Feeling stuck? In a rut?
Science & Spirituality have a LOT more to say about what to do then just listing affirmations and goal-setting.
Don’t we just ALL know the feeling of waking and thinking, “Another day again? seriously? I THOUGHT I was doing what I need to do to make it happen … but it’s NOT.”
And you are caught between humourlessly slogging away towards your goal and quitting entirely.
In this blog, I’m going to get you to look at your life as a whole and take you through some strategies for getting unstuck, and getting on track to hit your life goals (whether it’s a new partner, a new job, health, whatever).
When you get to the bottom of this page, you will even be able to DOWNLOAD this blog as a pdf with a worksheet so that you can apply these learnings IMMEDIATELY. Okay, buckle your seatbelts, this is a big article that can TRANSFORM you.
Career? Money? Romance?
We make a great mistake when we think that when we want change in ONE area of our life, we ONLY have to work specifically on THAT area. As in, want to increase your business revenue? Work on marketing. Want to lose weight? Go to the gym. I mean, yes, of course, you have to pay attention to what you’re doing that’s not working in your area of focus. But working on that alone is often not enough.
It’s kind of like trying to plug a leak in your rowboat by putting your thumb over the hole and staring morosely at said hole as the water slowly rises to drown you. If you REALLY want to salvage this situation, you have to consider multiple factors that you can only see when you step back from focusing on that weensy little hole: like water pressure, the materials you’re using, the integrity of the structure … not to mention, what you really want here (Seriously, do you want to save the boat or yourself??) You get my point.
Time to stand back from your constant efforting and see a larger picture! Here are 7 things you probably NEVER thought would get you unstuck from your rut, but will.
#1 Stop focusing on the area of your life that you’re stuck in, and go have fun in another area, with a view to improving THAT area!
Why, you ask?
Well, we humans are meant to detach periodically from our tasks and efforts and rest the brain. Our brains serve us best in problem-solving and creativity when we are not constantly focused on one thing excessively!
Research shows that after a rest, you are much more likely to experience inspiration and renewed problem solving potential. When the mind wanders, your brain is in fact more actively engaged in deep-level problem solving and idea creation.
It turns out your brain needs to go into the “slow” state once in a while. Staying 100% focused for several hours straight is unsustainable, if not flat out impossible….Your body comes designed with a clever mechanism called the “ultradian rhythm”, which is also known as the “Basic Rest and Activity Cycle” or BRAC. [Once you have rested …] you’ll be able to rebound back into fast brainwaves states.
This is entirely true in a larger sense as well. If you’ve been focusing all your energies on ONE area of your life, it’s time to take stock of the whole. [BEAR WITH ME, IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE IN A MOMENT]. Have a look at this chart below. Nevermind WHAT you are currently stuck trying to achieve, it’s time to assess your entire life. Before we thoroughly shake it up. [note: this article and chart with instructions can be downloaded at the end].
For now, see if you can’t just scan it and have a quick think about which areas of your life you’re not so satisfied with!
Now, see, you may be totally frustrated that you aren’t say, making enough money (and maybe you’re reading this article because you’re hoping I’ll tell you how). Let’s say you rated your satisfaction with money-making at just 4 out of 10. Forget it for the time being. What’s the next lowest thing on your pie chart? Say it’s fitness. Say you’re 5/10 satisfied about your level of fitness. Start there.
So, going on this example, trying working on your fitness, and forget about money-making for a while.
I’m NOT saying give up, or stop caring, or quit your job! I’m saying – taking your mental focus and day-to-day problem-solving energy OUT of money-making, and put it into fitness (as per my example above – apply this logic to YOUR situation).
This gives your brain a break, and as noted above, allows it to come up with some creative solutions for your problems!
Not to mention, sometimes we underestimate the extent to which a stuckness in ONE area of our lives is directly connected to another area of our lives.
In my coaching work, I see job frustration very often negatively impact relationship satisfaction. Almost always, my clients have HUGE improvements in their intimate romantic relationship once career problems and money problems are attended to.
#2 Find a habit, a mundane one, and change it NOW. This can rewire your brain to open you to new and better opportunities.
For example, sleep on the opposite side of the bed to the one you normally sleep on.
