Stuck is Not a Place

In the last few years I have often heard people talk about feeling stuck, or having 'blocked energy'. These two words, ‘stuck’ and ‘blocked’, have always bothered me. The concept of having come to an impasse and therefore not being able to move to a desired goal with a certain outcome is not something I like to consider since it may unnecessarily limit our expansive choices.

I often spend time at a nature place that is very special to me. It is a little stream in a wooded area of a nature preserve called Peace Valley Park where there are large rocks placed in the streambed so visitors can cross to the other side. I navigate my way to the middle of the stream and sit on a rock with a heightened sense of nature's energy forces. As I feel the water spirits all around me I receive a kind of clarity, and my focus includes a wider field of auditory and visual sensory awareness. My mind plays nature games like the one in which I watch a leaf floating by, making it's way around the rocks and through the eddies, being swept away, or being caught by something, while the water around it keeps pulling the leaf to join the forces of ongoing movement.

Sometimes, when the leaf is held in a place for a long time it is joined by other leaves and sticks, creating a barrier which prevents them from moving at all. Often I watch one leaf jauntily bobbing and dancing on the water's surface, effortlessly making its way downstream. Every time I return to this sacred nature place, sticks, stones and leaves have rearranged themselves with the wind and rain's assistance. I like to see my life as a movable process supported and rearranged by an ongoing natural force of energy.

Sure, there have been plenty of times in my life when frustration built to a crescendo and there was more confusion than ease. There have been times when I didn't get what I thought I wanted, when I ranted and raved at the difficulties my life seemed to present, when I was scared, and it seemed I was turning in endless circles. At those times I didn't want to remember that the Japanese word/symbol for chaos is also opportunity, and that there are times when new choices can only present themselves after a confusion.

But instead of thinking of myself as being stuck, I like to think that there is no such place as stuck. Energy is always movable. Each atom, cell, and molecule of a human being is designed to be in a state of continuous vibration.

When I work as a Body-Psychotherapist my intention is to heighten the awareness of what may seem like a stuck place to my client. My experience tells me there is no such thing as blocked energy. Instead, my client discovers this is simply an opportunity to look at what caused the discomfort, which usually resides in an adopted belief that has been habitually repeated and practiced. The only purpose this serves is for us to become aware!

Before the person can move to another level of awareness and action we….. pause…. and take time to reconsider whether he/she is truly ready to let go of a familiar pattern that has been part of ones life for a very long time. There is often an experience of pain and fear in this uncomfortable death - rebirth process. There may not be enough information available yet to replace the known, comfortable, habit and allow a new choice, into a different direction, to be made.

It becomes a time for gathering, for trying this or that, for listening to the wisdom and woundedness of the inner child, and to the memories stored in the body’s cells,. It is a time to remember and strengthen the belief in one's core support, one's spiritual connection, which is always available, and no one can take away or destroy.

It becomes very important to be gentle, soft, and patient with oneself during this time. There is a younger aspect that, now that it feels safe and knows the more mature self is available to listen, he/she hesitantly starts to show up and wants to share her unresolved issues.

This is not a time for pushing and judging, but instead is a time to join the "Fertile Void' as the great therapist and founder of Gestalt Therapy, Fritz Perls, named it, or the "Great Pause" as I like to think of it. It is a period of incubation when that which is waiting to be born prepares itself by gathering strength. This very delicate time cannot be rushed, and instead my client must be supported, encouraged, until the process becomes more easeful. Now one can happily enter the endless flow of life, not for better or worse, just different.

bamboo groves at the wind's corner
circle the mouth of the Western shore
dumbfounded by the footstep
light as spring hollow
flute above the river now
"you remember don't you remember!"
a clear night when owl woke up
in the blue of the morning rush
the reed got lost
"ssshhh not yet - do not yet awaken
when you fall the ground will tell you how to take the next step”
Ute Arnold, MFA
Body-Psychotherapist, artist, author
Unergi Holistic Therapy School