It feels like I’m in a jail-cell without bars. I am itching to get out, but there’s no door, and I have no idea where to even begin.
As I look out the window, I see white snow-covered roads and buildings and I wonder if I will ever feel better. This feeling of stuckness comes and goes. I feel trapped.
During the short span of my adult life, I’ve made money, traveled, and done things that I thought would make me happy. Now, I’m not saying that they are useless, I’m just hinting at the fact that the answer seems to come from the inside instead of the outside.
Perhaps it isn’t all about the money, big house, white fence, two kids, travels, and the things that society tells us are important goals to go after.
As the years have gone by, I’ve become more and more aware of what is going on inside of me when I feel stuck. What I have a tendency to do – and you probably do, too – is push the feeling away, because it feels uncomfortable.
Stuckness can manifest itself anywhere, and when left unchecked, it tends to spread into other areas of your life. For example, stuckness in a relationship can easily spread to work and life in general. Everything affects everything, even when we don’t want it to, especially when we don’t want it to.
Something interesting happens when you become aware of your current feelings. Happiness, excitement, and joy are always easier to observe than anxiety, fear, and stuckness, but then again, you learn more from the latter group.
But before we proceed, we have to ask ourselves: what is acceptance? What does it mean? You hear people throw it around like it’s the next big thing since sliced bread, but do most even know what they mean when they use it?
To me, acceptance means being with whatever is. It means living in reality without any illusions. To you it might mean something completely different. It’s up to you to define.
When you’re stuck, you can accept the fact that you’re stuck, and be with your stuckness. Begin feeling where the stuckness is in your body. For me it’s usually in the chest area. When I close my eyes, start breathing, and start feeling, I get curious about what’s really going on and how stuckness feels. I look at it as an experiment, a game. I am the observer and I am here to learn. I don’t try to push it away or do anything other than be curious about what is going on, like a child explores its surroundings, I want to explore my inner workings.
When I get curious, instead of resisting and pushing away, everything changes. It’s hard to start the process, because it feels scary to look into a feeling that feels negative, but once I start breathing and get curious, it all just melts away.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the stuckness will magically melt away, but it will help you see it for what it is. Just changing your perspective from resistance to curiosity will make a big difference. And it doesn’t have to take a long time either. You can do this anytime, anywhere.
You can sit down, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes (I like to close mine to give me more inward focus), and observe what is going on inside you. This is also called being in the now or being present. It’s a powerful tool for overcoming anything, because it helps you see what is truly real. We have a tendency to escape into the past or future, to regret or to worry.
Now I’m curious about another thing: do you have any tips for how you have gotten past stuckness? If so, please share in the comments below.
|Written on 2/21/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where he shares his personal tips on how you can live the life you know you deserve. When you feel ready to take action, get his free course: Find Your Passion in 5 Days or Less. And if you liked this article, you will enjoy one of his top articles: 77 Great Quotes That Will Change Your Life.||Photo Credit: Joe M500|