past participle of stick.
They say that if you ever fall into quicksand that the worst thing you can do is struggle. In fact the way to survive a situation like this is to relax. Are you kidding? The last thing I want to do when I get stuck in a life threatening situation that is trying to take control of me is relax.
How can what seems like inactivity and an ineffective decision be the solution to such a significant problem?
I spent some time earlier this week with a new fresh blank white piece of paper. This event usually fills me with great joy and anticipation. For me it is the creative playground that I love, where anything is possible and excitement can build around the future possibilities that may come from this process.
But this time I spent an hour writing what was going on in my head. Instead of amazing, exciting new ideas the page slowly filled with a list of my current realities and challenges. My unresolved questions, opportunities that seem not to solve any of my current problems and an overwhelming feeling of being STUCK. My quicksand was become visible.
I have been in this situation for a while now and if I'm honest I have been frantically trying to FIX it. I have been resisting and struggling. Running and jumping from possibility to possibility trying to find a solution to the question 'what I am supposed to be investing my time and energy into moving forward'. It is the reason that the Flea Factory Podcast is focused on this Quest. A quest to find answers and fix my current situation. A quest to get out of my perceived quicksand.
But if I am to learn from survivalists, when faced with a threatening situation such as quicksand (the ultimate stuck feeling) we are told to relax. At the beginning of 2019 I took on a word that would set a theme for my year. The word this year was YIELD. I will be honest I was not thrilled to have this word. I usually prefer words like lead, purpose or focus. So of course I have spent most of this year doing everything I can to fight against the concept of yielding. Instead of relaxing, surveying my situation and potentially seeing clearly my next step out of danger. I have tumbled and struggled and cursed my way through the year and step by step found myself sinking further and further into the quicksand.
I then find myself boldly claiming to everyone around me 'I'm stuck, I told you I was stuck, there is no way out of this stuck situation'. While I'm sure people watch from the outside wondering why the heck I am running around in circles shouting and screaming. I wonder if bystanders see my struggle and clearly assess that the reason I am still stuck is because of my reaction to the initial problem rather than the problem itself.
You know that moment when you try and take a jumper off and somehow you lose track of your best way out and find you have your arm in the head hole and vice versa and you start exhausting yourself trying to get out of a stupid piece of clothing but you just can't seem to find the solution and you now start feeling like you will never ever be able to get out? (breathe.......) That is the feeling! That is how my last few years have felt. A frantic struggle with an invisible force.
So today I am challenged again that maybe the way forward is to yield. To stop frantically trying to fix every problem. To take a step back. To start from a place of gratitude and peace. To look at my responsibilities and opportunities with a fresh set of eyes. Firstly and maybe most importantly because as I continue to struggle, all I do is sink further and further into the sand that is trying to consume me.
I can control how I react to these situations, I can stay present in the moment and survey my best options. Maybe someone is waiting to give me a hand out of the quicksand? Maybe it's not actually quicksand I just believe it is? Maybe the hole is only shallow and actually I can stand and slowly walk out of my current situation.
I will only ever find that out if I choose to Yield, gain perspective and refuse to sink further into the sand.