‘Standing is harder than moving’, it is true. Try standing in one spot for an hour, or even less time and you will find it difficult. Walking for the same amount of time not so tough (for most of us). Standing is harder than moving is a great way of saying it is difficult to be stuck. Stuck conveys the notion of no movement.
One can be stuck mentally or physically. When your car is stuck in the mud you aren’t going anywhere. When you car is stuck what are you trying to get it to do? Move, right. Yes, the wheels may be spinning, there is some movement, but not the kind that results in the car moving from stuck in the mud.
The movement has to have some friction in order to get the car going. It has to make contact in the right way for it to be meaningful. Random extraneous movement like spinning your wheels doesn’t get the car anywhere unless you can actually some how move the car itself, or change the position, or the environment so that contact can be made. Once made you may actually get the car out of the mud.
My point is that sometimes we get stuck and that is difficult. We aren’t going anywhere just as the car doesn’t. We may be spinning our wheels meaning we make no significant forward progress because our efforts are not effective. We keep doing the same thing over and over, as the spinning wheel does, but nothing changes. If we expect it all to change that is the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
Being stuck is difficult just as standing is harder than moving. When we walk we are moving all of our muscles together so we don’t feel the effect of gravity on us nearly as much as when we remain in one position, in one place. So these analogies remind us of at least one or two meaningful thoughts we might be able to apply to our own life and circumstance.
When the car is stuck you try to create forward OR backward movement. Any movement that will get it going and get it unstuck. Assuming all things equal it wouldn’t matter if you back out or pull forward you just know you need to move in a direction to get out of there.
You also know how you mentally feel when your car is stuck. You have things to do and places to be and now you have to stop and deal with this. It is annoying, at the very least, most probably. The mind goes to the problem, perhaps to how late one will be or whatever other less than glorious thoughts arise. Frankly, it sucks.
SO when stuck lot’s of less than productive things occur. There is no movement, it is difficult to remain in one place. We may spin our wheels and think less than productive thoughts all the while trying to get unstuck. We work ourselves up, get frustrated or angry, fear the worst, being late or missing out (whatever it may be) and none of these things help us to get unstuck. In fact, they don’t help at all. In fact, they may inhibit any success because they create more stress physically, mentally and emotionally. Stress in not too useful when you want to find solutions and solve problems.
So what to do?
What one MIGHT do is Stop for a second. TAKE a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another or as many as you need to to calm down and relax a bit. You aren’t going anywhere so there is nothing to do in the moment but relax. Let out a sigh… and chill for a moment.
Once you do this it IS as if, using another car analogy, you put yourself into neutral. When you drive using a manual or stick transmission you pass through neutral to changes gears or direction. SO put yourself into neutral for a moment so you can better decide where to mentally move next. You need a moment to get away from the energy drain or the stress that is the immediate problem. For most people being clear headed works better to make changes and find solutions that being angry and uptight. The brain just works better when given the opportunity to find solutions instead of focusing over and over on what is wrong.
I mean really, when you do focus on what is wrong it expands in your mind, doesn’t it? It may become way more important than it actually is? You may really become hot and bothered in a negative way. This is not where most people would choose to be or want to feel. To be different in that moment we need to learn to do things differently.
If we keep doing what we always did expecting things to somehow be different well, that IS insane. Remember?
SO take a short break, put yourself in neutral. Sigh, let go, take a bit of a walk. Remember walking is easier than standing still. When all your parts are moving your brain works better too. Many people pace or walk when on the phone for example. Whenever you have a problem it is easier to find solutions when you walk. IT REALLY IS!
For people in therapy, it would be much more effective if the counselor and the client, or therapist and patient walked during the session than if they sit in the chairs. When we sit, we get stuck, entrenched, we maintain a position (literally and figuratively) and it is as if we freeze everything. PLUS, we associate problems to the chair we are seated in. Every week the client comes in and sits down to pour out their problems. The chair, the feeling of being in the same chair, what they see always sitting in the same chair, the same way, looking at the same things while thinking of what is wrong makes it easier to find what is wrong, the problem, and it is much tougher to find solutions or what is right. Minds travel in directions.
Once they pour out their problems the two should get up and walk to find solutions. Move from stuck to neutral and walk. Don’t just sit in the same place, facing in the same direction. It is harder to come up with new possibilities after focusing on problems for many minutes. SO change what you are doing. This applies to sitting over a conference table or arguing over the dinner table. We become anchored to a way of thinking, being and acting, we literally ‘take a position’ and defend it. When you want to discuss possibilities take a walk.
Think about people fighting. Boxers square off and face each other. From this position they fight. They couldn’t fight much standing side by side facing in the same direction, like when you walk together. When you both walk along side by side you explore things together, you discover things nearly simultaneously. You are walking along and seeing the same things, moving at the same pace, you are more in harmony figuratively and literally. It is easier to come to an agreement or find a mutually acceptable solution, or the client or patient to find possibilities when moving, when not entrenched, stuck sitting or defending a position. Really, I mean try it for yourself! It can work wonders!
