Is there any aspect of your life that is in a 'holding pattern', anywhere you just can't seem to make the next step? Do you come to the brink of 'moving on' and find yourself backing up.....with all the good reasons why moving forward is just not a good idea? Are you aware of mental or emotional patterns that seem to rise over and over again, keeping you in the same responses to life? I think at some point in our lives, we all have felt stuck. From large decisions like changing jobs, or moving to another city, to small daily tasks like getting around to cleaning out your 'junk drawer', blockages can sometimes seem to run our lives.
Ancient Wisdom gives us new perspectives on how to unlock the patterns that keep us stuck.
1. Listen with new ears
Instead of falling into the familiar pattern of condemning our blockage, lack of motivation or 'stuckness', pause and listen to what you're really feeling. Go into slow motion inside and notice what else is there besides your repetitive thoughts. Let your resistance unfold itself and really listen to the nature of it. You may feel things like heaviness, fear, fatigue, overwhelm, sadness or ......?
2. Welcome the Unknown
Whatever you discover, even if it's an unfamiliar or undefinable feeling, see if you can bring it closer to you. In other words, treat it like a small child of yours that has something to say. Let whatever is bubbling up inside of you speak and welcome whatever is expressed.
3. Don't Judge
See if you can accept whatever arises as valid. So often we discount parts of ourselves, or judge them as 'bad', 'wrong', undesirable or unacceptable. The truth is that all parts of you belong to you and deserve a voice. Our frustration, anger, sadness and pain all have the right to be heard. The magic of allowing them is we then diffuse their power. A recurring pattern can be seen simply as a part of us that is rising again and again to be heard. If we can embrace, instead of pushing them away or down, they will no longer keep demanding recognition, and we will be free of the pattern!
4. Stay in the Present Moment
See if you can stay simply here, now. In doing so, you'll let your mind take a break from all the reasons why you can't move forward. You've likely been using your mind to solve this problem, and it hasn't worked, or there wouldn't be a recurring pattern. This Ancient pathway is not for your mind. Keep coming back to this moment and what you're feeling right now. I know this is often easier said than done, however there is a super simple and easy way to do it: Keep your attention on your body. As you feel your feelings, notice the sensation of your breathing, your feet against the floor, the air on your skin, the saliva in your mouth, the beating of your heart........ Anytime you want to drift into the past or the future, come back to your sensations. Your body is always here now.
5. Envoke 'Natural Order'
In this Paradigm, everything inside of you is part of your family. As you listen to each aspect (each 'child') arise in you, be aware of who is listening. The One who can hear all the children and listen to their woes with full attention, is 'The Head of the Household'. This being is the grounding of your internal family, and reflects the Natural Order of the Family. In all of Life there is a foundational, organizing principle, of which we are all expressions. inside of us, the Head of the Household serves as the organizing principle for all of our thoughts, emotions & actions. In evoking Natural Order, you allow the Head of the Household to emerge, and thereby ensure that none of the 'children' have taken over the whole being. When this happens, the rest of us becomes lost in one focus. For example, if we allow the child Anger to take over, there is no other choice with which to respond, except Anger. When the Head of the Household is in charge and Anger arises, it can be felt & honored within the context of the whole family. In this way, we expand the choices of how to respond.
Once you have allowed your feelings underneath the stuckness to speak, and you have welcomed them without judgement, make a decision to take at least One Step towards completing your goal. If it can't be done right now, give yourself a timeline. After this process of bringing closer what seems to be holding to you back, you may notice more freedom as you begin to move forward. Taking actual steps may very well become easier.
7. Make a plan
If it's a more complex area, like moving to another city. or finding another job, map out a list of tasks that need to be done, set aside specific times, and put them in your calendar. Even if it's only one....just do it. A wise man once said to me: "A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing!"
No matter how small your steps, celebrate each one. Small steps add up. They can lead to big steps, and even to quantum leaps. Let yourself really feel what's true as you begin to move in places that have not been easy in the past. Do your best to keep attention on the nature of your forward movement, as well what has actually been done. Give yourself a pat on the back. Do a 'Happy Dance'! You are coming into Harmony with more and more of your Infinite Self!
Finding a successful way to navigate our blockages helps us to discover and to keep unfolding our unique gifts. There is some expression that each of us came to blossom into.....and keep blossoming! I believe that each of our gifts is here to bring more beauty, compassion, healing and love to all the creatures of this Earth. But it starts with us. These gifts are pouring through us, exactly as we are. These Ancient Principles give us ways to meet the reality of where we are now, and to uncover our gifts in the face of whatever is happening: stuckness, fear, overwhelm, or tragedy. Life can only get better as we are able to expand with whatever we meet.
Below, Jim Carrey offers inspiration on meeting our potential in his video Dream Up a Good Life. May the Ancient Principles assist you on your way! Enjoy!
Please feel free to post comments about how this article may have been helpful, or questions that it brings up in you! To accelerate an embodied experience of coming back to your essential self, Register for one of our Residential Retreats held internationally. See you somewhere in the world!