Friday, 15 April 2016

Stick in the mud

Are you a stick in the mud? Or perhaps someone in your life is a stick in the mud, and it's frustrating you?

Consider for a moment the benefit to you of releasing the frustration, or not being set back by this behaviour?

The words we're using can often help us understand what's going on in our mind. Whether logical or metaphorical, they explain how we're relating to any given situation. Which means if we're unsure what to do in a situation, the answer might be found in the words we're using - or in this case the metaphor we're using.

For example if you're describing someone, or even yourself, as a 'stick in the mud' then why are you using that description if not because it makes sense at some level.

If it makes sense to describe the situation in this way my hypothesis is, you'll also find the solution there too, for example:
As with all metaphors it's helpful to NOT mix then up with reality - so think of the 'stick in the mud' situation, and then put it to the back of your mind whilst we explore real sticks in real mud!

Bring to mind the metaphorical stick in the mud that you're imagining when you use those words:
  • How long is the stick? 
Please don't be surprised if you do have an answer - your mind is a meaning making machine, and as such if you're using the words will have a picture of some sorts that accompanies the words. 

Let's explore the image a little more: 
  • How wide is the stick? 
  • What's it sticking in? 
  • How gloopy is the mud? 
  • and so on. 
Build up a picture of the stick in the mud - you might want to draw it (and no I'm not pulling your leg - drawing as I discovered when going around in circles can be very helpful), or make a collage, or go and visit some real mud with a real stick as I did, as you will see very soon.

Once you've done that consider the options for that stick. The options might include:
  • Staying where it is
  • Being picked up and moved somewhere else
  • Waiting for the mud to dry out
  • Floating away if it rains
  • What happens if it gets icy? or snows? or the wind blows it?  
  • Stopping it coming away from the tree in the first place  
  • And so on - just keep thinking of ways to move the stick so it's no longer stuck in the mud.
Before considering how these options might relate to real life have a look at the following images of sticks in mud!

It is a short stick in the mud 
Or perhaps a little longer

or even longer

Or very tall (as sticks go)
Or perhaps a little thicker!
Or perhaps there's a whole host of sticks in what has now become a big expanse of water?

Perhaps its about remembering where the stick came from, and finding a way of returning it to its home?

Did any of these images resonate - and in which case how could the stick no longer be stuck in the mud?

Reflect on the original situation - how might these metaphorical solutions and images provide an answer? 

Notice what you notice - in what way does the situation look or feel different? What insight might you have had on what action to take in the current situation?

Other posts that may also relate to the content covered here, even if they're using different sayings, are getting out of your comfort zone, bringing it in out of the cold, and treading on thin ice

I'd love to hear how you got on.

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life
Inspiring Change - inside and out

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