Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have sat and stared at the screen for approximately one hour determining what, if anything, to write today. Oh. Funny how long it sometimes takes me to wake up to the present moment.

My persistent cycle of stuckness has been lengthy and sometimes painful. Getting less painful lately, as I shift my perception and change my knowing of self, mind, emotion, peace, etc. - but the tendency to get frozen within a cage of indecisive hesitation has become a pattern worth investigating.

It has become particularly relevant lately because I have more time and freedom available to me than ever before in my life. Theoretically, the open-ended and unfettered potential of now might lead to amazing creative expressions, the fulfillment of long-held dreams, and a joyous exuberance borne of limitless capacity and unchained time.

Quite the opposite. I have noticed I am more apt to be idle and lost, less focused, less ambitious, and more susceptible to emotional downward spirals when my datebook is unblemished and my dance card empty.

At first I was frustrated by my inaction, then ashamed, then angry, then depressed, then quietly submissive... and finally, after a stretch of concerted mindfulness and an attempt to strip away any ego-based illusions or smoke screens, I again sit down to stare into the abyss of stubborn inaction to see what realizations may come.

  1. I stop myself. I like to blame others for my stuckness, but the tendency to look outward for rationalization is unfair and a bit cowardly.
  2. I am afraid to fail. For a very long time, I pushed this truth away because it seemed so predictably banal and textbook psych-y, but I hate to err because I still hold attachments to right and wrong. I tend toward perfectionism (an impossible paradox) and fear looking foolish - all of which leads to a personality trait loathe to take risks. I am so worried about missteps, I never start walking. This, of course, is both foolish and counterproductive.
  3. Even though I believe in change, the inevitability of life's natural impossibility toward immobility, and the power of anyone to choose anew in any given moment... I hold onto a belief that saying yes to something means I have said no to something else - and then there is no going back. I fear limiting my options... so much so I often choose nothing in an effort to thwart the anticipated loss of a future "what if." Bottom line: I must not actually believe change is always possible, because I don't yet live it.

In my procrastinated surfing prior to writing this post, I stumbled on a quote that addresses all three of the above understandings with disarming simplicity; I like this translation best:

"Traveler, there is no path, the path is made by walking." ~ Antonio Machado

Again I am reminded the choice to take action is more important than the anticipated outcome. Action is now; worrying about the future is not now. Action is here; worrying about how it will be received, how it will make others feel, or how others see me in light of my action is not here. Failure is a construct; stuck is a construct. There is no failure if I always choose to learn and accept what is. There is no stuck when I remember life is never static.

May you feel energized toward action in your living. May you never hold yourself back needlessly.

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