Coming up against a brick wall

Nicole Mathieson

You might be familiar with the brick wall.

The brick wall appears sometimes when you are trying to feel or explore something deep within. Perhaps you are trying to heal something or explore a part of you that feels ready.

But your efforts are thwarted – you can’t penetrate because you have a big, towering impenetrable brick wall in the way.
Access denied.
It feels like whatever you are attempting to feel or explore is barricaded away. It is too risky, too toxic, too precious, too secret. It can feel like a bit of bummer.

If you are familiar with the brick wall, however, you are in good company. It comes up a LOT in clinic. Along with the other favourite, the big black hole, representing the void, the nothingness, the total no-go zone of death and dissolution.

But it kind of makes me chuckle, because it really is interesting isn’t it, that even in these dark hidden corners of our psyche, we are all the same.

Why do we have these obstructions?

We have them because our EGO is trying to keep us safe.
The EGO is ever vigilant about keeping you away from potential discomfort (often at the expense of intimacy and our dreams, visions and full potential – but hey!).
It is saying to you:
“I have done everything to try to seduce you into distraction to keep you from exploring this, but now that you are actually going there, I am going to have to make it really clear that I don’t want you to by putting up this brick wall.”

Interestingly, when I guide people through these blockages; brick walls, black holes or whatever, they actually dissolve really quickly. They are never as scary, bleak or uncomfortable as we have been led to believe by our super timid EGOs.

Getting through them is not hard and well worth the effort but the tricky bit is that you don’t get through them in the ways that most people expect.

It is not by attack or dismantling
It is not climbing over or digging under
It is not even going around
(this is conjuring up a song in my head )

The brick wall will become more and more impenetrable the more you try to conquer it.

To get beyond the brick wall you need to feel it.


Your being is offering you a beautiful opportunity to get intimate.
It is here, in the face of this wall that you can learn, absorb and explore so much of yourself.

Feel the brick wall.

It is not what is beyond the brick wall that matters.
Beyond the brick wall is your freedom. It will feel amazing, of course.
The obstruction is where you are at and where your transformation and deepening is going to happen.
Be with where you are at, right now.
Psst. (top healing secret here) – When

it comes to healing, the most important thing to remember is that we always, always heal where we are, right here and now. Not where we wish ourselves to be.

So……. we feel the wall:

The frustration of it.
The numbness of it.
The hugeness of the block.
The despair and hopelessness of it.

Ask yourself;

What does the brick wall feel like?
What influence does it have on my attitudes, beliefs and thoughts?
Where do I feel it in my body?
What is the brick wall here to save me from?
Why does it need to save me from that?
What does the wall need from me?
What would make it feel safe enough to be smaller?

And once you have asked those questions drop into some gratitude;
How can I be appreciative and grateful for the wall?
How can I accept this wall?
How can I love this wall?

Send some gratitude to that part of you that loves you so much that it will build incredible things to keep you safe.
Love the part of you that is afraid and that wants to keep you safe.

Put your hands on your heart and picture the wall in front of you. When you are ready say this:
“Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for loving me. I appreciate it”

Stay there a few breaths.

See where it goes.

Some keys to help your healing here:
• No judgement – do not judge the wall, or the answers or the feelings. Judgement keeps you stuck in the realm of limitations. Non judgement taps you into the divine.
• Breathe – trust and breathe, it will be uncomfortable but not for very long.
• Journal – let it flow out of your pen and inform you of its wisdom.
• Feeling it all –  the comfortable and uncomfortable, is the conditions for a healthy, vibrant heart
• Prayer – hand it over, ask for guidance – you don’t need to feel alone in this.
• Ask for help – book a session. I can hold your hand and guide you through this.

Leave a comment and let me know if you have a wall or a black hole. I would love to hear from you.

Take care




  1. Katie Tymms on June 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    “the most important thing to remember is that we always, always heal where we are, right here and now. Not where we wish ourselves to be” – so so very true. A truly beautiful and supportive piece xx

    • Nicole on June 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much beautiful Katie.

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Nicole Mathieson

Hi, I'm Nicole Mathieson, a relationship and body image coach, couple therapist and author.

My relationships blog helps couples learn practical ways to cultivate a deeper understanding of one another, find safety and connection in relationships, navigate difficult conversations and repair after conflict.