Cherry blossoms

MAY 20, 2015

Feeling Stuck

It’s hard to feel the wheels of our life grind to a halt, while other people seem to be sailing smoothly. It’s distressing when we’ve finally figured out our next chapter, revved up to fulfill our life purpose. We’re ready and excited …. but nothing is going our way. Roadblock after challenging roadblock, doors that won’t open notwithstanding how hard we bang. What gives?

We’re stuck. We’re not even going around in circles. We’re simply not moving. It feels completely dispiriting.

If this reads like where you’re at, take this moment to pause. Yes, I do mean pause even as your life is already in the midst of a long, drawn-out pause. Take a breath. Observe your ‘stuckness’. Actually be in it. Be present to this moment that you’re not moving anywhere. Could it be that this is exactly what you’re meant to be doing, to actually not be ‘doing’? You’ve probably been running around and striving, making, advancing, achieving all your life … perhaps this is your time to pause. Accept this snapshot in your life when you can give yourself permission to just breathe and sit in the discomfort of going nowhere.

Yup, I’ve been ‘on hold’ for months now. Despite all my striving and running around, nothing’s happening. Not wanting to go the “what’s wrong with me” route, yesterday I surrendered and sat in this uncomfortable place of pause. Then I began to notice. I felt heavy weight on my shoulders. I observed my shallow breathing. Is this how I’ve been going through my life of doing, with pain in my body and breathing just enough to stay alive …. and not noticing the personal toll of all my striving?

I observed around me as I sat in the sadness of my stuckness.

The ethereal floating of a white swan on the glass pond. The flaming feathers of a cardinal sounding his song from behind the bushes and his mate joining for a private celebration of springtime. I heard the silent farewell of the few remaining cherry blossoms … they who only two weeks ago were the superstars of the season, now ignored as their wrinkled petals fall unnoticed on the quickly awakening earth.

In front of me stood three tall trees, some branches still bare but many already waving young leaves. They were proud and strong, those huge trees. They must have been rooted at the same spot for decades. Not moving anywhere or running around to prove their worth. And yet how much activity goes on within them as they stand stuck to the ground. It must take a lot of energy for trees to sprout their leaves at this time of year, I thought. Perhaps more so for the ones that bear fruits and flowers. And all the birds they shelter. All the people they shade.

Secured by their stable roots, they reached out to the sky. And that’s when it occurred to me, that to be able to reach high up and to stand in strength, one must be firmly rooted. If that means learning not to move to be able to ground my roots to powerfully anchor growth, I got what I needed to learn from my place of being stuck.

Thank you to all of nature for helping me understand the joys of being. Thank you to the trees for speaking their message of what it means to ‘be stuck’. I understand. When my roots are ready, I’ll be soaring. I’ll be reaching for the sky.

With gratitude to my friend Gillian for helping open my eyes, to the wisdom of the trees, and to nature stirring joyfully at High Park in Toronto’s west end.

©2015 Copyright Margie Santos