Barriers Can Be Opportunities

blocked entry
Pan view of path
When it seems your path is blocked, is it time to give up or change direction?

If you are a regular reader, you will have seen the photo of the entrance to my special place where I enjoy the peaceful quiet in which to do my QiGong exercises.

One morning there were some large logs placed at the entrance badly limiting easy pass through. It was awkward but, I managed to get by. I assumed that someone had become annoyed with the noise of motorcycles entering and had decided to obstruct their entry. A couple of mornings later, more logs on top of the lower ones completely blocked my path. Feeling disappointed and barred from my usual pleasure, I returned home. It took a couple of days for me to realize that I could enter by another route. It was still the same distance but just around the block, really, to the other entrance.

My perspective changed. I was able to see the ocean shore from a different vantage point as I approached. This gift of a new view prompted me to think about some difficulty I was having getting ahead with a writing project. I felt blocked and not able to focus. I began to ask myself questions, “Is there another way to approach my subject? Is there a way around my writing block that I have not considered? “. Can I find other options to get past this barrier?

My thoughts turned to water and how it moves to continue on its path. When it comes up against a barrier, it uses alternative routes to reach its goal. It can slowly build up until it can go over the obstacle, but this is an aggressive route that may cause damage. Better that it goes around or underneath to reach its goal.

How can I use these options to deal with writer’s block? The idea to overcome with force, I discard immediately. I know from experience that I cannot push this barrier away. I can only accept that it is there. So how do I find a way around it? Just pausing to consider how my body feels can alert me to my shoulder tension. I take time to relax, and suddenly, I see a different approach to my subject. I realize I have gone around the block with the result that it is no longer there. It can also be helpful to think a little deeper and ask myself if I am allowing self-criticism and underlying self-doubt to become a barrier. Am I letting that old demon prompt me to see a block that is, in reality, not even there?

I remember a recent blog by Madisyn Taylor, posted May 21, 2021, on DAILY OM, Apply Gentleness To Everything. Look for it – It is a good read and explores how to alleviate resistance by approaching it gently.

If you feel “blocked” in finding a path of change in your life, contact me. I would love to explore the topic with you.

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  • Leanne LC says:

    Hi Judith – when I was struggling with what to do after I found myself at a loose end from leaving my horrible job, a lovely counsellor friend told me that “just push through” was a really unhealthy approach – it causes stress and often gives us a result that may not be the best one for us. Stepping back and taking a gentler approach – allowing things to unfold at their own pace, gives a much healthier and happier outcome. It appears to have worked for you 🙂

    • Judith. says:

      Always appreciate the wisdom that comes with your comments. My biggest challenge is what I call “overdrive.”I can feel disconnected from self when that happens. The gentler approach helps me get back to me. Love your blogs and the gentleness that is always there.

  • Susan says:

    Lovely article and comments. So much to meditate on. I think the question : “Is there another way around this?” is so much healthier than the tendency to try to push on the barrier.

    • Judith. says:

      So very useful this question. Just by indulging in its consideration, one can learn so many new things as one goes another way around.

  • Nori Sugimoto says:

    When I am blocked, as stressful it is at the time, time clears the mind and the water begins to flow again.
    My simple mind doesn’t allow for deep philosophical solutions. Sometimes I wished I was as problem
    solving as you. Amazed at how I get by.

    • Judith. says:

      Hi, Nori Thanks for dropping by. It sounds like you have mastered using the pause to allow your stress level to lower and let your mind problem solve in its own way. And that is amazing.

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