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  • Writer's pictureMichela Güttinger

Stuck exercise for individuals and groups (Sensing)

Naturally, in life we come to feel stuck in situations - be it in our professional or personal lifes, be it due to what feels like internal or external forces. Patterns in relationships with a boss, colleagues or family members tend to repeat until we change perspective. The Stuck exercise helps to tap into our bodymind’s intelligence by being with the perceived stuck, allowing to surrender and waiting for new insights, movement and/or solutions to emerge through this somatic process. It is the main tool of Social Presencing Theater and is somehow a journey through the U-process. Process

Personal experience with this method I must admit I have become somewhat addicted to the stuck exercise and apply it in different contexts and evermore creatively. By writing this I want to inspire you to integrate the bodymind wisdom into your day-to-day life and become playful and creative with it - please share with us how the stuck exercise helps you!  I apply the exercise in all areas of life and want to describe 3 different contexts in which it can help bring fresh references and creative insights to situations that feel stuck. Stuck in Arawana Hayashi’s (founder of the Social Presencing Theater) words: “what you’re trying to create is not moving forward”.

Individual stuck exercise

  1. The spontaneous stuck to use in everyday situations

I might be typing up a blog post or a template for a new process and suddenly feel stuck. Or receive a message by a team colleague that triggers me to feel blocked. What I will do is embody the stuck, this means I will do “Sculpture 1” by for example making myself very small and follow the intuitive movement of my body as it pulls together and breathing becomes shallow. The important thing is to get out of my head and into the somatic experience of the feeling. In other words give space to the feeling I maybe would rather ignore as it most often does not feel comfortable in my system. When I allow myself to follow the feeling and its respective “seat” in my body through movement and attention, for example the hardening of my belly , there will then at some moment naturally happen a new movement that leads me to “Sculpture 2”. I do not track this with my mind, but let it happen naturally. The body does not want to stay stuck and always looks for ways to move onwards. So I trust that Sculpture 2 will emerge. On a cognitive level we might need to allow ourselves to move in to a nondual state, meaning we do not categorize feelings into good or bad but stay in a curious state of mind with whatever feeling comes up and allow it to move through us. E-motion wants to be in motion;). Other ways to integrate the stuck exercise: 

  1. The individual stuck within the group (process described in link)

3) Group stuck exercise (process described in link) Application of awareness of the social body to specific cases. More voices on the stuck exercise by u.lab 2018 participants: 

Sarah Friederich:  “The stuck exercise was a very surprising experience for me, of experiencing the intelligence of the body. After embodying my stuck, my mind had a clear idea of how figure two after resolving the stuck should look like. But my body wanted to move in a completely different way. And the way it moved and resolved the stuck gave me a lot of practical information on how to work with the stuck in my everyday life.” Dung:  “This exercise allows me to sense the energy stuck, to stay with it, to welcome it without prejudices so it can unfold at its own pace into a movement towards another position: a place, I can name as my full potential. It was like a journey. It was very slow. It almost stopped. I met doubts and I allowed myself permissions. I freed my body. It was fragile, confident and free. It was an inside out movement. I found internally my confidence, I straightened up and stepped in. Then I showed up connecting me with others and the whole. There was no boundaries between inside and outside.“ Sidsel Andersen: “The stuck exercise is powerful in a way that it helps a group of people to service each others difficulties in a way that brings them way beyond their own limits, beyond the tendencies of advising, and far out of the brains traditional problem solving process. During the exercise, I found a space where I could truly engage with my stuck situation, without having to explain, without having to share everything, without having to be worried about getting advice. It was a space that opened me to not trying to fix my problem, but to learn more about it instead.  My experience of the stuck exercise was that our group connected with one another and our most difficult current "stuck" in a way that opened up the intelligence of the body as a subtle perception vehicle, that opened the heart quality, and opened the trust in the smallest sensitivities and signals. The mirroring from others in the group taught me a lot about my situation that I would never have discovered by my own, or in any normal conversation.”

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