Befriending Your Blocks

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.  Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Befriending your blocks is soul work.  Blocks are threatening to the ego, but welcome to the soul.  Why?  Obstacles compel us to dig deeper into ourselves, to investigate the roots of things, to get to the bottom.  What, for example, is causing this resistance to an exercise program I know would be good for me and that I’d enjoy, as well?   What is the source of your public speaking fear?  What is at the core of your inability to move forward with your plans to move?  Obstacles humble us.  They remind us of our humanness and challenge our need to iron every wrinkle out of our psyches and smooth every bump on life’s path.  Try as we may, we can’t just will our way through them.  This flies in the face of what we’ve been taught:  “Get over it!  Just figure out what needs to be done and do it.  Get control of yourself.  Just try harder.”  It’s no wonder that we become impatient and frustrated when we encounter obstacles.  Then, to make matters worse, our Inner Critic berates us for being blocked: we’re inadequate, weak-willed or lazy.  It’s not enough to experience the discomfort of being blocked; then the Inner Critic jumps in and makes us wrong for being stuck.  Blocks are not popular in this culture where we ‘always want it to be springtime.’  But they are part of the human condition and when we include them, our experience of life and ourselves deepens.

Blocks are rich with insight and contain important messages.  They are like the rambunctious child in you, making noise to get you to listen.  If we accept them as signals that something needs attention and give them an opportunity to express themselves, they will reveal their secrets. Like children, blocks respond to interest and care. Resistance to completing a work-related task may be an indication that you’re trying too hard and need to step away from your project for awhile to get some perspective. Procrastinating with regard to developing a new resume may be concealing a fear that you’re afraid you’ll fail in your job search. The fear wants to be acknowledged and given permission to speak.  I experienced writer’s block last year.  In exploring what was at the root of the stuckness, I discovered that the subject matter was no longer alive for me.  I let go of that project and began working on material that I was more aligned with.  Then the writing flowed.  Blocks can be pointing to deeper issues that need to be addressed or they may simply be indicators that we need to approach a situation differently.  What’s important is to consider the message the block has for you.

Befriending blocks asks us 

To be curious

To be reflective

To let go of control

To listen and observe

To be patient

To accept imperfection

To embrace ALL of who we are

 I hope that you invite your blocks to tea.