Technique.

You’re playing a video game and you run into a wall. Smack. Ow.

Well, your avatar ran into a wall. You’re still on the couch. But still.

A massive wall. Right in front of you. Blocking your progress.

What do you do? You look for options.

It’s a video-game world, so you know there’s a way past it.

You try to go over it, under it, around it, through it.

If there is absolutely no way over the wall, you go left or right. Or you go back and try something else.

If over the wall doesn’t work, you don’t just keep trying to go over it seventy two more times. You look for a different way to get past it. You try new things.

How this is different from real life.

In real life, we are constantly running into walls.

Here’s what most of us do when we run into a wall. Smack. Ow.

Then we run into it again. Smack. Ow. Hey, look. The wall is still there.

We might try to get around it. But then we run into it again. Smack. Ow.

We step back. And then forward. Smack. Ow.

Then we cry, rage, complain. We tell our friends and our therapists and anyone who will listen about how much we hate this stupid piece of crap wall and how it won’t just go away.

And it doesn’t even occur to us that there might be another way past.

Ask most people if they’ve tried going left or right yet, and they don’t know. They don’t keep track of how they’ve approached the wall – they’re just stuck in a rut. Smack. Ow.

When you use the video game technique, here’s what happens.

You get sharper. More alert.

For one thing, the wall is a challenge. Not a sign that your life sucks or that you’re an incompetent loser.

Also: you’re keeping track of what you try and how well it works.

Under doesn’t work, around doesn’t work, over doesn’t work.

Okay, am I correct in assuming that I even need to get past this thing? What are the options that I haven’t tried yet? Have I missed anything?

You’re curious. You’re intrigued. You’re ready to try new stuff.

This is good.

Why it’s so important.

The video game technique is a classic destuckification tool because:

  • it’s about awareness — being conscious of how you’re relating to yourself and the world around you.
  • it’s about acknowledgment — letting the hard stuff be hard without being impressed by the hard or thinking that the hard defines you.
  • it’s about possibility — taking information and making conscious choices.
  • it’s about patterns — recognizing how things fit together and intentionally mixing things up.
  • it’s about flow — moving away from things that result in paralysis, and reconfiguring.
  • it’s about sovereignty — owning your space and making decisions about what you do with it.

It gives you flexibility, agility, adaptability, grace and all sorts of other useful things. And most of all, it shows you options.

Back to the fox.

Where we tend to get messed up with the video game thing is this:

We forget that this is about Very Interior Design.

We forget that it’s our video game. Which means that there are always more options available than you might think.

At our retreat earlier this year, some people were scared of their own video game.

Because it might be a trap. Because what if you got to a point in this learning-about-your-stuff experience where you ended up stuck behind that wall and you were never able to get out again?

An infinite loop of stuck.

That would not be fun.

So, here’s a question: who is on your video game design team?

What about a fox?

Foxes have a severe dislike of being trapped. Understandably.

And I read somewhere once that a fox digging a hole or a tunnel will always create a second exit.

This may or may not be true, but it’s useful.

Since it’s your video game, you get to decide who you want on the design team.

I want a young Marilyn Monroe, for sass and determination. And a structural engineer, one with a sense of humor. And Shiva, for endings and new beginnings.

And I always want a fox.

The whole point of Very Interior Design is that it happens inside of you.

If being trapped is not an option, set things up so there is no way to be trapped.

We can’t control external circumstances, but we have a lot to say about how we interact with them. And we have a lot to say about what filters we perceive them through.

And we have a lot to say about how we navigate our internal spaces.

If safety is vital because you’re scared of what might happen when you encounter your monsters, then by all means, let’s make safety the hugest priority of your video game.

Let’s get some safety experts on your video game design team. Let’s get you a bunch of negotiators. And an ideal family. Let’s get you places of sanctuary. And canopies of peace.

And a fox. Because it’s your video game. And it’s your experience.

The fox is smarter than the wall.

In fact, the fox might even know that your walls are only there because they think you need them.

And that walls can be spoken to. And you can interact with them in a variety of ways.

The fox knows that exit points are as important as entry points.

The fox knows that intelligence wins out over brute force.

The fox is there to try things.

Which, really, is what this is about.

Creating safety. And then trying things. Creating safety. And then trying something else.

So that it’s not just an endless parade of smack-ow-smack-ow.

You make safe spaces in which to practice. You find out what your options are. You take notes. And you take care of yourself. Because this world is yours.

And comment zen.

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. We let people have their own experience, which means that we’re supportive and kind, and we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

You’re more than welcome to share stuff you’re working on, things you’re thinking about related to foxes and video games and destuckification and Very Interior Design.

Love to all the commenter mice and the Beloved Lurkers and everyone who reads. Besos.

The Fluent Self