Stagnant Growth: How we might be pickling ourselves into limited mobility?

So far, its been 15 months that I have been recovering from concussion, following a cycling accident. A car hit me after failing to give way.  A lengthy process. Challenging.  Soul searching. I have gone deep enough though, to find a determination for positivity to come from it.  And, I wish to share that.

The more attention I give to that process, the more I learn about how we humans are constructed. 

Wow, we are complex machines! 

This is a reflection on the latest insights, with some ideas to try if you are looking to increase your own self-awareness.

First a poem…(loose term for this writing!)…

The faster you go, the slower you grow.

The slower you go, the faster you grow.

Shedding the skin, bares the fruit of the core

The human trait to self-preserve detached from the rail

Trapped and fixed, pickled for preservation

We are never as fresh as that first pick

Each and every time, we bear fruit, pick it, enjoy it

A new season will emerge

We notice a thought

We think and feel

How fast?

Lightening is brightening, though fades as fast as it arrived

Trails of destruction with no trace of the source

Break the circuit, press pause on your lightening

Sheela Hobden, July 2022
Which type of pickle are you? Photo by Aysegul Yahsi on Unsplash

The above is my accepted invitation from myself to write a “poem” about the new awareness I have about slowing down.  And an expanded notion of what we gain when we let go of expectation.  I am vulnerably sharing this, and have no interest in judgement on quality!  It is more important that it sparks thinking.


I noticed that when we go fast, we miss things.  When we slow down, we see what is REALLY going on (press pause).  We learn and grow from that and choose what we want to do in that moment (pick the fresh fruit!).

I observed that we are so busy “preserving” ourselves from failure, embarrassment, shame, that we “pickle” ourselves.  And, we all know pickled anything is no where near as good as the fresh version!  To pickle is to preserve, or lets say “keep something the same”.  Do we really want to stay the same? Are we really growing if we are the same?

Finally, I am learning that over the years the gap between thought, feeling, emotion and sensation has been lightening quick for me.  I didn’t even know it was happening.  When we slow it down to its component parts we have a chance to identify the thought, BEFORE it can “pickle” us…(and of course that gets us into a “pickle” AKA difficult situation!).

What is this bringing up for you?


We slow down we do something physical, as it needs multiple parts of our brain.

Here are some writing (or drawing challenges) to explore, to support you to slow down and notice. 

Take a timer and set it for 2 minutes.  Get it ready before you read the questions below, so you don’t have too much time to think!

Put pen to paper (physical paper beats computer any day!), set your timer and keep going, keep pen to paper and write whatever comes, no editing…

Complete the following sentences – 2 minutes each (or draw for that time)

  • I notice that when I slow down it means that I…

  • I notice that I am most likely to “pickle” myself when…

Look forward to hearing what emerges from your writing or drawing experiments!

Photo by Aysegul Yahsi on Unsplash

Sheela Hobden

Sheela Hobden is a Coach at bluegreen Coaching.  Following her own mental health battles, she now coaches individuals, runs training sessions and speaks at conferences.  She has a real passion for helping medics and healthcare professionals take as much care of themselves as they do their patients in whatever life or career conundrums they face!  She is also a Mentor Coach and Coach Supervisor. She has a PGCERT in Business and Personal Coaching, holds PCC member status with the ICF and is CIPD qualified. She challenges herself with ultra distance running and Ironman.  Find her at or swimming in the sea, in Poole, Dorset

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