It happens to all of us. Something happens (or doesn’t happen,) we say something (or don’t say something,) or we in other way experience (or don’t experience) something and, suddenly, it’s all we can think about. We obsess over it. This thing takes over our waking thoughts and our dreams, it infects our words, our ambitions, our day to day activities, and before we know it, we’re stuck. It can be over positive things or negative things or, occasionally, it is even over a whole collection of things and it’s possible that we don’t even know exactly what “it” is, but stuck we become never the less.
Why is being stuck a bad thing, especially if you’re stuck on a good experience? It’s a bad thing because it keeps you from living in the now. Okay, I know that’s a hokey phrase and I’m nauseated by it, too. Let me try again. It keeps you from experiencing the present. If it’s a really good thing and you stay stuck with it, you’ll be missing all the really good things that are – or could be – happening right now. If you’re stuck on something bad, you already know why it’s bad to be stuck. It feels horrible. You relive the bad stuff over and over again and then that becomes your reality, as though that one moment is your entire life. The fact is that, in both cases (good and bad,) it is not your whole life. It was one moment. One. In your entire life. Staying in it keeps you from seeing, experiencing, and appreciating the thousands more thousands more that have happened and are going to happen. It’s like going to a gigantic, beautiful, totally not disgusting buffet (I have buffet issues, don’t judge me) and only having a glass of water. No bueno.
So how does one start the process of snapping out of it? There are no definite answers and what works for some might not work for others, but there a few things you can try. Here are a few of the things that have worked for me. They might just work for you, too. And, if not, well, at least you know that your friendly little rebel yogini blogger gets stuck, too.
Feel it. (Part 1) I mean it. Go ahead. Dive in, give in to it, surround yourself with it. Talk about it, write about it, swim around in it, just get into it and really truly feel it. You cannot get rid of what you never truly had, so go ahead, have it … for a little while.
(Part 2) Set a timer for how long you’re going to allow yourself to be immersed in it. This might be an hour or a day or even a week, but really, loves, a week is pushing it. The idea is to snap out of it, not to snap it to you. Once you realize you’re stuck, you need to get the lead out and get moving on. Allow yourself to wallow in it for that time and then, when that time is up, move on to the next steps.
Freshen up. What you might not have realized is that when you got stuck on the “thing,” you got stuck in your own routine. I promise you – when you’re stuck in a mindset, a memory, a worry, a whatever, you are stuck in all parts of your life. You’re probably eating the same things all the time, wearing the same sort of thing all the time, and I promise you, you’re hanging out with the same people all the time. Eat something new or an old favorite you haven’t had in a long time. Pull something out of the way back of your closet that hasn’t seen the light of day in ages. Go out and spend time with someone new. I don’t necessarily mean someone you’ve never spent time with before, although that certainly would work. I’m talking about spending time with someone you don’t hang out with regularly or with someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Talking with someone you haven’t seen in a long time will bring new and interesting things to talk about. It’s likely that they will have a story that blows whatever you’re stuck on out of the water and then, well, you’ll see it’s really not that big of a deal.
Observe stuck people. I know this sounds somewhat rude, but we are human beings and we learn largely by observation. If you take a little time, you will be able to notice who is stuck and who is not.Notice how folks respond to them. Notice how they carry themselves. Notice the energy around them. Just observe them – and then observe what you think about what you observe. Sometimes, you even find someone who is stuck on the same thing as you! This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen and when it does, it’s like finding the holy grail. This recently happened to me and the effect of observing them was profound. I started to see this other person as needy, clingy, obsessed, almost stalkerish in their actions and their need to rehash every moment of something and it almost immediately bitch slapped me back into reality. KAPOW!! Right in the kisser.
Take it to the mat. I have often said that we work our shit out on the mat and I believe it’s true. There have been very few times that I went to my mat with an intention that didn’t pan out at the end. What you think on grows! Go to the mat, sit quietly in meditation for a few moments, and set the intention to let it go. As you work through your asana practice, continue to repeat to yourself your intention of letting it go, saying goodbye, moving on. Feel each exhalation taking “it” away from you and each inhalation bringing you peace and renewal. Stay with the feelings, with the emotions, and let the yoga do the work. Take an extra long Savasana. Repeat as necessary.
Give. It’s really hard to be stuck in ourselves when we are busy serving others. When we are forced to think of other people, we have to get out of ourselves. Volunteer somewhere for an afternoon. Offer to make a meal for someone who could use it. Walk someone’s dog. Buy someone lunch. Do something for someone else and see that there is way more to life than just you and your “it.”
Find Cher. Have her slap the shit out of you. ;)