5 Techniques To Get Unstuck
Are you feeling stuck in your life? Do you feel like you have lost your inner compass and are not sure which direction to go? Do you have goals and intentions but don’t know how you will ever fulfill them? Does life seem overwhelming? If so, welcome to being a human in this experience called ‘life’! Feeling stuck and unsure and confused is PART of life, so don’t fret. I’ve come up with a simple list of how to honor, celebrate, and navigate the inevitable obstacles you may face.
5. MAKE A ‘YES’ LIST
Write out a numerical list, consisting of what really matters to you. I would suggest creating a list of at least ten things, but more is okay too. This list can be anything, from things you want to do with your life, to people you love, a state of mind you thrive in, etc. Think outside the box, and don’t worry if you’re not incorporating all of these into your life currently. Be radical. Include things in this list that you may have never experienced but desire to experience. For example, some of my list is: getting good sleep, feeling fit and energized, having enough money to not have to worry about money…
4. MAKE A ‘NO’ LIST
Write out another numerical list, consisting of that which does not serve you in your life. Get clear with what doesn’t feel good in your life, even if it is something that you think you ‘must’ do. This exercise is about creating clarity. Notice what emotions or feelings may arise as you write this list. Here is an example of my ‘no’ list: going out every night, eating gluten, saying yes when I mean no, judging myself, stress… Some emotions that arise for me are guilt, shame, and sadness. Allow all emotions to move through.
3. TAKE ACTION
Look at your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ lists. Take a moment to consider adding a ‘yes’ and eliminating a ‘no’. Is it possible to swap a ‘no’ for a ‘yes’? Just one! For example, I am willing to stop judging myself and start my day with twenty minutes of meditation to feel happy and energized. This exercise is about establishing a new habit… one step at a time. You do NOT and most likely CANNOT change everything at once, but a little bit goes a long way. Are you willing to let go? Are you willing to receive what you really want and deserve?
If you’re just not sure, it’s okay. Be unsure. Sometimes, I am unclear on what my exact intentions are. It’s totally normal. If you are not sure, just be that. Don’t create a story around it. Allow unsureness to be your reality. Smile at your confusion. Treat it like a welcome guest. Navigate your subconscious mind in order to give you more clarity. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are helpful tools in navigating your subconscious mind. If there are certain things in your life you’d like to shift but don’t feel you are capable of at this time, that’s fine. It’s not the right time, and everything will happen when it should.
Cliche? Yes. Totally powerful and life-altering? Double yes. Just be grateful. Be grateful for your struggle. Be grateful for feeling stuck. Be grateful for your breath. Be grateful for the sun. Just be grateful, and you will start seeing the world through the lens of gratitude. The ‘gratitude lens’ will inevitably shift you from ‘victim’ to ‘hero’ in your own life story. Getting unstuck is less about ‘doing’ and more about changing the way you see things. If you knew that everything is happening FOR you as opposed to TO you, wouldn’t you be grateful?
Here is inspiration adapted from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:
The Flying Trapeze
Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I’m hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.
Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control. I know most of the right questions, and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see?
I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It’s empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart of hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present well-known bar to move to the new one.
Each time it happens, I hope—no, I pray—that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurdles I have always made it.
Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless basin between the bars.
But I do it anyway. I must.
Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call faith. No guarantees, no net, no insurance, but we do it anyway because hanging on to that old bar is no longer an option. And so, for what seems to be an eternity but actually lasts a microsecond. I soar across the dark void called “the past is over, the future is not yet here.” It’s called a transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are the illusions we dream up to not notice the void. Yes, with all the fear that can accompany transitions, they are still the most vibrant, growth-filled, passionate moments in our lives.
And so transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to “hang out” in the transition zone — between the trapeze bars — allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens.
It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening. Hurdling through the void, we just may learn to fly.