Monday, January 23, 2012


Some days I am frozen. Stiff, immobilized, inflexible. Cold, rigid, hard. Numb.

I am not referring to winter weather.

This is a state of mind. Unable to think. Overwhelmed. Afraid to move forward, not willing to turn back. Stuck. Right where I am. Unwilling. A statue, with nothing to say or think.

Picture an ice sculpture on a well laden table at a high-end banquet. The carved ice is there, an elaborate decoration, not really for a purpose. Just there. Some days, that statue is me. No creativity. No imagination. No excitement at the joy of life.
Don't have a photo of a fancy ice sculpture. Will a snowman do?

How to melt my frozen heart and mind?

These are ways I have found to shovel the snow, begin the thaw and conceive  growth.

  • Exercise. Some (most!) mornings I do not want to get up early. I know, though, that it always feels worth it after the exercise session. I have to think ahead while I put on my exercise clothes and push play on the DVD. Go through the motions - the motion will create warmth to melt the stiffness.
  • Read. My morning Bible and devotional reading (Valley of Vision, now),  sparks life and reminds me of the Lord's love and care. Later in the day, time to read, alternating fiction and non-fiction inspires me, challenges me, offers plenty to think about. 
  • Prayer. Reaching outside of my narrow short-sighted world, alert, aware of the needs of others.
  • Reach Out. When I would rather hide, connect with others: make a phone call to distant family, write a letter, send an e-mail, play a game with the kids, reach beyond myself, extend a hand to others.
  • Organize. I know, this is strange to include in this list. I am learning (a long process), that less stuff is liberating and that empty space breathes life and energy and creativity into my days. I have been dreading a project, cleaning out our floor to ceiling linen closet. I would open the doors, stand there and look, unable to move. Overwhelmed. For weeks. Finally, I took a deep breath, carried armloads to the table, sorted into piles, got rid of at least half of each pile, some much more. The momentum carried me on. Took me about an hour, a task I'd been procrastinating way too long. Motivates me to liberate the next area.
  • Music. I miss having a piano and hearing the kids play for hours each day. But, I have CD's downloaded on my computer, a wide variety of styles, depending on the mood. Our son has picked up his mandolin again. I like hearing him pick at the strings, feeling his way through a song.
  • Write. Journal, characters, scenes, free-writing, like limbering exercises. Just start, that's the hardest part. Pick up the pen, plink on the keyboard.
  • Lighten Up. Laugh, smile, throw a snowball. Don't be so serious. Seriously!

The frozen ground yields to the warm breeze, the sun, dappled through the trees melts away the ice. The hard dirt loosens, allowing growth to spring up, new life to stir and produce. Fresh ideas take root and come alive. Unfrozen.
Are there are other (maybe better) ways you become unfrozen?


  1. It's not cold where I live at the beach but I can relate. And your list is helpful. Just pushing through the lethargy to do something helps!

  2. Yes, I want answers, purpose, the big picture. But when I do the small things, the answers, the purpose and the big picture become much more clear. Little things come first.
    Thank you ladies, for your comments - I appreciate you!

  3. Oh, I love this post! You described a state of mind I am most familiar with. The list is perfect - - I especially liked the Reach Out part. Whenever I get feeling I need to reach out I keep thinking I need to find a soup kitchen somewhere to work in. And although that's not a bad thing, I forget the simple ways of reaching beyond myself that you have listed. Wonderful :)

  4. So many helpful reminders. Thank you.
    Karen A.