Drive a different way to work.
Go to a different place to get your morning coffee.
(Please DON’T FREAK OUT! Surely your barista is not as cute as the guy in that image? Okay, if he is, you have my permission not to change that habit. Ditto for cute female baristas.)
But seriously, what can you do differently … and WHY, you may ask, does this have anything to do with whatever it is you are focusing on changing in your life?
Your brain is wonderful at establishing habits. Ways and means of doing things. Superhighways that your neurons travel in your brain, every day, making the same connections (turn left here, get soy latte, sleep on this side of the bed, and so on). Think of it like: you’re driving around your life, and your brain is taking the same road day in and day out, and this means you have the same view every day, right?
Once you start changing up your habits and patterns, your brain has to make new connections. Your brain can grow those connections. Have you heard about this famous book, The Brain that Changes Itself? When you change habits, your brain evolves new synapses, carves new paths, new roads that show you a DIFFERENT VIEW, a view that just might enable you to see your life, your goals, your roadblocks differently.
One day I will have to write a blog called “how sleeping on the ‘wrong’ side of the bed changed my life”
The short version is:
- I felt uncomfortable and unhappy about it for a week and my mentor’s words rang in my ears “it’s important to get comfortable being uncomfortable;”
- I never noticed things in my bedroom on that side so much, and it caused me to change things around;
- I found a necklace I’d lost years before;
- I decided to change my entire bedroom set up after a few weeks;
- Suddenly it seemed like a good time to try a new marketing method.
It may seem like the last point isn’t related to the first point, but I say it is. My brain got so comfortable being uncomfortable that I entertained the notion of things I hadn’t previously felt comfortable considering (Google Adwords) – precisely because I got used to discomfort, which enabled me to stretch my limits conceptually.
#3 Shake up your energy! Get Moving in Your Body
I advocate a very somatic approach. Somatic means ‘of the body.’ Too often, we think change comes about because we use our minds to make decisions, and those decisions turn into actions in the world, and the actions have results. But there is more. Our bodies contain emotion, energy, disease. Our bodies are not separate from our mind, and if we ignore how our bodies experience reality and hold onto unhelpful patterns, we are at peril of living life from an inflexible mind alone – a mind that goes unquestioned, because we haven’t bothered listening to the wisdom of our bodies.
Now that I’ve covered a bit of science above it’s time for some woo woo (as one of my very scientific friends calls it)!
Let’s talk about your energetic body for a moment (chakras, energy bodies, auras, all that). The nature of all energy is movement. Energy that is static is not flowing [duh], and it is FLOW in our energetic body that allows for FLOW in our lives. I promise you that it matters. If you have a blocked part of your energetic body, you will not see results in your life.
A blocked heart has difficulty giving and receiving love.
A blocked sacral area often results in sexual problems.
The energetic body is intimately connected to the physical body, so much so that I could dispense with all mention of chakras and just focus on body parts (heart = chest area; sacral = hips and groin). But I want to stick with the energetics for a moment because your body is far more than just a collection of neurons. There is an electromagnetic field around you. There is vibration. And, there are areas with healthy movement, and areas of stuckness.
So, how do you create flow in a stuck body?
Shake it up.
Change moves stuck energy. Think about it. That little bit of ketchup down at the bottom of the bottle is there not JUST because gravity makes it so. It’s also there because there is nothing moving it. To get it going, you have to shake it. When you do, it starts to flow. Our bodies are not so much more complicated.
A friend of mine runs Kundalini dance classes, where you dance freestyle whilst focusing on various chakras. On many occasions her participants have reported back spontaneous healings from illnesses or pain, and sudden shifts in their life in many areas afterwards. (We actually have a special Qoya dance video class for our Be’s – members of Plan Be – that can achieve similar results!)
Personally, if I’m stuck, I go to a few free movement classes and bang, my head clears, there is flow, and I suddenly find a solution or new direction for whatever has been stuck for me, from business, to my personal life (and including mundane stuff like how to best parent a child going through a rough patch). The key is letting your body move intuitively, not forcing it into a strict method. Your body knows what it needs to do to release what is held, so long as you trust it to be. In addition to releasing held emotion or energetic blocks, in that space of being totally embodied, the mind has a chance to really clear.
