Sometimes we reach a point of not knowing how to get moving. Maybe we are in a spot of overwhelm, with too much coming at us. Maybe we are at a crossroads. Maybe we have been moving along freely and something happens that knocks the wind out of our sails.
Maybe you can relate.
Feeling blocked, feeling frozen or suspended. It can be experienced on a physical or on a mental/emotional level. Maybe you can’t quite get yourself onto your yoga mat for your usual morning practice. Maybe you are having trouble making decisions in your business.
Sometimes a block is a sign we need to rest. It can be our body telling us we have been pushing too hard for too long. If this is the case, we need to be sure to breathe, eat good food and rest more.
Here are five suggestions I have found helpful for getting unblocked – one step (or loop) at a time.
1. Self kindness.
Approach any block with kindness. Instead of being hard on yourself, try being gentle and curious with the situation. When I am blocked I try to first understand why is this happening at this time? I tell myself it is okay to pause, and every pause is an opportunity to re-group. I ask myself what do I need right now?
2. Opening up the body opens up the mind
Sometimes when we are blocked on a mental or emotional level it helps to move the body. Go for a walk, shovel the driveway, get on your yoga mat, turn up the radio and dance. If your usual physical activity isn’t working for you, try switching it up.
3. Handwork (writing, hooking, painting) as a physical and spiritual act
Doing something creative can help you to get unblocked. Author Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones suggests writing continuously for a period of time – 10 minutes, 1 hour. Keep the pen moving, don’t edit or re-read. Write just to keep your pen moving, no pressure to write anything specific. I have found this to be very helpful, and am often surprised at what lands on the page!
If you are a rug hooker, try hooking with wild abandon. Choose a large section of your mat, plenty of yarn or wool strips, then start hooking. Don’t stop to adjust or correct or critique, just keep going.
In my experience, writing or hooking with my hands helps to free my mind and unthaw from a frozen state. Is it the repetitive motion, working with beautiful fibres or writing in a beautiful journal that helps me unblock? Or is it keeping my hands busy that allows my mind to relax and refocus?
4. Take on a simple, fun project with no expectations
Last January I designed a fun mat I called Wild Woman Dancing. I chose super bright Chakra colours to hook it in. I don’t have a specific purpose for this mat and am not attached to the outcome. If I don’t love it I will roll it up and put it in the closet. In the meantime, I am enjoying working on it.
Also in 2018 I raised my hand to be on a local cooking show called #ChitChatChop with Chef Ben Kelly of Kitchen Door Catering.
5. Reach out
Sometimes despite our best efforts a block persists. When I am in this situation I call a friend or reach out to one of the people on my health care team. They often help me to understand why my block is continuing and remind me to breathe, eat good food and rest more. They have the benefit of a more objective view and are able to suggest a possibility for moving forward.
Sometimes I find it helpful to write about how I want to feel. You are welcome to try this prompt: Moving forward feels like: or Movement feels like: Choose the prompt that speaks to you and begin to write. Try to keep your pen moving (or your pencil sketching) for at least 10 minutes and resist the temptation to read or revise what you are writing. You may be surprised what opens for you!
If you are interested in exploring colour and artistic expression as a way of uncovering blocks, I would love to connect with you. I offer a customized, guided session to develop an inspired healing image that is unique to you. Start moving forward with a one on one interview where we deconstruct your specific obstacles. You will sketch and we will work together to create an image that best represents your next steps in your self care journey. In addition, you will receive a practical tool to tap into your own ability to unblock your creativity. Connect with me for more details and to book this service.