Stuck really sucks
Do you ever just feel stuck? Literally? On the page, in your head, with that stupid crank in your neck? Twinge in your tight back?
If you said no, never been stuck, you’re amazing, and also the exception. You should come over and tell me all your secrets, which I can afterward try to pass off in a blog post as my own. (Just kidding, but you will obviously be on Oprah before then!)
Thing is: Most of us, most of the time, feel more stuck than not.
And the way to deal with that is so simple it’s like asking how you should end your sentences (with a period!): MOVE.
That’s right, move.
My friend and colleague Ruthie Fraser wrote this gorgeous little book about that: Stack Your Bones: 100 simple lessons for realigning your body and moving with ease. Here’s more on that.
Each exercise has broad applicability; each encourages movement to be natural, but with clear energetic goals and room for improvisation. So “Vary Your Route” begins, “Come to your hands and knees. Lengthen your spine. Extend your elbows.” These cues might be familiar if you’ve ever done yoga. However, she encourages us to start with the familiar, and shift to novel shapes. “Habitual movements create habitual thinking. Feel your mind open as your body travels new routes.”
She offers simple exercises– but profound, like a period is profound! One little dot indicating both an end and a beginning!– that can be utilized at any time, as a foundation for however you prefer to move or exercise. They can also be used in stillness, as a computer break when working on, say, your college essay, or some other writing project that begs for nourishing interruption.
She hopes we can all feel firsthand in our bodies what unstuck could be like.
And perhaps it will help you align your ideas a little more clearly with your intentions. Or introduce some wildness into bland sentences.
Speaking of wildness…speaking of moving…
I recently listened to an amazing interview on Literary Arts– athlete and memoirist Diane Nyad interviewed by author Cheryl Strayed. Their mutual admiration is apparent, and their personalities as dynamic as their stories. But Nyad, who, at 64, became the first person to swim the 111 miles from Cuba to Key West without a shark cage, emphasized one thing above all others: we don’t move enough.
We need to move more, generally, and in more ways.
And with more awareness.
Honestly, it can make our whole inner universe open up– not just muscles and joints, but imagination and insight.
And let us know the results– once we’re unstuck, there just might be no stopping us. And then what if you wrote something, said something, wildly beautiful and true? I know I know. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.
I’m doing it right now, while standing up in my kitchen, writing this blog post: feeling my feet on the floor, feeling my head and lungs floating. IT FEELS DAMN GOOD.
Say it again: it feels damn good.
I wanna move!
Buy Ruthie’s book, here.
Listen to Cheryl Strayed and Diane Nyad, here.
Check back for more insights on writing and movement next week RIGHT HERE.