Other ideas for a movement practice to shake up your energy: yoga, Pilates, moving meditation, running/jogging/walking, cycling, swimming, trampolining.
#4 Learn a new skill in an area you are passionate about (or at least interested in)
I once had a client who worked on the building side of property development, but he really wanted to design houses – not himself, mind you – he wanted a team of architects and a shift in his business focus. What we came up with was a plan to learn how to draw house designs to an architectural design standard (i.e. with mathematics involved). He then allocated a morning before work each day to sit at his desk and draw. The experience shifted his energy and focus, and literally opened his eyes to new business opportunities.
It can work even if the new skill or hobby has absolutely NOTHING to do with your goal, simply because of the way it helps you see the world differently; because of how it grows new pathways and problem-solving skills in your brain; and because it can shake up existing patterns and routines.
Plus, there is the mystical and magic component of introducing newness to your life. I have had so many clients meet a new romantic partner when they took up a new hobby purely for their own personal enjoyment: one at a tango class; one joining a Meetup music-lovers group in his local suburb; one who joined a travel club.
#5 Ask yourself regarding a heartfelt goal you have: if I knew I couldn’t fail, how would I do things differently?
Let’s be really radical here and start with your entire life as a whole.
What would your life look like if you were guaranteed success in the areas that matter to you?
Be very real here. A big problem I see when I encourage clients to identify what they want on a ‘big scale’ is that they choose things they THINK they should want, things like mansions, Lear jets, and so on. I mean, maybe you do want that. But be honest with yourself. What does your ideal life look like? For most people, ideal is a few degrees away from what you have NOW. Start there. Then ask yourself –
Who would you have to BE in order to have that life? What qualities would you have? What would you be doing differently?
And, now: regarding one particular goal you have in mind (where you feel stuck) … how would you behave differently around it if you knew for certain that goal would actualise? What risks would you take? How much confidence, humour, fun, and adventurous spirit would you bring to it?
Meditation is many things to many people, and there almost as many approaches and methods as there are people. Find one that works for you. There isn’t a right way, bar one very important no-no: don’t use meditation as an opportunity to judge yourself, i.e. to become annoyed at yourself for having thoughts. The point of meditation isn’t to not have thoughts (that happens rarely and is very aspirational even for advanced meditators). The point of meditation is to begin to see that YOU are NOT your thoughts.
You are the ocean beneath the waves.
You are the stillness beneath the mental activity.
It is the journey of a lifetime to become the stillness, and stop identifying with the activity.
Meditation helps on that journey.
One of the major stumbling blocks we have as humans (that I see all the time and even in myself), is thinking that we are our problems, our ruts, our difficulties. It is self-defeating to identify as the one who is ‘trying but failing,’ as the one who ‘has goals but isn’t seeing them manifest.’ Yet, it is also entirely human!
When you introduce a daily practice of meditation with the goal of simply BEING the part of you who is not struggling, trying, efforting, goal-setting, then you are able, over time, to more easy become the one who manifests from the Soul – not just the heart, but from the highest part of your beingness.
You are able to be the one who is still when there is chaos, the one who is at peace, when life is not peaceful.
Suggestions for meditation: you can download many meditation apps, most of them free, to guide you if you’re new to meditation. I suggest trying out binaural beats as they can put your brainwave state instantly into a state that is optimal for meditation. Otherwise, there are numerous online resources for learning breath and focus. If you don’t already have a preferred meditation style, I suggest finding one that resonates with you and getting started as soon as possible.
A minimal 15 minutes a day is fine. 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at bedtime is ideal! You can increase that slowly to 30-45 minutes each sitting.
#7 Chakra Clearing & Alignment
In addition to creating flow through movement, it is possible to bring your attention to your energetic body and start to 1. release what you are holding (memories, trauma, patterns and ways of being that do not serve you), and to 2. create alignment in each energy centre with your heart’s desire.
Honestly this is the subject matter of another very long blog, which you can read here: 6 Indications The Energetics of Your Body Could Be Stopping You Achieving Your Goals.
My point is, with some simple research, you might identify which chakra (if any) might benefit from some release work and alignment, so that your energy body is supporting you in achieving your goals.
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