We don’t get to know what is going to happen (yes, even those of us with a Magic 8 Ball that doesn’t conjure up “reply hazy” 99% of the time like mine does).
We don’t get to have sure things and job securities and relationships that are 100% guaranteed to never, ever evolve away from us. And this sounds like it sucks but only if you don’t think it through to the end, I promise.
Sometimes we feel stuck because what we really want is some kind of certainty. We want someone to tell us that everything is going to turn out OK before we even get started.
The irony of this is that:
1. There is nothing certain about certainty anyway (we need a new definition please Mr. Webster) – the only guarantee that comes from doing the safe thing is that it will turn out to not be a safe thing at all – life just isn’t supporting safety these days. Those safety nets (which have always been more hole than net anyway) are gone. And doing the thing that worked for you yesterday or even worse the thing that is working for someone else isn’t safe either.
2. We can’t look ahead because the very act of looking changes what we are seeing (this is scientifically proven and called the observer effect – Google it).
3. Would we really even want to know (unless you are the kind of person who reads the last chapter of a book first, fast forwards to the end of your DVDs and only watches sporting events as replays) – isn’t life more fun and more magical when we are all just trying our best without really knowing how this is all going to turn out?
So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do; when the road ahead appears covered with sticker bushes and you are wearing your new fuschia ombre tights?
Well, this is what I do. Maybe something here can help you, too.
1. Let go
Sometimes when I am at a crossroads trying to decide which direction to take I get rid of something; some times a whole lot of somethings. Once an entire business that I flew to Chicago and dumped on my niece’s living room floor. Often this act of shedding alone can open up the space for us to get clear on what we want.
2. Make something
This isn’t about making anything perfect and definitely not something we intend to sell. This isn’t about making anything that says anything other than “I made this.”
Our grandmother’s knew this and if we listen to our hearts we know this now. This is how they spent their days – they made cakes, they made letters, they made quilts and gardens. They made friends with their neighbors. They made a life with what they had.
We can’t just do creative work because that’s not how creativity works. We live creatively and creative work just organically grows from that.
3. Do something else.
If you are having trouble starting a project – start something else. If you are having trouble finishing something – finish something else. If you have trouble knowing what to do – just do what is right in front of you right now (yes, those dirty dishes, just do them).
Then I meditate. I ask life for answers. They don’t show up in a big booming voice that says “do this”. I just stay open and see what happens. I don’t rush it because I know that sometimes a whole lot of things have to line up to create the simplest path for me. I don’t sit on it when I am called to action either. Practice (and understanding our own individual values and intention) makes us better at this – the knowing when to sit and when to act can get us stuck again if we let it, so don’t.
Just choose (there are no wrong answers – just decide and then decide to not look back) – we just choose and let life change us.
What do you do when you want to get unstuck?
Image source: Big Stock Photo