Get up, get moving, get breathing, get thinking in new ways. The energy shifts just in doing these things.
If someone is ranting and raging getting them to stop and sit down is difficult because all the energy is moving rapidly and strongly. They literally may have to walk it off and slow down. They must change their breathing gradually to deescalate. They need to shift their body eventually into neutral. Really think about it. Watch someone get over being angry, watch the ‘unwind’, the release, the eventual ‘let go’ and the breathing changes.
Sometimes you may need to cool down. You are best served if you understand how to do it in advance of when you need it. That is successfully utilizing your resources. Remember the motto, ‘always prepared’. When you know what to do before you need it you are better able to navigate any circumstance.
A trick paramedics know is that when someone has a sudden change of circumstances (for example an accident but they aren’t injured) the body may pump adrenaline – it actually will. Adrenaline provides us energy for our fight or flight. In the olden jungle days, when we hunted and gathered we probably had more encounters or reasons for our body to flood us with adrenaline. Today, in our cubicle world of artificial lights and computers we have less physical threats or events that require sudden adrenaline release. Still, a perceived threat, an imagined threat results in adrenaline being pumped.
Okay, I digress, back to the paramedic point. When someone is flooding with adrenaline the paramedic knows not to have them sit down or lie down but tells them to walk it off in a safe place. They may move them out of traffic into a safe area and walk with them. The body needs time to release and process the adrenaline and eventualyl return to normal. Sitting or lying down first is not the correct thing to do. Walk it off until you CAN sit or lie down.
If on the other hand you are bored or depressed you need to energize and move. You need to change how you use your body, how you breath. You need to change your view literally. You need variety in what you see when you look around. SO move, walk and walk with energy, look around and listen. It is time to get out of your head and experience the outer world again. It is time to get the body pumping some chemicals and hormones that make you feel better (like endorphins).
This applies to the raging person as well. You need to change your internal mental view AND YOUR outside view in order to relax, calm down and become more resourceful again.
When you create movement in your body you create movement in your mind and vice versa. For you to feel significant change the movement needs to be meaningful, it has to move you in the direction you want to go in. You need to connect just as the tire needs to connect with some surface in order to free the car from the mud. You need to move from neutral into the appropriate gear. Remember, neutral is a great place. It is useful and a good place to move through if you are bored and depressed. Whatever you feel strongly you are invested in. You are locked into it.
Neutral allows you to be elsewhere at the moment. It is far better to be in neutral than to be depressed. While it may sound similar neutral is a place of non-judgement. It is not lack of energy, it has it’s own energy that is different from whatever other things you may experience. Neutral is more akin to the notion of feeling or being centered, It is a place of acceptance and of allowing. Neutral is not a place of judgement or blame. It is a sense of let go and calm. It is a place from which one can move in any direction.
SO learn to find neutral for yourself. From neutral you can move in more productive directions. If you are stuck there is one thing you certainly need to do and you know what it is. You need to move. If you are stuck you need to do something else differently than what you are doing. For your life to change you have to change things in your life. To get different results from the ones you do not want you will have to do things in another way. You will need to adopt a different and more useful point of view.
I think the notion of ‘outlook’ is fascinating. People say, ‘what is your outlook?’ I think the term outlook is meaningful. It means to look out from behind your eyes. What do you see when you look out at the world? It is your out look.
Our attitude and our beliefs makes a big difference in what we see and what we are able to see. Our outlook on the world or our future, our forecast is determined by what we consider and think on the inside. We either think of the world as a wonderful place and enjoyable place or a horrible bad place to use extreme examples. Guess what. Whatever we think first determines what we pay attention to in order to validate our mindset. We attempt to make the outer world conform to our thoughts and expectations of it. What we think it is IS what it is even if we are wrong. Our senses often deceive us. Still we trust them for the most part.
Our mental filters can shade or color what we think and do, what we expect and make happen in the world or don’t. Our perceptions determine our reality more than reality itself. Actually, we are not really sure of what reality is only our version of it. Most of us will fight tooth and nail to defend what we think our truth is. We will fight because we think what we think is real. It isn’t but that does little to change us.
I decided a long time ago if this were the case and if I make up reality then it was time I make up a good one. I wanted a reality that serves me and suits me. Why live in a cruddy one when I can live in a glorious one? And this brings us back to our thoughts. Thoughts create, thoughts precede. Thoughts make a difference. So choose to think the very best thoughts and to find the very best thoughts and you will. When you think positive your world can be more positive.
Instead of being stuck and thinking thoughts that keep us there, shift into neutral. Take a physical and mental momentary break and from there choose what direction you will move in. Make contact and set a positive direction. Think positively. And keep thinking positive! Keep moving in the positive direction and you will find that moving is easier than standing. You will discover it getting easier and easier along the way because everything works together. Keep moving meaningfully.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step but to get to the destination you have to take the next step and then each step after that. Keep going. Correct repetition builds powerful positive habits. Get yourself unstuck whenever it occurs and move on forward into a more wonderful way of being.” Rex Sikes
Have a great one today!
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