Throughout my life, there have been many times where I have felt stuck with no idea where to go next, what action to take, or even what I really wanted in life. After many of these experiences, I realized how to navigate through them and how to inspire personal growth from them. As this is a common feeling for many, I thought I would share with you a few of my thoughts on breaking free from our stuckness.
High levels of stress and repetitive chronic thinking are the two biggest contributors to feeling stuck. When we are in a high stress state, our neurology shifts from our logical, rational neocortex into the emotional limbic system or reactive brain stem. Therefore, our ability to reason or think clearly is greatly diminished. This is why so many people often say that our emotions run our lives.
Another reason that we can become stuck is because of our belief systems and limitations that we have developed from childhood. For example, if you grew up in an environment with an emotionally abusive parent who would put you down or scold you, there is a higher probability that you might develop a belief system such as, “I’m not good enough, or I am unlovable.” This can show up when you are taking steps towards achieving your goals in life because those old voices and beliefs will reappear and stand in the way of you getting what you want. When looking into past belief systems there is a specific protocol I will personally use to help me uncover my hidden belief systems and stuckness. This protocol is called “Questions for Transformation” (QFT). Questions for Transformation is the recipe for successfully uncovering unconscious blocks and patterns. I teach it to participants in my workshops as well as to clients, and it is a very powerful tool that anyone can use. With the QFT , you can ask yourself a series of questions that will allow you to elicit emotions, memories, and beliefs that have been lodged deep into your subconscious mind. Once you are able to bring these unprocessed emotions/events/beliefs up to the surface level of consciousness, you can use tools additional tools, which I will explain in a moment, to clear and release the emotional charge.
A third reason that we become stuck is that we are going to war with our current situation. There is an old adage that says, “what you resist, persists”. Through my many years of spiritual seeking I stumbled upon a radical way of looking at stuckness and I would like to share it with you. When we are stuck, we are usually under the assumption that we are doing something wrong, life is broken, things aren’t working out, and we don’t know what to do. Yet instead of trying to “find the way out” I would like to propose you let yourself fall right in. Instead of going to war with thoughts, emotions, stuckness, and all other bad feelings, allow yourself to close your eyes and sit with these feelings. Sink into them. Drop your war with them. Some call this meditation, others call it “coming back to present moment awareness.”
A powerful key to sitting with our emotions successfully is to notice them as raw physical sensations, without putting a label on them (for example, I’m feeling guilt over the anger over the resentment). If you can also sit with the sensations without thinking about them or trying to figure them out, or even judge those sensations as good or bad, you will make great progress. What I have found with this practice is that when I sit with the feelings of being totally stuck or blocked, and wait, the answers I am looking for are underneath the stuckness. To our logical, rational brain, that statement makes no sense. How could the answers be in the stuckness? Yet have you ever had a moment where you lost your keys and no matter where you looked you couldn’t find them? You then check your pockets and discover they were there all along. I have experienced that many times and have smiled and thought “its the last place I ever thought to look, right here”. This practice is a way of developing a deeper sense of presence because it forces us to come back to the present moment and let ourselves connect at a much deeper level.
Throughout my life, I have faced countless amounts of these stuck moments, of being so completely stressed out I couldn’t think clearly about my next step because my mind was being flooded with repetitive negative thoughts. In moments like this I turn to tools like QFT or one of two additional tools that have saved me time and time again. These are called Tapping and TRE.
What is Tapping you may ask? Tapping is a form of emotional acupressure that allows you to release negative or stuck emotions, limiting belief systems, and painful memories from your past. By tapping on designated acupressure points, individuals are able to quickly and safely address the emotional issues that they face in their life. One of the best parts of tapping is that once you learn it, you can apply it when you are in those moments of stress or emotional discomfort. Tapping has been used to calm down the limbic system and studies have shown that after a tapping session, stress hormone levels can drop by 24%.
What is TRE®? TRE stands for tension release exercises. These are a set of simple exercises and postures that induce a “therapeutic tremor” in the body. This tremoring mechanism seems to both release chronic muscular tension and also down-regulate the stress response in the body. Because such a large percentage of our thoughts and emotions come from and physically affect the body, as we relax the body, the thoughts and emotions seem to improve dramatically.
To sum things up, I believe that when we can change our relationship with stuckness, we can move beyond our old patterns and beliefs that keep us prisoner. Through the tools I use, such as QFT, Tapping, and TRE, I have found much success in escaping the hold stressful moments of stuckness have on me. I am able to access the situation, work through it, make peace, and move past it. If you would like to learn more about these tools, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to further share my knowledge of them with you.