The S.T.U.C.K. Method

Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being


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STUCK on Crocheting

I’m stuck on crocheting.

And here’s 27 reasons why.

1. Once you have the finished product, not much can be done to ruin it.  It can’t be accidentally dropped and broken. The worst things that could happen to a finished project is that a) you either get bored of or outgrow it, or b) no one ends up using/wearing it.

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2. But, the good thing is, you can always recycle or use leftover yarn and make something extraordinary out of it!

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3. You can feel indescribably fulfilled when you successfully follow directions to a pattern,

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4. Though truth be told, figuring out patterns on your own can be as equally satisfying.

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5. You can crochet things that you actually need instead of buying them at a store, like a pencil holder,

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6. or fingerless gloves,

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7. or let your imagination go wild with other unheard of ideas.

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8. It’s something you can do alone in the space of your own home or that can be enjoyed in the company of friends,

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9. And the finished projects of the evening you organized can go towards a certain community cause.

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10. You can crochet something simple,

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10. or something more intricate.

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11. You can create something that takes five minutes,

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12. Or something that takes five hours.

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13. You can crochet practical art,

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14. or crochet a rug to beautify any room.

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15. And because it’s lightweight and compact, you can crochet in the car (as a passenger!), in front of the T.V. , while waiting for your child’s extra-curricular activity to be over, or at any boring really exciting community meeting.

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16. And there’s no need for any complicated or expensive machinery.  Just your G-d given hands and a small hook.

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17. You can allow yourself to be silly!

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18. You can get your kids into it,

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19. and they can end up making some pretty impressive stuff!

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20. You can even donate your time at the local pre-school and teach more kids the fun and fulfillment of crocheting!

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21. You can crochet birthday gifts,

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22. And watch how kids’ eyes light up when they receive their very own, unique, hand-made piece just for them.

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23. You can transfer the skill to other things, such as weaving,

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24. And suddenly realize what else you can do with those skills!

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25. You can enjoy wearing something that’s not made from China.

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26.  And, you can connect with those who invested time and love into their own hand-made gifts to your children,

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27. And admire their talent which you may have never appreciated before!

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I guess some things are just worth being stuck on.


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STUCK on Thinking the Worst

Last night my husband and daughter, along with a few other adults and teenagers, went to see the play, The Wave.

the waveThe play is based on an extraordinary novel, that “explores the nature of fascim and the appeal of mass movements through the true-life story of a California high school which began an experiment in the 1960’s that rapidly ran out of control.”

I saw the movie when I was in high school.

And as my daughter is beginning to learn about and read Holocaust literature on her own, I very much wanted her to see this play.

Apparently, it was amazing.

Yet, I didn’t hear that from my daughter.

Because my husband arrived home solo after the show.

Apparently, since the group traveled in two cars, my husband decided to take advantage of being off of the kibbutz to go food shopping when the play was over.

Not wanting to go food shopping, my daughter chose to go with the rest of the group in order to get home right away.

But, she didn’t.

“Where’s Ayalah?”, I asked my husband as he entered the house with the groceries.

“I don’t know.  What? She’s not home yet?  She should have been home over an hour ago,” he said.

Not the kind of news any parent wants to hear.

Where could they be?

I bet they just stopped for a bit to eat, I thought to myself.

Simple answer.

That’s all it could have been.

Right?

So, I called my daughter just to check in.

No answer.

I called the other adults in the group.

No answers.

I sent one text.

No answer.

I called one of the spouses waiting at home.

Who knew nothing about what was going on.

And then I panicked.

More than that, I got stuck.

On thinking the worst.

I quickly stepped outside so as not to frighten the rest of my family.

With my “stuck” thoughts.

A horrific car accident.

Israel is notoriously known for its high rate of fatal car accidents.

I’m sure that’s what it is.

That’s why no one is answering the phone.

They’re probably all….

Wait.

Wouldn’t it be on the news?

Wouldn’t have someone contacted us?

And, of course, in light of the recent abominable news coming from Jerusalem, I got stuck on…

Worse than the worst.

A terrorist attack.

Just outside the theater.

NO!!!!

It can’t be!!!!

And just as I was preparing myself for the worst of the worst, preparing myself to have to find the light within the darkness as so many are having to do during these difficult times, preparing myself for how to move on….,

I heard footsteps running down the path towards our house.

“Ayalah?” I called out.

“Yeah, hi mom.”

“I called you!!! You didn’t answer!!!!”

“Yeah, I just got it now.  We stopped for pizza.”

Oh.

With a deep exhalation, I closed my eyes.

Great.

Pizza.

So glad.

And the show?

Amazing!

So glad.

And so grateful a happy reality woke me up from my horrendous stuck thoughts.

And that I didn’t have to personally deal with the worst of the worst.

And instead can working on heeding the request of the 4 widows and orphans of the most recent terrorist attack, to set aside the day of Shabbat as a day of unconditional love, a day during which we will refrain from words of disagreement and division, from words of gossip and slander.

May it be Thy will.


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STUCK on I WANT MORE CORNFLAKES!!!

Not me.

My youngest son.

Which, by the way, is an example of the impetus for my idea of writing a children’s book in the theme of “stuck on the muck”.

Which of course, never happened.

But, I digress.

You see, screaming about not having enough cornflakes has somehow become a routine in our household.

