Why feeling stuck is not always a bad thing.

I recently wrote a speech for my Toastmasters club, and in it, I described the lessons I learned from pain, feeling stuck and how its not always a bad thing.  Below is an excerpt from what I wrote:

“AH AH AH CHOO! Oh no! I think I’m stuck. But all I did was sneeze?!”

There I was, 18 years old, hunched forward in pain, and literally stuck. I had no idea what happened.  I tried to ignore it, hoping it was just a passing hiccup, but trying to ignore pain works as well as trying to bathe a cat.

I found myself a massage therapist who worked his magic on my back, getting me from 90 degrees of forward flexion to an almost upright position.  Not exactly ideal, but it was a drastic improvement from where I started.  I eventually ended up in my doctors office, and diagnosed with a herniated disc.

It took months to get better, and during that time, I became increasingly more frustrated.  One week I was fine, the next, I was stuck.

Try to imagine if you will, a single 18 year old girl, attempting to look sexy at club – only now, add in sweatpants and a cane. Not exactly the best way to find a boyfriend.  Yes, my social life was starting to suffer,and there was nothing that I could do about it.

I couldn’t go out. I didn’t want to stay in. It hurt to sit. But it also hurt to stand. I got really good at identifying people by their shoes. 

Stuck.

Ermahgerd! It was in front of me all along. If only I could have seen in front of me!

I was literally and figuratively STUCK!

They say the body mirrors what is going on inside our minds and coincidentally (or not), I was feeling stuck.

I had just graduated from ECE at Seneca college, a program that I loved thoroughly.  I loved learning about the psychology of the human mind, how we learn and the developmental stages we go through from infancy through to adulthood.  The arts and crafts weren’t bad either.  There is an art to cutting and pasting!

I was ready and excited to get this new chapter started.  I started sending out resumes to a few choice schools.  My very first interview was with a Montessori, and I was immediately hired.  Me! A teacher! I couldn’t believe it.

And then it started.

The snotty noses, screaming kids, and countless amounts of spilled milk!  Whoever said don’t cry over spilled milk obviously never worked in a daycare before. 

I was not enjoying this.  Not one little but.  It wasn’t at all what I imagined. I began to reassess, and I toggled between not wanting to be a quitter vs coming home exhausted, sore and sick.

Stuck.

I was stuck, in one of the biggest dilemmas I had ever faced.  Ok, maybe not the biggest but it was big enough to keel me over in pain from a simple sneeze. 

The days and nights I spent thinking, analyzing, over analyzing and stressing out over this, had created this huge monkey on my back. And it was weighing me down.

So, I quit.

I didn’t think twice about it. As soon as I got clear on what was happening, it was an easy decision to make. I was not where I wanted to be and my back was telling me so. I am so happy I listened, because a whole new world of opportunities opened up for me after that.

There was so much learning in that experience for me.  There were 3 main lessons that my back pain taught me.

  1. When you’re not happy with what direction you are going, you have full control to change it.
  2. When your body tries to telling you something, it’s best to pay attention. It’s giving you a clue to what is going on in your mind and heart. And, Ignoring it will only cause it to amplify its message for you.
  3. You are not stuck. Despite what you might feel, you are not stuck anywhere. Your life is yours to create. The sky is not the limit, your belief system is.

As for my back pain, unfortunately my herniated disc became a chronic issue and one that I continue to deal with, 22 years later. As much as I hate that I having chronic back pain, I have learned to be grateful for it. It is my guide in a sense. It keeps me connected to myself, my purpose and my true desires.

When I’m overtired and not taking care of myself, it screams at me to stop. And when I’m anxious or stressed about something, it is the first thing to wake me up so I can change direction.

Feeling stuck is a feeling not a fact. Use it as an indication that something needs to change, and know that when that feeling occurs, there is usually something really big waiting for you on the other side.

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Creative Dabbler

I’m back! At least for today. It seems there is never enough time in the day to devote to all the things I love, writing being one of them.

As a Creative Dabbler (I prefer this term instead of Jack-of-all-trades. More fun and light-hearted, don’t you think?) I find that I love so many things that are creative and filled with opportunity for self-expression, and I sometimes wish I could just do them all at once. But I can’t. So I resolve to letting go and doing what I love in the moment that I feel like doing it. No pressure. Just joy.

When I feel like painting, I paint. When I feel like practicing guitar. I practice. When I feel like singing. I sing. When I feel like writing, I write. When I feel like meditating…..actually, I kind of don’t give myself a choice on this one. If I want to stay sane and grounded all day, I need to meditate. Especially with the busy mind I carry with me.

Today, I felt like writing. I just didn’t know about what. So, in keeping with my “no pressure, just joy” rule, I figured I would write and see what comes out. And here I am. Writing about being a creative dabbler who wishes she could have more time to dabble. And as I sit in my car waiting for my daughter to finish dance, I write. Just me, my thoughts and my phone. (I’ve pretty much written every blog post and quote from my phone. Excuse any typos or incorrect grammar because I really don’t edit what I write.)

I also wish I brought my meditation music, my guitar, a book.. *sigh* I know I only have 45 minutes but I like to be prepared in case inspiration hits.

The thought hits me; Could creative dabbling just be an excuse for not wanting to commit to just one thing? Hmmmm………..*puts down phone and thinks for a while*

Nope. I’m good with commitment. I think I just love too many things (is that even possible?). I want to feel joy and feel alive 24/7. So whatever I need to do in this moment (and the next….and the next) to feel connected to myself in the presence of love and joy, I will do. In this moment, it happens to be writing.

So that settles it. I am not a Creative Dabbler with commitment issues. I’m a Creative Dabbler who is committed to experiencing joy in every aspect of my life, all the time.

And I’m good with that.

Being human

Be kind, compassionate and loving.  Because that’s what this world needs.  It needs humans who will strive to be who they are, rather than who they are not.  Humans to love with all their heart and soul. Humans who will teach the next generation that life is what you make it, and everyone is perfectly flawed.  The world doesn’t need perfection.  The world needs humans, like you.

Connect to love to connect in love

You must be connected “to love” in order to be connected “in love”.

You connect “to” love when you fill your days and nights with things that bring you joy. Things that connect you to your true self, whatever that may be.

How can you truly connect to someone in love when you aren’t connected to yourself in love?

Something to ponder.

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Snapshots

There is nothing you can tell about a persons life, simply by looking at a picture they post.

A picture is a snapshot. A mere second in time. What you don’t see is the moments (and sometimes the chaos) before and after. A crying child just before the family photo. Or the million and one selfies that were taken to get that “right one” to post. (Or in my case, a woman falling on her head after a perfect handstand shot!*grin* 😂)

Life is a series of snapshots. That is the whole truth.

Enjoy the moments, and embrace who you are. Life is not perfect, and neither are people. Live honestly, with love, kindness and peace. And don’t place meaning to something that is probably not true.

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