This month 6 years ago marks the anniversary of my whole world as I knew it, falling apart.
My marriage was over and somewhere in between making plans for Christmas and the holidays, I was packing up my life and preparing to move back in with my parents.
At 31 years old this was a hard thing to swallow.
I lost a lot of money on the house we bought and renovated, but then had to sell quickly.
So not only was I in massive amounts of debt; the thought of being single and starting everything over again was too much to bear.
I felt incredibly lost, and had no clue what to do. I was caught in the middle of my own mess, with no idea how to climb out of it.
What saved me and helped me getting unstuck was shifting my perspective and taking bold action, well and truly out of my comfort zone.
It wasn't so long after that made the decision to enroll in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching program - a decision that pretty much transformed my entire life.
It was through this program I was introduced to yoga and meditation for the first time - both of which shone a light on how disconnected I had become to myself.
As I slowly started to rebuild my life over the next few years, I found myself stuck many times - often when I had to make a big decision, or was at a major crossroads where the outcome of my life could turn out wildly differently, depending on whatever decision I made.
During these times, what I needed the most was to create space and tune into what my inner voice was guiding me towards.
When we find ourselves at these crossroads in our life, we have two choices -
We can either choose to move forward (despite there being less than perfect conditions); or stay exactly where we are.
But what happens when we don’t actually know what that next step should be, or even what it looks like?
We find ourselves caught in a time trap between a situation we don’t want to be in; or taking some wild leap forward into unchartered territory with zero guarantees.
I hate to think about how much time I’ve wasted spinning my wheels, not sure of my next move and desperate for any kind of sign or nudge toward what I should be doing.
But here’s the thing: choosing to remain stuck (and yes, it is a choice) is a choice in itself.
The only way to get ourselves unstuck is to take some kind of action.
Any kind of action.
Taking action is simply a way to get the energy flowing again so we can move out of whatever headspace we’re beholden to.
Whenever I’m not sure of my next steps, I know I need to shift my perspective and start thinking differently about the situation.
So today I want to share with you 5 simple ways to get unstuck right now and get your life flowing again in the right direction.
The point is not to necessarily have all the answers or have it figured out - it is more about you intentionally setting the wheels of your life in motion to make your next best move and trusting in the process that you’ll be able to figure it out along the way.
1. Get moving.
Energetically speaking, moving our bodies and getting our blood pumping and endorphins flowing is the best way to get ourselves out of a slump.
It can take a lot of motivation to get going, but once you’re out there, with the air against your skin, the smell of nature; feeling into your body and getting a sense of the actual strength that lies within - you feel pretty unstoppable.
I have my best ideas when I’m running and always come back feeling energized, inspired and so much more confident in myself - and most importantly - what I’m capable of.
Yoga is another incredible way to shift the energy in our bodies and providing us an entirely new perspective. Regular practice has played a transformative role in my life over the past 12 months - even leading me to complete my RYT 200 hour teacher training (I will share more about this in a future post!).
2. Journal it out.
I have to be honest that despite my love of pretty planners and notebooks, I’ve never really been into the practice of journaling and writing down my thoughts.
But I do love writing. Back in the day, my blog became my journal of sorts and I used it to find solace from the thoughts swirling around in my head and make sense of what was unfolding in my life.
Only more recently have I found journaling to be incredibly therapeutic. I find it works best when I start with thought-provoking question that I ask myself and then I just write down everything that comes to mind as I feel into these questions and really ask myself what I think about a situation.
Here are a few of my favorite questions -
If you had a choice, what would you do?
What options are there?
What do you think is best?
What do you really want?
What would give you the most joy?
3. Break out of your comfort zone.
Taking bold action is probably the biggest and most important thing you can do to get out of your rut.
Because this kind of action not only fuels us with adrenaline and excitement into doing something so bold, but also because following any kind of leap, immediately afterwards we feel amazing and incredibly empowered that we were able to actually do it - and do it well.
It is through these bold actions we gain confidence within ourselves and our abilities - how will we ever know what we’re truly capable of if we never take the risk to try?
It is true - taking a risk like this requires bravery and a whole lot of courage, but from my own experience whenever I’ve found this inner strength, I’ve always been rewarded from the outcomes, no matter how small (or big for that matter!).
What is something you’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, but have never found the courage to take action on?
What is the best thing that could happen if you decided to take the leap? What is the worst thing that could happen?
Have faith in yourself that you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way.
4. Go somewhere you’ve never been.
About 10 months after I had separated from my husband, I planned a one month trip of solo travel to Europe. I spent two weeks traveling around Spain, Portugal and Morocco, before spending a week in both London and Paris. It was an incredible trip - not only for the amazing places I visited and people I met along the way, but the newfound confidence in myself that I was able to do this kind of travel on my own - it was a massive leap and forced me well out of my comfort zone.
Not only did it fuel with me confidence; the time away from everything familiar gave me an entirely new perspective on my life; areas I knew I needed to address and prompted some major changes on my return.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to plan a big trip to give you this shift in perspective - not at all.
It may just be that you explore a new part in your city you’ve never been before; or take a weekend to go away camping and be in nature; or perhaps even a day trip to explore a nearby town or city you’ve always wanted to visit.
Being in the same place day in and day out means so much of what we do each day is made up of habits. The key to shifting our perspective relies on us breaking out of our daily routine and the habitual trends in our life to go somewhere and experience something entirely new.
It’s amazing how much we can shift our energy simply from getting out of the mundane and creating new experiences that provide us with new insights into ourselves and how we may look at situations in a new light.
5. Be present with yourself.
It is super easy to choose to numb out whatever pain we’re in with our vice of choice; but the problem with this is that no matter which way you look at it - the situation hasn’t changed and your well-being or your wallet is likely worse off.
As Pema Chödrön said; “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
...And this practice (it is absolutely a practice) means we need to create the space in our inner world to listen to what our soul is trying to tell us.
Even if it is for just 5 minutes a day where you carve out some time to sit with your thoughts with zero distractions - no phone, no computer, or television.
Just you simply sitting quietly with your thoughts.
It may help to ask yourself a question - “what do I most need to learn right now?” or “how can I look at this situation in a new light?”.
The answers we seek come to us when we are quiet enough to listen and pay attention.
It may not even be a direct answer - it may be a physical response you feel when you think about a particular situation, that gives you the peace and clarity about a decision you need to make.
The clarity and answers we seek are always within. We just need to pay close enough attention to the subtle nudges and guidance we are given.
Be gentle on yourself during this time with lots of self-care and soul-nourishing love - there is no rush. Simply trust where you are right now is absolutely perfect.