What causes you to feel stuck?
Snow on Dead Leaves Weighs Down Branches
As I walked home from the gym last week, the snow was picking up its pace, falling in large, heavy clumps. I paused to take a few pictures.
I noticed that a tree outside my building still had some of the dead leaves from fall, now covered with snow. The tree hadn’t fully shed its leaves. The snow piled on the leaf, making it heavy. It weighed down the branches.
There’s a reason trees shed their leaves in the fall. The leaf cannot hold the weight as well as the branch can. The heavy leaf becomes a bigger burden for the branch. As it weighs down under the heavy snow, the leaf threatens to pull down the entire branch with it.
The very thing that the tree tried to shed is now weighing down the branch with more weight than just its own.
You’re the tree branch, carrying the weight of something that is already dead. That weight drags you down.
And that’s why you feel stuck.
Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction
Everything in nature follows a cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction.
The tree destroys its leaves in the fall to create space for the snow to land in a way that maintains the core integrity of the tree. Bare branches hold the snow better.
Every aspect of the natural world follows this cycle. All endings are beginnings. All beginnings are endings.
Somehow we get the idea in our heads that we are exempt from this process because we are evolved human beings. This is false.
As in nature, so too in our human life.
Rebirth Implies a Death
The holidays share a lot of symbolism and meaning. They celebrate the themes of the natural season of spring: rebirth, renewal, and redemption.
Rebirth implies that there was a death.
Sounds obvious, right?
Except that our culture has a funny relationship with death and destruction.
We want new beginnings, but we resist endings.
We desire to create, but we hesitate to destroy.
We push to add more, but we hesitate to eliminate.
Why You Feel Stuck
Many of my clients come to me feeling stuck. They think they are stuck because they “can’t decide what to do.”
In 20 years of helping people navigate major life and business decisions, I’ve found that most of the people who say they “can’t decide” have actually already decided.
The reason they are stuck is because they haven’t taken action. And they haven’t taken action because the first action to take is to destroy something.
Decision is Destruction
The act of decision itself is destruction. To decide means to cut off other possibilities. The latin -cide is the same suffix as homocide. It means to kill off.
You have made a decision; you have intellectually acknowledged that you have killed off other options. But without effective physical action to fully separate you from those options, they linger.
They become the dead leaves. And as the snow piles on, they weigh you down.
Your First Action
What makes a decision real is that we take action on it. A decision without action is a portal to stuck.
The first step of creation is destruction. You must clear space for the new things you want to bring into your life.
Your Quarterly Review
We are in the last week of the 1st quarter and in the week leading to the holidays of rebirth. This is the perfect time for a quarterly review or spring Power Pause.
More than just a time to check in on your goals, this is a time to align with the seasons. In this season of rebirth and renewal, we look at what we want to create. What will bloom in the next season.
But first, we must destroy.
Start your quarterly review here:
What must die to create space for what is poised to emerge?
To help me serve you better, I would love your feedback. As you take time to pause around the holidays this coming week, what would be most helpful to you in reviewing the previous season and planning for the next? Please share in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter and let me know.