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HOW TO GET “UNSTUCK” – Six Tips for Avoiding Stagnation and Getting Your Life Back on Track (Part Two)

In the first part of my tips for getting “unstuck”, we learned that although there are no shortcuts, there is a clear path from inertia to igniting positive change into your life. We touched on the importance of spending more time in nature, going inside and being honest with ourselves, and continually learning new things. It’s hard to argue with these practices. They create a solid foundation for moving forward. If you only take those initial steps, you’re ahead of the game. 

But, getting “unstuck” requires constant motion, and mindful attention to the physical, energetic, and mental aspects of how you live. So, if you’re serious about breaking the old habits and thought patterns holding you back, consider these next three steps. You could be pleasantly surprised at how things change for you in a very good way. 

  1. BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU CONSUME – We are a nation of consumers.  It’s what America excels at. We consume more things and content than most of the world combined. Everything we take in impacts our health, wellness, and ability to move forward. By consumption, I’m referring to everything we eat, drink, watch, hear, smell and touch. Everything we consume becomes us and defines who we are. Our choices in food, drink, music, film, games, news outlets, and even friends are core aspects of who we are. When you limit yourself to consuming the same things, over time you can get stuck. And unfortunately, a great deal of what we consume is not very good for us and can be habit-forming or addictive. 

    Men of a certain age know what they like and often they repeat their choices until it gets them in trouble. Whether it’s smoking, drinking, eating fast or processed foods, watching the same news propaganda, the repetition can get us stuck in an unhealthy cycle. 

    One way of being more present and mindful of our habitual behaviors is by keeping a journal. If you document your food and beverage intake, and if you feel ambitious, keep track of your choices in media, movies, music. When you do this, you’ll quickly become aware of your patterns. Keeping a journal may sound like a lot of work but it’s relatively easy, and the insights you’ll gain are invaluable. 

    After chronically your choices for a few weeks, review the data. You’ll see your tendencies, habits, and repetitive behaviors. You’ll find some good choices while bringing to light areas that need work. No worries. Making a few simple changes can work wonders

    You might discover you eat too much fried food, drink a glass or three of wine every single night and watch the same skewed news on CNN or Fox both which can be spiritually suffocating. You will become more aware of habits that you probably were only aware of subconsciously. Seeing your behavior and choices documented creates self-awareness and can act as a wakeup call and a catalyst for making positive changes. 

    I had no idea how much I loved peanut butter until I recorded my daily intake for a few short weeks. I did some research and learned that if I was going to consume peanut butter, I needed to cut back a bit and whenever possible 100% organic Valencia peanut butter as it is considered the healthiest choice. But that’s just me, and that’s one of my not-so-bad habits that required my attention.
  1. TAKE BACK YOUR ENERGY – Getting “unstuck” requires commitment and effort. Once you realize the need to break from your old routines, you’ll need all our energy to kick those stale habits and let go of the anything, everything and anyone holding you back. 

    We make energetic attachments every day. Part of us connects with everyone we interact with. Think about all the connections and relationships you’ve made over the years. These have been exchanges of energy, some good and some not very good.

    We all know partners, business colleagues, family, and friends that for some reason make us feel crappy when we interact with or think about them. They may not be aware of it, but they’re depleting your energy by taking a piece of your qi, or life force. We also take on their energy, which drains us and works against us when it feels negative and stews inside of us. Giving our energy away to people we don’t vibe with is a practice we all need to be more aware of. They might feel better, but we feel worse after interacting with certain folks. Even if they are not fully aware of it, there are many energy vampires we all encounter. Not to worry. What matters is our ability to reclaim our energy and to rid ourselves of the unwanted energy from others. 

    Thankfully there are practices to help us release other people’s energy and take back our own. The process is relatively easy, and it focuses on intention. Simply sit in a peaceful setting and take deep breathes until you feel relaxed. If a thought crops up, treat it like a cloud making its way across the sky until it drifts off your mental screen. Once you feel calm and your mind is quiet, focus on people you may have given your energy to. It might have been years ago or even today. Take your time and listen to what your intuition tells you. You will soon come up with a list of people holding onto your energy or have dumped negative energy on you. 

    The task is identifying these trigger people, reclaiming your energy from them, and sending back energy from them you may have taken on. Once you’ve identified these people, use intention to tell them in no uncertain terms you are reclaiming your energy and /or sending back their energy. Focus on one person at a time and set an undeniable intention to take back your energy. Subconsciously these people you are reclaiming your energy and returning their energy. The process sounds simple, and it is. The key is using your power to create this two-way energetic exchange. After a few times you’ll think of more people who have taken your energy. Revisit the process with every new person that bubbles up in your consciousness. After a few rounds of doing this, you’ll feel lighter, clear, and more energetic.

    I can’t share any scientific data supporting this, but I know that great things are possible when we call on the power of our intention. Getting unstuck becomes much easier after you reclaim your energy and release the energy you don’t want in your system anymore. To get the best results, repeat the process when you feel triggered by someone you know or when you think of someone you knew that bugs the hell out of you. You’ll feel the difference.
  1. ASK YOURSELF, “WHAT IF THE OTHER GUY IS RIGHT?” In today’s news coverage, divergent opinions and mindful discussion about today’s important issues are suppressed by media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum. More and more, we are told what to think, and the scary thing is, people are falling for it. It’s another step on the path to getting stuck.

    Okay, Guy’s Guy, we get it. There is fake news on both sides. What’s the point? The point is animosity and politics are dividing our country. Listening to the other side of an issue with an open mind may not change my opinion. But exploring an issue from an opposing point of view… without throwing my trainers at the television, often expands my purview and thought process. I look for common ground with the other side and it helps to keep me objective. 

    If we take the time, we can learn quite a bit from considering the rationale behind the other guy’s perspective. It’s a practice our culture has gotten away from, but don’t let that stop you. Seeing both sides of an issue helps detach us from the emotional hysteria generated by the news. It helps us grow and works to prevent us from getting “stuck”. 

    Try witnessing the news more objectively. Don’t let yourself get triggered by the absurdity of how today’s news is reported by both sides. It’s as if we are living in parallel universes and it forces us to take sides far too strictly along party lines. You may be rolling your eyes, but believe me, walking a mile in the other side’s shoes keeps you unstuck and out of the gutter where too many of us are fighting for what they are told to believe about every issue, strictly along party lines. It’s not a healthy practice and it makes us stuck.

    Try listening to your friends and families’ points of view on those polarizing topics and issues without judgement. At times this can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Listening objectively is healthier than doubling down on every issue. I’m not suggesting you change your values, or your opinions. I’m simply suggesting that looking at an issue from the other guy’s point of view can help you keep growing. Who knows? You might even shift your perspective or at least empathize with the other guy’s point of view. 

Unfortunately, many dudes are unaware when they’re getting stuck. It’s not their fault. It’s primarily a result of the programming we’ve lived through over the years and face every day. Regardless of the house we live in, the car we drive, or the size of our stacks, getting stuck happens to the best of us. 

If you spend more time outdoors, and stay positive, curious, remain open to new ideas, and manage your energy and what you consume, you’re on your way to getting yourself “unstuck”. I’m sure I can come up with a few more tips, and if I do, I’ll craft the third installment in this series. The world is changing before our eyes every day, and although the more it changes the more things stay the same, more than ever we  need good guys to move things in the right direction. Be that guy. Be a Guy’s Guy.