We all feel stuck at some point in our lives. We make New Year’s resolutions, talk about it with friends, even get excited. Sometime later, our enthusiasm fizzles, and you wonder what your new years resolutions even were. Life doesn’t change much. You still feel the same. You have the same problems and the same routine. Life feels kinda blah. You think to yourself, shouldn’t life be better.. more exciting? Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?
We often get stuck in the muck when we stop listening to ourselves, most especially our spirit. Simple messages that include play and adventure get easily tossed to the side when you’re living a responsible and busy life. The routine of life that includes work, taking care of family and paying the bills, can make us feel automatic and unimaginative. The pressure to perform and succeed can also keep us stuck. Self-talk that begins with “I have to.. ” and “I should… ” is born from the language of stuckness. It shows us where we feel obligated to direct our energy.
We all know when we are stuck. Being stuck is an inner feeling. It feels stagnant, immobilizing.. even oppressive. Sometimes people are stuck because they don’t know what to do, or where to even move in their life. It can feel uncomfortable and can lead to overwhelming feelings of hopelessness that can also cause depression. If you think about the word “depression,” it implies a depressed, pushed down energy that is stuck and cannot move free. It lacks life force and vitality. Often times we wait for something to happen; a lucky break, or a miracle. We wonder if a higher power is watching us, or if the winds of change will move in our favor. We do this, instead of embracing the change that needs to occur within us.
Being stuck serves a spiritual purpose. It is fertile ground for transformation to occur. It tells you that a change is needed. More than fame or fortune, or any kind of external change, what’s really being asked of you is an internal change: a change of heart, a change of priorities, a change of perspective. Ghandi reminds us, “be the change you want to see.” It’s easy to forget that we are the change agent, and that all change begins within us.
What are you resisting? What can you do to get unstuck and back into the flow of life?
Here are 7 ways to get out of the muck:
- Don’t Get Stuck on Being Stuck: Where your attention goes, your energy goes. When you’re stuck, notice where your focus is. If you keep thinking “I’m stuck. I’m stuck, it’s horrible”, then that is the reality you’re creating in your mind. What are you telling yourself about being stuck? Are your thoughts and beliefs reinforcing your stuckness? What would it be like to shift your focus and tell yourself a different story? What would you say to a best friend who is feeling stuck?
- Are You Ignoring An Inner Calling? : Often times we receive guidance about our next steps but choose not to listen to our inner messages. This guidance often comes in the form of a quiet, still inner voice. This voice can be easily drowned out by the noise of our everyday life, or our own inner demons of reason. Is there something you’ve been called to do, that you’ve been ignoring, or feel that you don’t have time for? Service with the elderly, dancing on Friday nights.. writing class? Is there someone you need to forgive? It could be anything. What or who have you been thinking about? What are the subtle messages you’ve been ignoring? What would happen if you took action on them?
- Change It Up: Inner change naturally creates outer change. Do you take the same route to work everyday? Do you eat at the same restaurants and visit the same places? Go to new venues. Change your furniture around. Take a new route to work. Change the way you show up and move through life. Change without expectation. Be present to what’s around you, and appreciate new experiences. Take time to connect and interact with new people and communities you resonate with.
- Change Your Relationship to the Stuckness: Do you resist being stuck? This can certainly keep you stuck; the judgment you feel towards being stuck. What if you changed your relationship to the feeling of stuckness? What if you simply noticed it? Allowed it to be as it is? When we change our relationship to what we feel, we release our own resistance to it, and it naturally begins to shift and transform. Instead of making it wrong or bad to feel stuck, let yourself be fully present to the feeling of being stuck. Let go of being too hard on yourself. See what helps you relax and let go of your resistance.
- Don’t Let The Past Dictate The Present: Are you stuck in the past? What are some of the things you’re telling yourself about what you can and cannot do? For example, “I can’t do that because I don’t have enough money.” “That would be impossible because I’ve never done that before.” What limiting beliefs do you keep reinforcing that are based on what’s happened in the past? Remember that this moment is not bound by any other moment. What you’ve done in the past does not dictate what you can do now and in the future. See what helps you let go and release the past so that you are fully present to create your now.
- Try 3 New Things: Sometimes we try new things because in our mind it “makes sense.” There’s a feeling that you “should be doing it and enjoying it.” Instead of thinking about what you should be doing to create a new life, let yourself try something completely new. Try something that excites you, however big or small that thing may be. What authentically interests you? What about your inner child? The key is to let yourself to experience it. Simply allowing yourself to have new experiences will move you out of stuckness.
- Move & Play: Being immersed in movement and playing really gets the flow of energy moving in your body and your life. Try a new way of moving; dancing, tai chi, racquetball. Go see a comedy. Paint. Play twister or monopoly. Whatever it is, let yourself be free without restriction. What are the silly, playful things that you don’t usually make time for? Simply giving yourself time to play and unwind can make all the difference in the world. It can be the kingpin that opens the floodgates for new energy to flow into your life.
Instead of taking being stuck seriously, you can lighten up. Relax, take a walk, or talk to a friend. Choose to spend time with people who are in the flow of life. Being in their presence will breathe new inspiration into your own life. Notice the way they perceive and relate to life. Let some of it rub off on you. If it feels appropriate, take time to ask them for insight and reflection. Remember that your life change begins within you. Don’t wait for your external world to get unstuck. Getting unstuck starts from the inside. Changing your own actions and behaviors will you move out of the illusory rut of sameness. Move out of your comfort zone, and be willing to take a risk.
Be creative in the way you perceive your stuckness. Being stuck is often a symptom. It is a symptom that your life is about to change, or that a change is needed. It is natural to become stuck at some points in our life so that we can truly grow. Imagine two rivers that confluence towards a greater body of water. At times, one of the rivers may grow narrow or appear to lack flow before breaking through to a bigger body of water. This often happens to us when we’re ready to make a bigger life change. The flow contracts before it expands. The contraction, too, serves a purpose. Let yourself be in the stuckness without resisting. Shift your relationship it and allow yourself to enjoy new experiences without expectation. It is time for internal alchemy to work it’s magic. Embrace the change.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” Anatole France
** This content was generated from a show hosted by myself and Randy Spelling: “Live Coaching With Randy & Sura.”