“Understanding is like water flowing in a stream… In Buddhism knowledge is regarded as an obstacle for understanding. If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that even if the truth comes and knocks at our door, we won’t want to let in…. We must learn to transcend our own views.”Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart Of Understanding
I’ve been devoting a vast majority of my days to unravelling my path to getting unstuck. As of late, with being away from work, I’ve been feeling somewhat lost. Lost in the sense that I’ve noticed myself reverting back to negative self thoughts, especially when the topic of weight comes up. I knew I wanted to take action and get these notions under control again, so I naturally went to the bookshelf and grabbed, If the Buddha got Stuck.
“What if you really believed that there are specific ways to ease your stress, calm your fears, gather courage to take action, and bring greater peace and happiness to your life? It is possible. The buddha found the way, and his teaching can help you regardless of your background, religion, or beliefs system.
Welcome to the Journey.”Charlotte Kasl, If the Buddha Got Stuck
I highly recommend this book to everyone, no matter if you’re stuck, unstuck or don’t even know if you’re stuck, there wasn’t one instance while reading this book that I thought, “This doesn’t pertain to me “.
Throughout the first chapter, the author depicts all the characteristics of being stuck vs unstuck. Out of the 10 traits of being stuck, I can say with confidence, that I had possessed every single one at some point in my life. One in particular that I related to my current self was, trait #8: A sense of self that is identified with images, concepts, and beliefs. I convinced myself I needed to revert back into the mind set that had to appease the individuals around me. I was trying so hard to go against the flow of my true self that I became stressed, mentally and physically.
“They have an image of how they want to appear instead of finding out who they really are.”Charlotte Kasl, If the Buddha Got Stuck
I knew right away where the cynical self views were coming from after revisiting these ‘stuck’ traits. I had strayed away from telling myself what was absolute, and started to believe the dejected notions I generated about myself. I abandoned my drive to remedy the situation, a toxic trait of being stuck, #2: Negative Thinking. I was allowing myself to be consumed by the notions of, I’m not good enough or what if it doesn’t work the way I planned. As I was reflecting on the days that these thoughts engulfed my mind, I asked myself, why was it so effortless to let these pessimistic thoughts come in and to punish myself for thinking that way, yet it was harder for me to welcome, experience and to accept the fact that it was okay to have these feelings.
I know what you are thinking, “Brittany why would it be okay to accept these feelings?’. Well, the first step to any mental healing is you must acknowledge there’s an issue. Next, second most important step, dealing with the them or burying them deeper inside. I strongly believe that if you acknowledge a problem and choose to ignore it, you are making a choice, you chose to stay unhealthy and unhappy. I made the choice to change and face these challenges head on.
In the next chapter, it gave characteristics of being unstuck. Trait#1: Confident in one’s capacity to problem-solve and take action and Trait #2: Unwilling to remain in extremely unhappy or stressful situations indefinitely, these two ignited a fire of desire, a desire that reminded me that life was too precious to be held down by those demeaning beliefs.
Trait #1 helped me refocus on the magnitude of possibilities and resources that were available for helping me face theses issues. My favorite saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. I wasn’t afraid to try something and not get the outcome I was expecting because I would regroup and try another route. Without the confidence that stems from trait 1, it would have been harder to embrace trait 2 in all its entirety. I am confident that I would have remained unhappy and stressed if I had been submissive and controlled by stuck traits 2 & 8.
I’ve learned, each attribute is interconnected in some way, they’re the clues to solving the mystery of becoming unstuck. So, you’ll either make the choice to become a Sherlock Holmes and follow those clues, or choose to stay an Eeyore.