Now What?


What do I do when I feel stuck?  How do I find my way to what I really want?  If I work hard enough can I get what I want?  I hear those questions a lot from truly sincere people, almost all of them healthy and intelligent. And working hard is a good thing, but sometimes it's counterproductive because true knowing is often passive. Granted, it may ultimately inspire assertive action, but in its organic state, it is receptive. Stuck or not, sometimes we can’t manipulate or manufacture the next step. Joseph Campbell said that if a path already exists, it probably belongs to someone else. And in my experience, often the map for our own life comes unbidden, when we’re at ease, when we’ve dropped evaluative measures and expectations, when we’ve surrendered calculation and cleverness, when we’ve worn out the muscles of resistance. I know, I know-- who wants to hear THAT!

This is a struggle for those of us in the Western part of the world, because we are programmed for action. But if I take a risk, and I sit here in this quiet space, almost empty, something will emerge. And I will follow it.

Creative types call this period incubation. This is when you’re not quite sure what is washing around between your conscious and subconscious and you have no idea what – if anything – will come out of it. But, something is happening there, just below the surface. Whether you can see it or define it or control it or manage it, something is happening there. With a little faith, you can trust it will work itself out into the reality of your life. This is important whether it’s a business decision, or a life change, or the wish of a dream come true. It must have time to grow. 

Farmers have a term for this too. Fallow. The fields are plowed but not planted for a season so that the soil can rejuvenate. Gestalt Therapists call this time The Fertile Void. It’s also called the Zero Point Field or the Plane. It feels empty if you don’t know that in this quietness, just along the edges of consciousness, is the most expansive field imaginable. This is where the "magic" happens, where the energy of creation lives.

Yes, it can be frustrating and scary to be in this void, feeling blank. But don’t force it. You’ve just got to be with it. Sit with it. Unexpected things always emerge after this fallow period and with them comes a flurry of activity with adrenaline and passion, and the creative process begins.

So what do you do when you feel stale or stuck and can’t get the creative juices flowing or just can’t seem to make any decisions one way or the other?  My best suggestion is this: Gently set you intent that you want things to change. And then, do the things that give you joy. We only have moments, microscopic, fleeting moments, so live now. Find beauty. Get outside and breathe. Exercise. Be ridiculously generous. Enjoy the setting sun, and the rising moon. Ask yourself "What do I really want" and just go with it for a bit. Those things change your energy field and you begin to attract better things.

Right about now I'm guessing that you are holding your breath. BREATHE. Resistance won’t get you anywhere, so leave your struggles to incubate in the fertile void, and start living your life.  I think you will be surprised to find that some really fantastic things happen when you settle down a bit and breathe.  Something beautiful and productive will emerge. And you will follow.