Friday, June 22, 2012


Home. Shoes are off. The rain makes a steady sound outside the window and I am sitting here in my writing nook so grateful to be out of the mess. My commute today home took about 90 solid minutes. Most of that time, I was stuck and not moving. To give you more of a context, from my front door to my office with NO traffic whatsoever, it takes me about 20 minutes. Usually, when I drive, I make it home during the rush hour in about 30-35. Not horrible. Until today.

When I first moved to Seattle, I learned very fast how to deal with the traffic. I term my learning curve as "experiential immersion." I had to learn fast. At first, I hated the traffic. I would merge onto Interstate 5 white knuckled, cold, sweaty, and clammy and hold my breath, not being too aggressive and at certain moments being passive to the point where I could have caused an accident. Then, about 2 years ago, I got into an accident during a heavy rain. Totaled my car, thankfully nobody was hurt. I learned my lesson of not following too closely.
As I crawled and scooted home today, inch by inch, mile by mile, I started to think about this idea of being stuck and what it feels like. I played the funny role of "curious observer," and just noticed bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions, and the like. Being stuck sucks. Not only in traffic, but in our lives as well.

I definitely classify myself under the "Mover and Shaker" category in my life. Always taking action, running off my Type A adrenaline, and getting shi*t done. Enough said, right? But I hit walls too. I get stuck, spend time in ruts that aren't too productive, exercise ambivalence in the department of self-care, and then sabotage myself. We all do. It's okay. It's necessary to grow. How so?
Well, energetically speaking, the universe puts us where we need to be on order to gain the lessons it has to teach us. I know it sounds a bit "woo woo," but think about the times when you have been stuck, in a rut, or repeating necessary behaviors. You eventually come out on the other side and you become more evolved, living at a higher vibrational level. You bring with you evolutionary intelligence and it's a magical thing.
In my traffic mess today, I realized that tiny actions brought me through the stuckness. For instance, my relationship with my finances. Getting honest about them was a small step, even though it felt huge and moved me to take action with them. Doing my yoga or deep breathing for 15 minutes a day is such a tiny movement, but it creates some stability for me in my self-care routine. Setting an alarm to go off at 1:30pm everyday reminds me to take a break and eat and get away from my desk. It all adds up.

Here's a simple reflection to do if you are feeling like you have been in traffic for way too long:

1. Identify one area in your life where you feel stuck. (Think about what brings up feeling of dread; is it balancing your checkbook, the clutter in your house; the extra pounds you have put on).

2. Sit and breathe and be with your "area." What brings up the dread? What is the one word reflecton when you say that area of your life outloud? No judgment!

3. Write down 5 mini actions you can take using SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. (I will get my receipts gathered on my desk, I will pack my gym bag, I will have healthy snacks in my desk drawer) Easy peezy.

4. Post your actions where you can see them. Give yourself a week and then check back in.

5. Remember, no judgment. Be gentle. ANY movement in your area needs to be celebrated.

A toast to getting unstuck and a bigger toast to a weekend of relaxation, breathing, and space!

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