We all feel stuck at some point in our lives. This often happens when we stop listening to ourselves, most especially our spirits. 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 uninspired. 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. It can be uncomfortable and lead to feelings of sadness and depression. Perhaps we're secretly waiting 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 recognition or fortune or any kind of external change, what's really being asked of you is an internal change. It could be a change of heart, change of priorities or even a change of perspective. When we are stuck we are being invited to grow and expand. What worked before doesn't work anymore and it's up to us to see where we can let go and open.
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 seven ways to get out of the muck:
1. Take risks. Have you been operating within your comfort zone? It could be that you need to take your life or work to the next level. Are you keeping yourself small in any way? Notice what truly gives you a deeper sense of joy and excitement. Is there something new you'd like to do but haven't dared to do yet?
2. Let go of the past. Our past can keep us chained and bound. Are you thinking about events that have already happened? What limiting beliefs do you keep reinforcing from the past? Saying things like, "I can't do that because I don't have enough money," or "That would be impossible because I've never done that before," can keep us where we are. Don't let what's happened hold you back. See if there is anyone you need to forgive, and if that person is yourself.
3. Change it up. Inner change naturally creates outer change. Do you take the same route to work every day? Do you eat at the same restaurants and visit the same places? Go to new venues. Change your furniture around. Add something new to your desk. Change the way you show up and move through life.
4. Change your relationship to being stuck. Do you resist resistance? What if you changed your relationship to feeling stuck? What if you allowed it to be okay just 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. When you stop making it wrong, it stops feeling so bad. Let go of being too hard on yourself.
5. Ask yourself, "Am I ignoring an inner calling?" Oftentimes 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, our peers, or even our own inner demons. Is there something you've been called to do, but haven't done?
6. Move and play. Being immersed in movement and play 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? Giving yourself time to play and unwind can make an immense difference in bringing new energy into your life.
7. Ask yourself, "What am I not paying attention to?" What are you things in your life that you're quietly ignoring? Have you noticed any patterns in your lifestyle or relationships? Oftentimes, it's the very things that are in front of us that can cause our biggest blocks. Notice if you put off things that are healthy for you, or would allow you to advance in your life. Are you being really honest about the way you feel? Are there relationships you need to address that could be holding you back?
Being stuck is often a symptom. It is a symptom that your life is about to change, or that a change is needed. 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 by being aware without judgment. 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
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