The way things are right now is not the way they must be forever. With every feeling of being stuck, there is a way of getting unstuck and moving beyond what weighs on you. Life is eternally evolving, and so are you.
“Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old—old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius. Sometimes we know we are stuck; sometimes we don’t. In both cases we have to do something.” – Rush Limbaugh
We all feel stuck sometimes, but whatever the situation, the first step to getting unstuck is to believe it’s possible to move forward. That belief opens up the window just enough to let the winds of change in. A tiny bit of willingness to see possibilities can change everything. As Marianne Williamson says, “You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
Sometimes, following our path means getting lost, getting stuck and then getting unstuck, going backwards, forging ahead, feeling confused and being inspired, and eventually making our way back home. And when we do feel stuck in a rut (or in our fears, doubts, shadows, or past), opportunities arise. We only must be willing to realize them and accept them, and the following practices can help us do that.
3 Practices for Getting Unstuck
These practices are inspired by New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and happy life scientist Pam Grout. She believes that we are expanding the universe with every thought, and that it is our responsibility to make those thoughts the best that they can possibly be.
If we feel stuck, we can remind ourselves that we do believe in the possibilities–that there is another way. We can shift our perception, tap into the frequency of gratitude and joy, and break our past habits to move forward in a more positive manner.
1. Play the opposite game.
“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens new avenues.” – Cullen Hightower
Children are great at playing the opposite game–they can jump in the water without getting wet, and their doubts about who they are don’t interfere with their ability to be who they want to be. As adults, we can play the opposite game and really shift how we see things. For instance, “This mean person is really loving me.” “This person isn’t bugging me, they’re enlightening me.” “I am so excited to talk to the tax auditor when he calls.”
This is about flipping the situation on its head instead of having the knee jerk reaction that’s most expected and common. It can open up a wider field of possibility for you by giving your fears and annoyances a positive spin. If we can pause before reacting to bad news, we have time to think about other, positive possibilities rather than giving all our energy to the negative.
2. Stay with it for 90 seconds.
“Growth is painful, change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” – Mandy Hale
Any feeling or thought goes through you in 90 seconds, but we tend to hold onto it and turn it into 90 minutes, days, even years.
Breathe deeply through the emotion when it comes up, allow it to exist, be okay with it, and let it pass without judgment. The chemical component of the emotion will disappear within 90 seconds from the initial trigger. We can either choose to let that circuit continue to run, or we can consciously disconnect after 90 seconds. We can either fight the emotion (and therefore emphasize it), or we can allow it to naturally flush out of our system (and therefore take control).
The deep breaths are pretty effective at distracting the brain from chattering. It gives you something else to focus on for those 90 seconds.
There will still be unforgiving moments, yet it’s our decision whether we let those moments become unforgiving decades. Forgiveness is truly letting it go and being okay with it and knowing that, at the deepest level, your spirit cannot be broken. To hold a grudge against someone is to belittle yourself; it’s human nature to poke at the wound, but it’s on a higher plane that we let it go.
It may also help you to ask for help from something bigger. Believe that something is there to help you move through the emotion in 90 seconds, because the emotion wants to move through you in 90 seconds. Make it your job to stay happy, and asking for help will become natural to you, just like “life sucks, I’m a victim, I’m stuck” can become second nature. Notice when you get off track and ask for a tonic and trust that you will receive that assistance. Soon it becomes easier and easier and you don’t get bruised so often.
3. Make life as playful as possible.
If you feel stuck, turn your attention towards something that’s fun. Bring back the childlike play, exuberance, enthusiasm, wonder, and joy. That’s the realm in which human beings delight and see things in new ways that make life enriching. In this frequency, ideas of lack and limit don’t seem to have any relevance. You’re thinking about expansion, not limit. You’re deep in this moment, not comparing it to any other moment or set of thoughts.
If you purposefully move toward what makes you feel most alive, you’re undoubtedly going to be a better version of yourself in any realm. You can be a better friend (to others and to yourself) and a happier human if you’re in that zone of seeing the beauty, appreciating life, and feeling fun and creative and limitless. Life can more easily guide you on what to do, and life becomes easier as you feel compelled to really live.
In any given moment, place your focus on peace, joy, creativity, curiosity–these are the qualities you are going to animate. This focus is what will help you get unstuck.
- Which of these practices will you try today?
- Are you willing to see things differently, to stick with the emotion, and to infuse more fun into your day-to-day life?
Please share your own thoughts, practices, or experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who could use a little inspiration today.
Keep your heart soft and your mind open.