Ever found yourself feeling “stuck” or not able to move forward in life?
Some of the terms I’ve heard are “mid life” crisis, “divorce dilemma”, “finding yourself” and so on. Whatever label you decide to go with, I just call it crappy.
The personal struggles of moving on after a life-changing event such as a divorce, death of a partner or loved-one, or any life change is serious and can take many years of healing.
The lack of energy, enthusiasm for what once was exciting, and the self-confidence that you may have had can slowly slip away to a point where your shine is so dim you feel it will never return. I have been there and so have many others. I have also returned and found my light to shine once again.
My process was organic, done through trial and error and with the help of friends and family.
Here are actions I hope you find helpful and add to your toolbox as you travel your own yellow brick road of life:
1. Depression – Let’s talk about it
Depression, sadness, weakness, all these things are such sensitive topics people just avoid them altogether, especially in families. When you have a loved one who is either sleeping too much, eating too much, or has began to separate themselves from activities they once enjoyed it’s time to ask questions.
Remember the elephant in the room? Who in the family will be the bold one, the one to bring up the subject and ask the hard questions?
Always remember that there is strength in numbers and isolation is dangerous. Humans are not designed to be alone and when one person has a problem it affects the entire tribe. If you know your body and recognize it yourself don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
Seek it, solve it and remember, it all starts by talking about it first. Remember, showing your vulnerability with grace gives permission to others to do the same without shame.
2. Get Your Check-Up
One of the most important things we can do for others is to ensure we are attending to ourselves. The stronger we are the better able we are to help others. I recently went for a long overdue physical exam only to find out that my body was not as healthy as I thought.
Nothing that can’t be corrected with a little diet change, but it was a real eye-opener. I have always prided myself on being physically fit and this was the first time at the age of 52 that I was hearing some things for the first time and was recalling my parents’ health issues repeating.
As a result, I have now returned to a healthier diet, running is on my agenda again and my daily yoga practice has returned. Ladies, also remember to get your TATAs checked!
3. Find Your Shine
When you feel your shine is dimming and nothing you do seems to get it back, it can be very frustrating. It seems that no matter how hard you try, it just isn’t there. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to go back to my memories of when I was “my best”.
This could be either in my personal life, professional, or academic life, whatever I identified with, as my best was where I needed to mentally go. For you, maybe it was when you were 15 yrs. old on the wrestling team, or 22 yrs. old graduating law school, or even 40 yrs. old running your own successful business.
The point is to recall your own “personal best”.
Pull your strength from that place. Ask yourself daily, “What would, 20yr old (your name), do?” Use this memory of strength and confidence you once had as a catalyst to propel yourself to get unstuck and move forward.
MAKE IT YOUR MANTRA every day!
4. Just Start
When you’re in this place of “STUCK” your day can easily slip away and your production levels tend to be low. You may find yourself doing a lot of tasks and yet nothing really gets done. This only leads to more frustration because you know there was a time when you were better and you just can’t get it back.
One of my accidental discoveries was to add an extra hour to my day first thing in the morning. My energy level is highest first thing in the day and since my daughter has to be at school so early anyway, I began to wake up earlier automatically.
Now, I use my morning time for prayer, planning my day and often times find a small organizational project, which gives me a sense of accomplishment early on. The tasks I put aside are the ones I hate the most.
Those are the ones I MUST do first. JUST START!
5. Be Shameless!
Life is short and there are no rehearsals so when I say, “BE SHAMELESS” I mean it! LIVE BIG…Get excited about your life and make it your own. Nothing you want is too big or too outrageous or too impossible! Stop thinking from a place of “I can’t” and move to a place of “I am”!
Getting stuck is not a crime, we have all been there and if you haven’t been there yet, it’s only a matter of time. Consider it a badge of honor, a place where wisdom grows and the heart expands.
Remember, we all have our own light to shine. There may be times when this light flickers and dims but it never dies. We were each brought here with our own unique light and only our Maker decides when it’s time to put it out, and only until then, today is not it!
Go and shine bright!