I remember long ago hearing a story about the caterpillar; how it has to struggle in order to transform into a beautiful butterfly. You see, the caterpillar has to beat its wings inside the cocoon to strengthen them. Without the struggle they would not develop. Without the struggle there would be no butterfly.
When I think about this story, I think about the children with disabilities that I’ve worked who struggle so hard to do many of the simple things we do every day and take for granted. I also think about the challenges people I know are currently going through. I think about some of the struggles in my own life and how at that time, I didn’t think I could survive. I think about how all of our struggles have the potential to transform us, but how we so often feel stuck in the struggle. Yet, it is this very struggle that can lead to magnificent creation and living a life beyond our wildest dreams.
“Stuck” can be experienced in many ways. Sometimes our thoughts keep spinning and spinning. We keep looping, thinking the same thing over and over, or we keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. When we get stuck in our heads we go "on automatic". We are moving our thoughts and our body habitually instead of consciously or intuitively. We get stuck in our beliefs and find the same phrases going through our heads and coming out of our mouths, such as:
“Who do I think I am?”
“What’s the use?”
“It doesn’t really matter any way!”
In these times, we know that we want to think or act differently, but we keep slipping back into stuckness. We increase the intensity with our thoughts, digging us deeper into struggle.
When we are trying hard to "get out" of struggle, we can instead try something new. We can go into the struggle. We move into it instead of fighting or freezing in it. We can see that the struggle is part of the journey, something to move in. This is the beginning of a new movement.
When we are self-aware, we can move from habitual thoughts and actions to creative expression. We can recognize that we are in a new state of being where anything is possible.
When you recognize you are stuck, I suggest trying any of these 5 simple things:
Pause, and take a breath. Our breath can instantly take us out our thoughts and into our body where creativity lives.
Trust that there is a bigger picture. Even if you can’t see it or imagine what that might be.
Make a decision to do something different, and do it. See the struggle as something to move in.
Look for guidance. Take note of how much of what you need is already being provided that perhaps you didn’t see it before. Also, look for what else in your environment might be helpful.
Most importantly, be easy on yourself. Although change is possible and some of the steps simple, it is often not easy. Anything that you can do that moves you in the direction you want to go is important to be aware of and to feel good about, including stopping any unwanted thoughts or behaviors.
Struggle is often necessary for growth, and yet we often disempower ourselves by thinking negative things about our self or the struggle itself. We can try acknowledging it, rather than fighting it. We can recognize that although we may not be able to change what is happening, we can stop the disempowering thoughts and actions that greatly increase the struggle.
Whatever we are going through can be used for good. The experience of struggle is a part of life, yet we can be empowered, rather than disempowered. We can use the struggle like a medium and move it. We can see the struggle as an invitation to get out of our heads and tap into our body’s wisdom. We can use the struggle as a signal that we need to pause and look for guidance around us.
We don’t like struggle, yet we need it so that we can connect with and express who we truly are. Without it we would be the lump of clay being formed by others who shape our lives. We would be the caterpillar forever stuck in its cocoon. Life has much to offer and we all have our own unique gifts that the world needs. We can make our journey of transformation. We can move through our struggle in a new way, as we are getting our wings.
The Rubenfeld Synergy Method® is a powerful yet gentle modality that uses both listening touch and talk that can assist you to move through your struggles and transform your life.
With warmest wishes for your wellbeing,
The Rubenfeld Synergy Community
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Visit our website: www.befriendyourbody.org
Our writer, Lorie Speciale, is a Certified Rubenfeld Synergist with a private practice in Northport, Long Island. To find out more about Lorie, visit www.bodymond-matters.com.