How to Move Through Feeling Stuck
I feel stuck. So stuck. I sat to write my blog as normal for a Monday morning and – nothing. I didn’t sweat it though; Tuesday is usually my revise and post day, so I have that as a back up. I sat to write several times again on Tuesday, and still – nothing. Panic? Oh yeah … you bet!
This makes me think of commitments that require us to ‘perform’ in our lives (at home or in our jobs) and the best we can do is show up. Being in transition is just like that at times. We are just trying to get a handle on what has or is shifting within our Being, and that alone takes all our energy. The most we can muster in our day to day life is to show up.
And you know, that is completely okay. Life gets turned on its head for whatever reasons and we just aren’t quite ourselves at the moment. Or perhaps who we have been has been drastically shifted by a traumatic event and we will never go back to who we have been prior to that moment.
In the meantime, we are just trying to gain footing again in a world that seems somehow different, changed – because we have changed. And we haven’t caught up with and normalized in those changes just yet.
Feeling stuck in between
What I am describing is like being stuck in between – between where we were and where we are going. In fact, that is even what I call it – The In Between. And it can be very unsettling. There is a strange element of not knowing totally who you are at the moment, and so not being totally sure of how to engage the world. It feels wobbly. Can you relate?
Someone asks a question around our circumstances and our response is weak or unsure. Someone needs an answer and we don’t quite have one at the present time. Hell … we wanna know! We want to know what the heck is next, and the answer is not available to us yet. This can be maddening! It’s like a long moment of suspension in our existence. We feel that we should know the answers when we don’t.
Today, I want words – I want a solution or story or idea to write and share with you all, and nothing is coming up!
What can we do when we are stuck like this?
It can feel like we don’t know what the hell to do with ourselves when familiar footing or routine is not in place. It can cause a period of inaction. Inability to take action often leads to despair, a sense of having failed somehow, or depression. It can erode the trust and confidence in ourselves and begin a downward spiral. But this feeling of inability to take action is so normal.
A most valuable thing I have learned is to keep going to some degree, even just the smallest action. And we do this with kindness; It is a gentle process, not forceful.
I shared a few months back in my post called Baseline Method for Supportive Transitioning about creating a baseline routine to keep some momentum during periods of transition. I recommend reading the article in full, but the general idea is that we look at each of the areas of our life which require our attention and then determine what is the baseline effort that we must put forth in each area. Show up in some small way to keep a basic rhythm and momentum going until your capacity to do more returns.
Do what you can
I cannot summon a damn thing to write about effectively, so I am writing about what I can: This moment – what I am going through right now. It may not be my best post ever, but it will offer something to someone. And it keeps me moving. If I stop completely now because the words are not there, I may not pick back up again next week, or the week after. It’s the same thing with transition.
When I have been in transition and felt like doing nothing because everything familiar was in upheaval, I made it a point to take care of the basics: get out of bed, make the bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, do the dishes, pick up my clothes, etc. And these small chores were massive wins some days! I mean, I really celebrated these small victories because they took so much effort to accomplish.
Today, I will get this post out and know that I did it. I had nothing, and creating this much was a struggle, but damn it, I did it! This is a massive trust and confidence builder and will serve me well again in the future.
Just one step at a time
At times, it feels like one foot in front of another. Just one more step, and then another, and so on. And that is okay if that is what it takes. A little trick I use is to break down big tasks into smaller step-by-step tasks where I can keep checking items off a list. It helps me keep moving until I can catch that full momentum again.
It might look like: 1. Get out of bed, 2. Make the bed, 3. Brush teeth, 4. Comb hair, and so on. Really!! If that is what it takes, do that. Keeping a baseline momentum going to maintain a sense of accomplishment about myself has been my number one key to gently move through those tough times.
Things pick back up again
Eventually, a new rhythm begins to establish and life starts to pick up again.
Little by little, we start to move more. One day all the little tasks will come easier and you’ll have the energy to do something extra. Then two things. Then many more.
Soon before you know it, you’ll have a whole new routine and a brand new normal. And it comes over time and getting up each day to just show up if that is the best you can do. Energy and ideas, possibility and laughter will return to your life.
To keep showing up is the way through
My current writing ‘dry spell’ could go on for weeks. But if I keep showing up to write, even just the littlest bit, I will eventually kick back into an idea – and then another and another. The energy around my writing will return, but not if I let it completely die out because the energy is low in the present moment.
Just the same – you don’t have to let your flame die out completely because the energy is low. Honor where you are at with your current energy level. Show up in the capacity that you can, with the energy that you have and don’t try to press for more. Be compassionate and kind to yourself, knowing that your energy and motivation will return when the time is right.
Until next week, Brandy xxx
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