My 3 1/2 year old wakes up at 6 am.

And he’s starving.

I mean starving!

He wants cornflakes.

I pour him a bowl.

But, it’s not enough.

Of course it’s not enough!

What in G-d’s name was I thinking for pouring him such a small amount of cereal???

But, of course, it is enough.

It always is.

You see, my husband and I have learned from experience that our kids never (ok, never is a strong word… 99% of the time they never) finish their cereal.

So, we pour it for them.

Giving them what we think they will eat.

And, if they want more, we gladly give them more.

(Not a very democratic approach, I know, but then again, that’s not our parenting style.)

So, I pour the cereal in the bowl for my youngest son.

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But, he doesn’t like this idea.

Now, you may wisely say to yourself, “Shira, why don’t you use a smaller bowl?  Then, it would appear that he has more, and then he wouldn’t make an issue of this.”

But, no.

He wants the blue bamboo bowl.

And if he doesn’t eat out of that bowl, he cries.

OK, yes, this kid is spoiled.

What do you want?

He’s the youngest of four.

So, what does he do?

Well, today, he decided to pour half of it on the floor.

Image1Then, he screamed.

For like an hour.

Ok, not an hour.

Maybe 3 minutes.

But, enough time to wake up the whole kibbutz.

And all my efforts of trying to just get him to eat the cereal that was in his bowl (because neither my husband nor I were certainly going to cave in on this one), didn’t really help.

I took the video out about two minutes into this saga.

He didn’t like this one bit.

Image5Yet, his brothers did.

They got a kick out of it.

But, you know what?

It kind of helped.

Because slowly he started to accept the fact that he wasn’t getting any more until he first finished what he had.

He finally heard me.

Then, he begrudgingly began to eat his cereal.

Image4And, miraculously cleaned it up without any assistance by me.

He got unstuck!

So, maybe the book idea wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Maybe instead I should just go house to house and video children’s tantrums in action, thereby helping to quell their unmanageable behavior and alleviate the frustration of struggling parents.

Oh, now wouldn’t that be fun!


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STUCK on All Of The Above

I haven’t written for a while.

One month and two days to be exact.

Which is a first for me ever since starting this blog, where I typically joyfully write one post per week.

But, I’ve been stuck.

And, haven’t processed it thoroughly.

Which is why I haven’t posted in the past month.

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all of the aboveI’ve been “stuck on all of the above”.

Q: Shira, what have you been stuck on during the last month?

1. Stuck on I’m a nobody (professionally).

2. Stuck on I’m in a mid-life crisis.

3. Stuck at a Crossroad.

4. Stuck on Trying to Figure Things Out.

5. Stuck on What’s Next?

6. Stuck on my Ego.

7. Stuck on All of the Above.

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I’m currently not working (my year-long attempt to start-up a small business, Yoga at Work, has ended in a lost cause).

Therefore, I’m not bringing in an income.

Which means I’m home a lot (cooking and cleaning and taking care of the kids).

And lost in too many thoughts.

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And so, I compassionately process.

I stop (S) and take a breath.

And, tell (T) myself what I’m feeling.

Disappointed.

Guilt.

Frustration.

And, I check in honestly to see what may be underneath (U) all of these emotions.

1.  That, at the age of 40, I believe there are people in this world that may be disappointed in me that I have not become someone.  Having grown up in upper-middle class suburbia and having attended a high ranked high school and two universities, I believe the world expects me to be someone professionally. These feelings are coupled with my recent visit to the States where I reunited with high schools friends all of whom seem to have become someone.

Which I have not.

2.  That, I believe, it’s important that I bring in an income to my family.  No matter what I may be doing, I should be earning money.

Which I am not.

3.  That, I believe, it’s important how others view me.  That is, if I am earning money in a reputable job, then people will have more respect for me.

Which now they don’t.

4. That, I believe, having a profession is the most important thing to create meaning in one’s life.

Which I don’t have (both a profession nor meaning in my life).

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And miraculously, the moment I write all these thoughts down and really allow myself to feel these feelings, I can begin to watch them dissipate.

And realize that all of those feelings I was holding onto were just beliefs.

And not Truths.

I actually do not believe there are people in this world that are disappointed in me; and on the same breath can say with confidence that there are people in this world that are proud of who I am and what I’ve accomplished.

While I do believe earning an income (in general) is important (and often times necessary), in the current family situation in which I’m in now, I am in a fortunate place where I can say earning an immediate income is not a necessity.

If people are actually judging me on whether I have a job or not (or what that job may be), then quite frankly, I probably shouldn’t care to be their friend.

And, of course having a profession is not the most important thing to create meaning in one’s life.  (In fact, I could write a book on the things that have created meaning in my life and only a few of them would touch on profession.)

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And so, in this space, I can choose (C) another way of believing; another perspective.

Instead of negatively looking at my life with all the “I’m nots”, I can choose to look at where I am in my life right now with a sense of curiosity.

And allow myself to recognize (and be grateful for) the freedom which I have to just be in that space for the time being.

And perhaps gently notice if something is awaiting me.

Like open doors.

Or a certain calling that I have never heeded or explored.

With patience, time will tell.

And so, in the meantime, I just remind myself it’s ok (K) that I got Stuck on All of the Above in the first place.