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

Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being


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STUCK on a PAUSE

I was stuck on despair a few days ago.

As as I processed through this challenging emotion, I reminded myself of the “S” step (in S.T.U.C.K.).  That is, the importance of intentionally Stopping and taking a break from the busyness of the mind.

And when I did this, I basically came back to the same conclusion that I had several months ago: reaffirming that yes, this business idea is what I really want to be doing with my life.  And, in order to do so, I must just move forward, be patient and keep an open-mind.

Yet, that’s not what the step of stopping is all about!

It’s not about reaffirming our life’s desires.

Rather, stopping is an opportunity to witness life as it unfolds, moment by moment, experience by experience.

And, there is a big difference between the two.

This revelation came to me (as most revelations always do) during my morning meditation sessions over the past three days.

Pause_Hammock_Postcard

I recognized two inter-related ideas of why I (and many others) may struggle with pausing:

1) In general, I think most of us believe we are in total control of our lives, when in actuality we are not.  And, if we were to pause, it would mean we are not being responsible because it would mean we are wasting precious time as opposed to being busy doing something else.

2) Most of us are interested in seeing the immediate outcomes of life’s situations.  So, if we allow ourselves to pause, for even a moment, we would presumably delay that outcome.

And so, the tendency is to not stop.

Not to pause.

But, when we do, life can appear differently.

And, incredibly interesting.

And almost magical.

And certainly gratifying.

Like two days after writing about being “stuck on despair”, when I received a phone call from one of the biggest hi-tech companies in the area (1200+ employees). A company that I didn’t even reach out to personally, but just passed my information on to a friend.  A company that invited me to give 2 (not just 1) demo classes and will pay me full-price (not free sessions which I’ve been offering to other companies).   A company who sees the value of my services.  A company who is interested not only in my yoga, but my meditation classes.  And, believe it or not, my mindful eating workshops as well.  A company that has an incredible physical space to hold my yoga/meditation sessions.  A company that wants to support their employees’ overall health.

And to think… I hardly did anything proactive to really get my foot in the door to this company.

It came to me with hardly any effort at all.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m certainly not saying, let me lean back, kick my legs up, and wait for clients to come knocking down my door.

No, I’m far from saying that.

Instead, I’m just advocating the pause.

And, to be curious about it.

And allow those precious moments of the unknown to arise.

Without judging them.

Who knows? Maybe there won’t even be interest from any employees from this company.

I certainly can’t be stuck on expectations.

Or what about the two part-time job offers (unrelated to Yoga at Work) that came knocking at my doorstep this week?

Hmm…

Interesting…

Maybe…

And, continue to pause and watch life unfold as it is meant to be.

Whether it’s how we intended it to be or not.

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STUCK in a MESS

messy roomFor as long as I can remember, I have been a messy individual.

Yes,  I admit it.

What can I say?  

I guess living in a messy room, or a messy house for that matter, never really bothered me.

But, recently, something changed.

And, I’ve decided that living that way is not the way I want to be, nor do I want to raise my children in it.

So, I’ve made many steps (including hiring a friend to teach me the basics on how to upkeep my house) to make the changes happen.

And, so far things are going smoothly.

Beds are being made in the mornings.

Toys are being picked up before bedtime.

Dishes are being washed on time.

And, overall, when you walk into my house, you get a different feeling than what you may have had in the past.

(Note: I’m not saying my house is a museum by any means… it’s just a lot more orderly than it’s been ever in my life.)

The changes are wonderful.

My husband notices it.

My children notice it.

I certainly notice it.

And, it’s affecting me beyond my house.

It has expanded to desiring that my community be as orderly as my house now is.

So, when I walk around the kibbutz and notice trash or things not returned to their proper places… I feel frustrated and want to do something about it.

Like this past week, when our kibbutz had the pleasure of hosting a national teenage youth group for 4 days during Chanukah.

I felt happy that we can open our community to others.

I felt blessed that we have the space and facilities to host them.

Yet, I felt frustrated when I saw candy wrappers lying outside the synagogue.

Or, printed materials all over the ground.

Or, tables not returned to their proper places.

And, over these past 4 days, I caught myself several times, noticing the judging that I was doing with this group:

“They are teenagers.  There’s no way they’re going to clean up after themselves.  I must notify the head of the group.  If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”

Each time I stopped and paused and allowed myself to be still.  (S)  I took several breaths.

And, as I allowed myself to feel this judging that I was doing, I also allowed myself to tell myself (T) what that judging feels like.

And, I must admit, it didn’t feel good.

I hate judging.

I hate what it feels like.

And since I wasn’t really aware of any history with this group (U), I chose (in each of those moments) not to do anything (C).  Not to pick up the trash.  Not to call the head of the group.

But, to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps they will clean up.

Perhaps “cleanup” is a part of their 4 day experience here.

And, as difficult as it was to choose that, I did.

And, you know what?

They left today.

And, the grounds were clean.

And, the wrappers were thrown away.

And, the tables were placed back in their proper place.

Because apparently one hour of cleanup on the kibbutz was obligatory on their last day here.

*********

What a relief.

What happiness this practice is bringing me.

Even if the group had left a mess, at least I would have known that I paused and gave them the benefit of the doubt they deserved.

And, I forgave myself (K) for being stuck in their mess in the first place.