By Judith Albright
May and June have long been a time for both endings and beginnings.
Perhaps there is something in the air or the changing light of a new season
which opens our hearts and quickens our steps. Late spring is a time of rebirth
and growth. Plants end their dormancy, put on new leaves and start shooting
upward. Newly graduated high school and college students end their school
years and turn their faces to the future. This is a favorite time for engaged
couples to transform their lives from singleness to married life.
But in spite of the regeneration and renewal we see around us, what if we feel stuck? What if we feel life is not changing and isn’t likely to in the foreseeable future? When we perceive life not moving along at the pace we expect, it’s easy to become discouraged and fall into destructive thought patterns. We begin to compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking. However, the more we dwell on this lack, the greater pressure we place on ourselves to be or do something that remains elusive.
The truth is that periodically feeling stuck is part of the human process and serves a purpose. Stuckness is an opportunity to stand back and take stock of who we are and what we want. Because of the hurried lives we lead, it is difficult for many of us to wait — we want what we want, and we want it right now. Even if just for a day give yourself permission to create a new beginning. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Change your viewpoint: Think of yourself at rest and consider this period of your life as a timeout. Reaffirm the fact that you are not stuck — this is merely a time to regroup and prepare for something new. Be grateful for the respite, know all is well, and what is meant for you is coming at the perfect time.
Determine what it is you really want: It’s easy to know what we don’t want, harder to know what we do. What is it that raises your spirits? What inspires you? If you could be whatever you wanted, what would it be?
Analyze who or what is holding you back: If you know what you really want, who or what is stopping you from doing it? Why?
Ask friends for help: Invite them over for an “idea party” to exchange thoughts and give you encouragement. Sometimes great ideas arise from what seems utterly outrageous or silly on the surface.
Let go of the need to control: Let life unfold without manipulation. You might be surprised by what happens when you “take your hands off the wheel.”
Practice patience: If you are unable to make an important decision, then you don’t have all the needed information yet. Wait and trust — more will be revealed.
Remain open and receptive: Something unexpected may arise and you take advantage of an opportunity or make a choice you might never have considered.
Decide on a plan: Do one thing every day that moves you in a different direction. No matter how small the step, you’ll still make progress. Small steps cover a great distance. Lao Tzu said it best: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”