Here’s some honesty for you. I’ve been feeling a wee stuck as of late. Stuck with where I want to dedicate my energy and focus and how I should go about doing it. Have you ever felt like this? As though you’re waiting for something to happen, someone or something to help you, or for life to come to you?
Once you feel like you’re “stuck in a rut”, it can feel like an insurmountable challenge to find the momentum to start moving forward again. It takes a lot of gumption and grit to live your life on your own terms. Yet there is hope (there’s always hope). There is a way to defunk your gunk and get moving again. As Sir Isaac Newton discovered, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest will stay at rest. So maybe the key is that we have to just start moving.
From a physical standpoint, movement is vital for our cellular health and regeneration. When we contract a muscle, this increases blood flow to the area, sending oxygen (nutrients) into our tissues and taking Carbon Dioxide (body’s waste) out.
From a metaphorical view, the idea of moving forward or progressing in your life can provide a sense of fulfillment and mental stimulation. I mean, who wants to stare at a wall all day long, right? We crave variety, change and growth. While we each have our own version of mindful stimulation (who’s up for hike?), we might find this in meeting new people, doing the daily crossword, taking a trip (my vote: Ireland), picking up a new hobby (I recommend smashball), or growing your business (or a garden).
For the sake of this article, let’s use the word MOVE as a way to describe both the physical and metaphorical context. Think of this as combining your body and mind.
Please note: just like for the physical body, there can be too much stimulation for the mind. Think of how often you’re on your phone, swiping from one Instagram pic to the next, jumping from one email to the other, skimming your Facebook newsfeed, driving amongst the bright lights and car horns. You get the picture. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time – multi-tasking taxes your body by requiring more energy to jump back and forth between one thing and another. As for your body, if you over-stimulate it (push it too hard, per say), your body will experience more stress than it can handle; resulting in lowered immune and digestive systems, slower recovery time, fatigue, and possibly injury. Ideally, we want to find a good balance between too little and too much stimulation. Not sure how to tell? The “cleaner” your body is (via nutrition and varied movement), the easier it will be to tell. Good talk. Let’s continue…
A different way of moving and doing…How we “move” in the 21st century is different from how our parents moved and how their parents moved and how their parents moved. Remember, we’re talking about how they physically moved in their daily life and their version of mental stimulation.
We use cars, bikes, or public transportation to get just about everywhere, forgoing the natural movement of walking on unpaved roads (it might even be tough to find an unpaved road or trail in one’s neighborhood). More food is accessible year round, while the quality has changed with its production and processing methods. Because our modern lifestyle and amenities do not require us to move as much (and perhaps we have more time because of this), the fields of fitness and sports have grown exponentially. Our movement has been condensed into classes and games.
I am not saying these changes are good or bad (well, many of them aren’t exactly great for your overall health – this is why making smart lifestyle choices is more important than ever.) Let’s face it, our modern amenities have created a significant change in our lifestyle. Not just each century, but perhaps each decade. Hmm, so how can we make these so-called smart lifestyle choices??? If you haven’t read it yet, check out my 5 Proactive Changes I made in the Kitchen and 5 Proactive Changes I made in the Bedroom. This is a solid place to start.
Entrepreneurs, digital nomads, mobile businesses, consulting, oh the options! We have stepped beyond our parents’ social norms, potentially forgoing the security of a retirement package and benefits to pursue our own version of a fulfilling career on our own terms. I am extremely grateful that my parents support my entrepreneurial path, yet I imagine it might be tough to watch. Eek, the uncertainty of the future!
We, as human beings will always have personal opinions thus the possibility of discrimination upon another. Yet the last 50 years has seen leaps and bounds in the equal rights and respect for ethnicities, religion, sexual preference, and gender. Being a woman, I can say there is more opportunity than ever to pursue professional sports (Women’s water polo has only been in the Olympics since 2000, after all), career leadership, as well as honoring my own choice to wait to have kids. I’m guessing that back in the day these lifestyle choices, let alone the opportunity, were quite rare indeed.
Sometimes we need a little boost to get ourselves rolling (roll that beautiful bean footage – remember that commercial?). The boost can come from anywhere – a volunteer experience where we discover a new passion, joining a community of like-minded folk, writing in a journal, continuing your education, accessing podcasts, blogs (like this one!), or books for their momentum-building resources. These experiences can stimulate our body and mind to initiate movement from within (motivation).
Have you ever taken a long flight and upon arriving at your lovely destination, your lethargic and jetlagged body is begging you to just go up to your hotel room and lay on your bed? I’ve definitely been there and done that. Yet if you can muster up the motivation, walking around and getting your blood moving through your body (extra bonus if you’re wearing minimalist shoes and walking on varied terrain) will reawaken you from the inside out. Plus you’ll feel so much better the next day!
Even choosing a walk over a hotel nap can require digging deep for motivation. And this is only a flight! What about your life?
When it comes to your life(style), how can we go from sticky feet to moving with fluid and courageous momentum on a daily basis? How can we make a change that’s been on our mind? How can we bravely take action while being true to ourselves?
Sometimes when you put the intention out there in the world that you’re ready to get moving, take action, and whole-heartedly pursue your dream – the world answers back. Yet it only happens if you reach out and ask. I went looking for answers. I wanted to go from stuck to unstuck, which first required me admitting that I felt stuck. It also required me to realize I needed a gentle nudge in the right direction. So I asked for it.
The following resources have helped me defunk my mental and physical gunk. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! If you have any of your own, please share them with all in the comments below!
So what helped me go from stuck to unstuck?
If you’re looking to make a change in your life, big or small…take the L.E.A.P. with the Do What You Love mini e-course. I’m in the middle of the L.E.A.P. e-course as I write this. It has been a catalyst to get me moving and redirect my energy and focus in a direction I love. Enjoy!
If you’re in a mental pickle and looking for motivation for pursuing your own 21st century career, learn from Rob Symington, Co-Founder of Escape the City with his guide to Building a 21st Century Career.
Here are a few of my favorite videos which share how to increase your movement throughout your day. Remember, our body will be it’s healthiest and happiest if we move in variety of ways. (in other words, staying in one position for a long time, like sitting or standing still, while condensing all your daily movement into an exercise class isn’t great for ya.) I hope these get you rollin’, literally!
Want to see more videos?