What to do when you are stuck

What to do when you are stuck

No one likes being stuck.

We do anything to avoid it.  We shop, eat, drink, scroll social media, watch YouTube clips, sleep with people we shouldn’t, exercise too much, overwork ourselves.  The list goes on.  Take a moment to reflect and you’ll soon recognise what you do to avoid the pain of feeling stuck.

We avoid feeling stuck in two ways.

Either doing something that feels like we are moving forward or rewarding ourselves with something pleasurable.  Some of my personal favourites are finding new places to explore, red wine, cleaning and chocolate.  Sometimes this is a workable strategy.  But avoiding feeling stuck is particularly challenging in the midst of a global pandemic…in Victoria…in Stage 4 lock-down.  Yep, being stuck can suck.

So what do you do when you are stuck?

I have recently had many conversations about what to do when you are stuck.  Pema Chodron asserts there is great value in being stuck.  This is challenging to hear, and even more challenging to practice, but bear with me.  Essentially when you are stuck it is an opportunity to stop, take stock and listen to your quiet inner voice.  An enforced lock-down gives you the opportunity – without the noise and distractions of regular life.  Perhaps you feel scared or small.  You may notice that you are hard on yourself or have difficulty doing less.  Your quiet inner voice may whisper that you need more connection in your life.  Or it may whisper that you need to be more comfortable being alone or sitting still for a while.  There are messages under the “stuckness” if you are prepared to sit curiously with your discomfort.

Would you believe, there is great value in being stuck?

Whatever is there, being stuck is an opportunity for you to be curious about your needs and kind to your pain.  This is what it is to be human.  We all feel stuck sometimes.  Usually we have a range of options to shut down any uncomfortable feelings of being stuck but we can miss the opportunity it presents.  Everything moves in cycles, in it’s own time.  Day turns to night, winter into spring.  Bears hibernate and then emerge afresh.  The very nature of being stuck prepares us for the next cycle of life.  If you take the time to sit curiously with the quiet whispering of your inner self you may be able to embrace the lull and be ok with being stuck.


  1. Debra

    Thank you Amy

    • Amy Islip

      My pleasure Debra.


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