I was listening to a meditation recording of Deepak Chopra’s the other night. Deepak said one thing that caused me to stop the recording, rewind, replay, and rewind it again. He was talking about how our stuck spots in our lives are revealed by repetitive thoughts, feelings, and statements. In other words, if you find yourself complaining or talking about the same thing over and over, the chances are this is one of your stuck spots.
This truly struck a chord of sublime resonance with me. I felt completely busted — in a good way. It made me realize that rather than ignore or abolish these stuck spots in my life, maybe it was time to use them, like throwing down kitty litter behind a spinning tire in the snow, to gain some new traction: in other words, re-write my Repetitive (and oftentimes boring) Statements into Rev-Up Statements.
I next decided that it was time for a little qualitative research of my personal gripes. I created a journal chart so that I could really look at what is going on. Every time I talked to a friend or family member or even a co-worker and heard myself complaining about the same old-same old, I wrote the topic down in one of the boxes on the left. In some boxes, I wrote down what I said verbatim. Other topics were such a random rant, I summarized the general idea.
My epiphany is two fold: The Good News is that I am not a totally-chronic complainer. Whew! Yay for not being an incessant whiner! The Bad News? I have some serious and consistent Stuck Spots that are definitely holding me back from feeling fulfilled, happy, and fruitful.
Next, I re-wrote my rants with a positive spin that was designed to get me up and going again. No more Stuck Spots! Putting the positive spin on things required ACTION on my part. I had to visualize and implement alternatives to just spinning into a deeper and messier rut. The great news is that I felt empowered by my own personal recognition of This isn’t good anymore. I want different. I caught myself and verbally stopped myself from launching into Rant Mode. It felt great! And I am guessing that my friends and family think that it is pretty nice, too! There is nothing like a broken record to put someone to sleep. It generates white noise that blocks a lively conversation exchange from taking place. Friends and family, I am trying to exercise new awareness!
With the ongoing research, I have been Paying Attention and there are definitely a few topics that are still holding me a wee bit stuck. Now? Rather than ignore them or stuff them into some spiritual drawer or closet, I am airing them out, hanging them on the wall, and slapping a new coat of paint on them.
I realized: Why not? I have learned that it does no good to ignore stuck spots or to bury them or to walk away from them as if they don’t really matter. To do so only invites passive-aggressive moments into my relationships — which then only serve to create newer and deeper and stuck-er Stuck Spots. Why not call them out, view them, and like the grand master painters, slap some new paint over the top and create something new and beautiful? That’s the beauty of creating a masterpiece. Sometimes they are considered to be even more valuable when there are hidden paintings beneath the one that we can see.
The great part? This process works! I have been catching myself as I spin myself deeper into some repetitive statement . . . and I have been stopping myself right there.
Let’s take the topic of work for an example. Let’s say that you don’t feel appreciated at work. You have been ignored for two promotions and your boss is utterly ineffective — late, sloppy, and unmotivated. He doesn’t take care of emails and he is lousy at following through on decisions — often leaving you hanging with your projects that have looming deadlines. You have complained, griped, and kvetched about this to your friends, your family, and even your dog.
Why not re-write this stuck spot? Be creative. There are so many things that we can do when we feel stuck.
- Think about one nice trait about your dog the next time your boss does something that drives you batty. (Silly, I know . . . but the thought of my dog always makes me happy!)
- Bring your resume up to speed. Start shopping it online and to associates.
- Laugh. It truly doeth good like a medicine.
- Watch a cute youtube video.
- Offer to take on more responsibility at work AND, at the same time ask your boss for a raise. It can’t hurt to ask.
- Put a pencil horizontally between your upper and lower teeth. Research has shown that by imitating a smile, the Smile Muscles release the same good stuff to your brain. Try it . . . it works!
- Write one positive affirmation in the present tense and tape it on the wall where you can readily see it.
- Go for a super quick walk around the building. Movement helps.
- Close the door on your office (or even the bathroom stall) and do an insanely goofy happy dance. I guarantee you will crack up.Take yourself out after work. Go for a beverage of some kind and get out your laptop and google baseball stats, fashion advice, new employment sites . . . your choice!
- And . . . click on the heart-warming and life-changing aqua-blue link below for your free download of today’s journal prompt: “Your Stuck Spot.” Happy journaling!