Have you ever gotten stuck to the point where your ideas are not flowing as easily as usual. Here are six simple steps to take to unstick your mind!
With the deadline for an important business opportunity looming, I began my day today with a sinking sensation in my heart and stomach. Although I have been tossing ideas around for well over a week now, none of them stood out. Where will I begin? How can I put a unique spin on this project? Am I going to lose this opportunity? I was stuck - clearly and simply stuck.
Now this is just the sort of thing that I help my clients with each and every day. I am the queen of getting “unstuck”! One would think that getting unstuck would be easy for me. Not today.
I was inclined to get straight to my office this morning so that I could push my brain to the max. But the struggle within was so strong it was zapping my energy. I just wanted to climb back into bed. Instead I threw on some old clothes and headed out with the dogs, hoping that we could all work off some nervous energy.
When we are stuck it’s not always easy to transition the mind to a calm and still place. The temptation to think harder and allow the stress to elevate is almost like an addiction. But as soon as my feet hit the ground with nothing but grass, a lake and blue skies surrounding me, I knew that I could let go of my problem.
Resistance to calmness and confidence is a speedy path to the Land of Stuck, as I call it. The more we resist, fight and worry, the deeper into the quicksand we go. The answers cannot possibly penetrate that that thick, murky sludge that holds the creative mind captive. By releasing my problem to the blue skies above me I was able to quickly let go of my frustration and self-doubt in absolute faith that the answers would come. And they did! Once I found myself in this very special place of allowing, my energy restored itself and the creativity flowed once again. So it was with great relief and joy that I piled the dogs back into the Jeep with my next steps clearly defined. “Thank you, thank you, thank you” I said. Whew! Rescued from The Land of Stuck once again!
I had many choices before me this morning. I could continue to worry and fret, crawl back under the covers, give up altogether, or open my mind to all of the endless possibilities. We all have those choices when faced with challenge.
What’s the trick to stilling the mind to step into a place of faith and allowing? How can you allow the answers to flow more easily and effectively? Here are a few simple steps to begin your journey away from the Land of Stuck.
Practice Gratitude - Make a practice of expressing your gratitude for the simple, every day things in life. First thing in the morning and last thing at night, remind yourself of all of the good in your world. This raises your emotional energy level and can positively impact your physical state as well.
Breathe - Take a two or three minute break several times a day to simply clear your mind. Take in several deep breaths, moving the air all of the way into your solar plexus and exhaling through your mouth. Practice this process several times a day and soon your mind – and body - will begin to get the message!
Release it - Write your “problem” down on a piece of paper, acknowledge that you will solve the problem with ease and set the paper aside. This is a symbolic reminder that as you let go of the issue your mind will clear and the solutions will find their way in. Now this differs from pushing your problems away and going into a state of denial; pretending your problems don’t exist will not solve anything. The key here is to step into a place of knowing that the answers are there for you always and of allowing the space for them to arrive.
Take in the beauty of nature
Take in the beauty of nature - Surrounding ourselves with something larger and grander than we are is a wonderful reminder of how small our problems truly are. A shift of perspective is in order when we are struggling and nature’s beauty is one sure way to achieve it. Nature doesn’t think – it just is.
Step away - Remove yourself from the problem by taking in a good work out so that you expel your energy in a productive, healthy way. A good workout will clear your mind, like an eraser on a chalkboard.
Shift perspective - Choose the next best feeling. If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed you will not be productive and you certainly won’t be creative. But to expect yourself to feel joyful and accomplished in a moment’s time may be unrealistic. So take a step up the emotional scale to the next best feeling. Take a few deep breaths and consciously choose a new state of mind – a different mood. If you are feeling frustrated you might be able to move into “slightly annoyed,” yet calmer. This will allow you to sort out the next step or two, and put the puzzle pieces together with greater ease and continue to improve your mood.