Do you ever feel trapped? I think times like those are some of my unhappiest – all the worse when they come as a surprise. And yet, it seems those tight spots never turned out as bad as they felt in the moment. Reflecting on those experiences from some emotional distance, from the vantage point of the rear view mirror, they simply appear to represent turning points. And maybe all my unhappiness was caused by my own resistance to the turns.
I have discovered that resisting change digs a rut that is more and more difficult to get out of. (Pretty basic, huh?) I have also found that, no matter how deep the rut, there is always room to make a choice or two, to do something different that can loosen things up. (Wouldn’t you agree?) Maybe less obvious is this (and this is the key to unlocking the universe): when you are at what feels like the very worst point; when you are exhausted, overwhelmed and have nothing left to give, that is when you have to find a way to give more – to put more energy into your situation. This, I have found, is the secret to positive change.
Now, figuring out how to give more when you are on empty isn’t easy. It is a matter of finding energy you didn’t know you have. Pathways to these hidden reserves tend to be unique to the individual, so what works for one person may not work for another – although it may offer some clues! What you are looking for is wriggle room. (Once you get excited for change, you may get inspired to take on some big stuff, but consider baby step ideas. Sustained effort is what you need to crack cement and that is easiest to maintain if you take baby steps.) Simply give yourself some time to reflect and you may come up with some ideas to play with relatively quickly. But, if you are dying for some suggestions, here are some starting points you could play with: rob time from sleep or entertainment and invest it in reading success stories, meditation, exercise, breath work and/or something like NLP. But, I run far afield.
This blog is for those people who have reached the bottom, found their hidden reserve of energy, created some space and now need some ideas on how to kick their ball back uphill. That is the next step – find something positive to fill the space you create with each injection of energy.
Not all of these ideas will appeal to you; some are prosaic while others are edgy. Don’t print these out like recipes. Consider them more like yoga poses – a starting place. To suit your individual taste you may want to attenuate some and amp up others. Maybe one of these suggestions will strike you as offensive and inspire you to come up with an idea of your own. Nice. Hey, this is your game. Have fun! Play! Break the rules! Discover yourself!
You will reach viewpoints along the mountain path and ask yourself, “Where to from here?” A man of knowledge would say, “Never allow yourself to fall so far down the mountain again.” Be vigilant. Be alert. Cultivate awareness. Watch the horizon for the next challenge the universe is dishing up for you. As Daniel Villasenor asks, “Why allow your problems to become crises before dealing with them?” As Pema Chodron says, “Face everything.”