When you get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing day after day, your senses get numb. Colours appear lack-lustre, the roads you drive down everyday become a blur. Sound familiar? Well, if you're a city dweller, get yourself out of the noise and get back to nature. Find a serene place for some much needed quiet time. Your body and mind will feel rejunevated. On the other hand, if you live in a small town or in the country, go explore the big city. If you're a suburbanite, you might be craving a more expansive natural setting or you may be in the mood for more up-tempo, edgy energy. Change is key. When you're in a completely different environment than what you're used to, it's easier to notice how your body reacts, how it feels, your judgements, your likes and dislikes, are you open to new things, do you get stressed, can you let go and have fun? Check in with your gut feelings.
2. practice contemplation (different than meditation)
These days, with the yoga trend, we hear a lot about meditation. Not everyone is wired to sit and be quiet with their thoughts. I invite you to take a step back and try contemplation. What's the difference? Well, I define 'meditation' as emptying your mind (thoughts will still come and go, but mostly you practice letting go of the thoughts without judgement or attachment). It's a valid practice and serves its purpose. However, before dismissing your thoughts and letting go, I believe there is true benefit to becoming AWARE of your thoughts as they come and go. That's the difference. When you 'contemplate', you are consciously awake to your thoughts. You can learn a great deal about your frame of mind, what your inner story is, whether your thoughts are mostly negative... or positive. Contemplation can be done anywhere, so if you're the type of person who needs to move and stay busy, this is perfect. Go do your thing... but stay awake to your thoughts. Only once you know what you think can you redirect and practice NEW thoughts (if required) or practice conscious focus of your aspirations and inspirations. As you become more aware of your thoughts, you will also become more aware of how you feel about those thoughts and whether they are serving you... and whether they are YOUR thoughts or whether they are merely a recording of what you've picked up over the years. If all your thoughts are actually a download of your mother's thoughts... well, then, you might want to get new thoughts... maybe.
3. automatic writing
Automatic writing, or spirit writing as I call it, is easy to do. Ask yourself a question. This might be about how you feel about something or a direction you need to take. Sit still. Take a few deep breaths. Get yourself in a frame of mind that you already know the answer... it's in YOU. Then, just start writing. DON'T think, don't worry about spelling or grammar or structure. Just write as though the answer is lodged in your pen (or keyboard) and your fingers are merely the tools to release the information. This takes practice, but it's a great exercise. The more you do it, the more you'll feel your tug is tugging you to clarity. Don't second guess it.
4. develop gratitude
Developing gratitude sounds all hippie and woo woo spiritual, but it takes heart to be grateful. Saying grace by rote at dinnertime is meaningless if there's no heart behind it and understanding of what your grateful for. Start looking around and find one thing per day that you are grateful for. Maybe someone gives you a ride and you don't have to walk in the rain... how do you feel about that... feel it. Be grateful. As you become more open to receiving (being grateful), the more open you will become to giving (serving others). This cycle, when you are alert, will feel good. When you feel good, you become more aligned with your tug.
5. get real
I highly recommend getting raw and real with yourself. If you're not where you want to be, if you're not living the life you want, if the people you surround yourself with drain you and don't support you, then you have decisions to make. And I'll be straight with you, change can be messy... it's not always pretty in the eye of the storm, but stay strong to you... and continue following your tug always. It takes practice... and sometimes even courage. Are you going to let the world decide who you are and what you're capable of? That my friend, is up to you.
I would love to hear your thoughts and let me know how your integrating any of these exercises.
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