10 Ways to Unstick when You're Stuck


There is that moment after a big push for one reason or another -- in my case the work to prepare for the Fiesta Arts Fair sale -- when one sits, finally, and says, "well, now WHAT?" Although my calendar is filled with deadlines and commitments, most of them are out there on the summer sky horizon.

I've had to carefully consider what comes next, and for two days I have pretty much stuck myself on the couch in front of the laptop, Stumbling Upon, and/or the TV, stuck on HGTV and Bravo reruns (I think they are called encore performances, now). I really feel like a slug! 

Here are my top ten ways to get myself in motion, get myself into clarity about the next move -- recorded here as reminder and inspiration, primarily just for me. If you have other suggestions, please leave me a comment.
  1. Well, silly. Just MOVE. Turn on some music and dance, dance, dance for at least 20 minutes. I try to make time for this every morning. Sometimes, when a major deadline hits, I skip out, get out of the habit and have to restrike the commitment. This morning, we turned on and tuned in to the fabulous soundtrack to Julie Taymore's Across the Universe.
  2. Clean up. The studio is half-way back to normal state of semi-chaos. The best way for me to tackle what looks like a major ransacking by Mongol hoards is to, yes, put on the music, loud, set a timer for 2 hours and intensely rattle up the space. To make it more fun, I move some of the furniture or rehang the art as well. Makes it seem more creative than just the clutter cleanup.
  3. Journal. I am writing Morning Pages, ala Julia Cameron, again. I circle in and out of this practise, and have for more than 15 years. When I don't quite know what to do next, I see what floats out early in the morning.
  4. Walk. Today I am going to walk in the city, along the Riverwalk. Probably the first time for a long city walk since I moved out here to the country three years ago. And then tomorrow, I am going to walk at Lake Medina in the neighborhood where I lived for 3 months between the city and this new house and studio. Literally walking back into my past sometimes helps me remember more clearly where I am headed.
  5. Make a list. Make lots of lists. Here are some starters: Things I am grateful for. Things I have accomplished in my life. Things I still want to do. Things I have learned about life. Things I don't want to forget. Places I have been. Places I want to go. People I love. People I have learned from. What I need to get done today.
  6. Pay the bills. Balance the checkbook. Put some money away and maybe even spend something on a small luxury. Well, lets be honest, nothing motivates sometimes like realizing that if I want to go to Europe (or Rockport) I better get the trip fund started again.
  7. Speaking of which: Plan a trip. Maybe something small, someplace close. Or maybe a dream trip that seems doable only in your dreams. But with the internet, it is instantly possible to start the research and planning process. Just google your dream destination or dream vacation activity and see what comes up!
  8. Had to sneak in another -my numbering was flubbed: Cook. Cook something different. Try something challenging and exotic. I am making risotto tonight. Food is edible art and it disappears by the end of the evening. No commitment. No marketing (they either eat it or the dog does). And it can get the juices and sensory connections back in sync.
  9.  Revisit your inspirations. Is there someone you need to call who always gets the juices flowing? Perhaps there is a teacher or mentor who has a class or workshop coming up. Do you need to get out the art books or take a trip to the museum to revisit and inspiring image?
  10. Listen to your heart. Your gut. Your feet.  Your soles/your soul. A different voice in the wilderness of you, other than that noisy brain (specifically that judging left side of the brain that is yammering on about how big a slob you are, how maybe that last success wasn't quite successful enough, ouch). What about listening in to something a bit larger and beyond? Use Tarot or i ching or tea leaves to connect to the unconscious side of things. Examine the  day for happenings synchronistic. Meditate for 20 minutes llying lat on the floor paying attention only to breath. Find a mantra. In the words of Tim Gunn, "Make it work."
Coincidentally and synchronistically, Alyson B. Stanfield has a podcast that lists her 10 ways to get motivated and to get out of a slump. I think her Monday newsletter included the same info, but I didn't have time to read it this week. She includes some additional good ideas -- and frames some of the same ones in some different ways.