Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Keys to Getting Unstuck

Three Keys to Getting Unstuck
Ken Christian

Ever gotten stuck? I’m talking about really stuck.

Maybe you were grooving along at a pretty nice pace pursuing some project or exciting new idea. Then kaboom! Without knowing exactly how it happened or what set it up, you came to a grinding and unceremonious halt. It’s perplexing when this happens and it doesn’t feel good. You can pretty quickly find yourself in a funk—puzzled, feeling powerless and a bit inadequate. It doesn’t matter whether you call it writer’s block, a flat spot or a creative lull. It’s easy to feel maybe even guilty, like being stuck is due to some personal flaw or inadequacy.

But here’s the deal. Getting stuck usually has its genesis in fear.

The fear could be one of the usual Big Three suspects: 1) fear of failure, 2) fear of the demands and future implications of success or 3) fear of making a big mistake. But sometimes the fear is subtler, more specific and originates in your particular personal history. As soon as the fear brain takes over, the rational thinking brain is switched off and the fear brain immediately engages a diverting or soothing strategy to get you to safety. So you end up derailed, thwarted, stuck or at minimum not making the progress you hoped for.

So what’s the way out? Here are 3 parts of an effective process for getting back on track from the stuck zone:

1) Resist the temptation to judge and criticize yourself.
The upshot of the fear and the crummy feelings that accompany being stuck is that it’s easy to attack yourself. And when you do, you immediately make matters worse. You infinitely expand something that might have had a very short life into a big-box-sized PROBLEM that now has a life of its own.

2) Understand how your brain is creating the current stuck pattern, so you can see through and past it.

A shorthand way of summarizing what goes on in the face of possible danger would be to say that, in those moments, the brain has a mind of its own. Instead of the frontal cortex being in charge, where planning and rational thinking goes on, the more ancient part of the brain takes over and prepares you to escape, do battle or freeze. This knowledge of how your brain works can give you a way to recognize what’s happening in the moment and interrupt the pattern before it takes you off course.

3) Use mindful awareness to catch your fear brain in the act and make a new choice.
Research and clinical evidence supports a different strategy from merely trying to force your way through being stuck by exerting more willpower. Instead of self-attack, mindfully examine what the brain’s resistance to further action might be about. By emptying yourself of judgment, and carefully tracking what’s happening inside, you can learn to identify what this primitive part of your brain is experiencing as a red flag. And once you change your perspective in this direction, self-attack melts away, you become grateful for your brain’s wise protection and entirely new possibilities arise for how to deal with the situation you face.

Sometimes, it only takes a moment.

I was working with a new mentoring client recently and for several years the way he understood his career had left him at a major impasse. He was self-accusatory and called himself unassertive. I suggested to him that he merely consider that there might be a positive reason for his hesitancy to move forward. Literally, within less than a minute he was in a completely different state, flooded with happiness and seeing his situation completely differently from how he had construed it.

What might your fear brain be protecting you from?

Guest blogger Ken Christian is is a licensed psychologist whose sole focus for the last twenty years has been helping individuals, parents, educators and organizations and their leaders remove limitations and maximize potential. He is the founder of the Maximum Potential Project and the author of Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement and the co-author of An Invitation to Personal Change

If you would like to learn more about how to transform your own stuck patterns, Ken Christian is hosting a free teleseminar July 26th, 2011 called Breaking Out of the Stuck Zone. It is open to everyone, for details on how to Break Out, visit Breaking Out of the Stuck Zone

This entry was posted in Guest Blogger and tagged fear, guest blogger, happiness, Obstacles to Happiness.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Silent Epidemic of The Worst Kind by Caroline Myss

Caroline Myss's Notes

A Silent Epidemic of The Worst Kind
by Caroline Myss on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:05am

Hello Everyone:

It's been a while since I've written. Summer has that effect, I guess, but so does writing a new book. I get consumed and time just flies by. A burning sun looms overhead today and it's horrendous outside - the type of day that hurts your head and makes your body feel twice the weight it is. As I was watering my garden this morning, I could not help but think of all the many people who have often said to me that they could never endure the Chicago winter. Only a few weeks ago I was in Arizona doing a workshop on Medical Intuition with my lifetime friend and colleague, Norm Shealy. It was 116 degrees one day and continues to be that hot. The myth that dry heat is tolerable because it's dry is nonsense. You cannot breathe as you climb the path to the workshop area, looking at the parched earth screaming for a break from the relentless sun - and any sign of water dripping from the sky. I'll take the coming of the cool autumn, the falling colored leaves, those lucious grey skies that indicate the coming of the winter months, the holiday season, sweater time, fire places, and yes, snowstorms. I am not someone who is built to burn. I adore days in the 80's and delicious warm evenings - that's a slice of heaven. But....enough of this. I actually have something on my mind...

I do a weekly radio show on the Hay House radio network every Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 CST. I've had this program for over six years now. The format is simple: I chat for ten or fifteen minutes on a particular subject and then I open the line to callers in order to do intuitive readings. The show is a pleasure to do. This past Tuesday, a woman phoned in asking for prayers, not because she was physically ill but because she was in a moral and ethical crisis due to her position as a teacher in a school district out west. The dilemma she described is this: The teachers in her school have been forced to purger themselves, that is, to sign documents stating that the school has been providing physical education classes and social studies, for the past five years, in order to continue getting state funding. The facts, however, is that the school has NOT been providing these classes at all. The school simply wants the funds and the teachers want to keep their jobs. Once they sign these documents, they are committing, in effect, lying on a federal document, and thus, they are participants in an act of embezzling funds from the state.

This teacher has tried to gather the support of other teachers in order to challenge this practice, to bring this crime to light, but they feel personally and professionally threatened. Cleverly, it is now a federal offense to remove federal documents from the building so she herself would be breaking the law should she attempt to copy any paperwork in order to get proof of the crimes to an outside source. She went to a lawyer with this case who, oddly enough, gave her the rather peculiar advice to stand down and not fight this.

After my broadcast, I received several emails from listeners who apparently also had or still have careers in education, all of whom have had similar experiences, one even leading to a state Grand Jury case. It seems that the corruption in the educational field is epidemic is proportion. But worse than that, the epidemic is a silent one that no one is talking about, much less exposing. Actually, we have a multiple epidemic in progress: Not only has the educational system been corrupted but fear has paralyzed those who know about it, those who are witness to the corruption, and thus the evil will spread until the Ronald Reagan plan to "dumb down" the children of America becomes one of the greatest Republic success stories in American history.

Why in the world would a society want to "dumb down" its children, its future resources? Why would the government ever introduce a "mind control" program, namely, "No Child Left Behind", in the guise of a supportive educational effort? Why would a government turn against its own population with a strategy to take away its knowledge of Civics - a class in which children are taught their rights as American citizens - and cut away endless funding from the arts and humanities? Why would a government make higher education the most expensive investment for a young person, second only to the purchase of a home, almost assuring that young adult a life of indentured servitude to that college debt for years to come? What has become of the values of this nation?????

Some fundamentalists have succeeded in influencing education in only the worst and most abusive ways. They created a "Christian paranoia" against any mention of God in schools or God-language, as if just the mention of the Pledge of Allegiance and the phrase, "...under God", was a Liberal conspiracy. Children need classes on morality and ethics, on confronting moral crises in life. They need to know that beyond the values of money and business, there is a higher plane of reasoning such as situation ethics that demands one have an elastic mind capable of grasping models of universal ethics brought to bear upon individual problems. Where are the advocates of wisdom applied to business and law? Is it any wonder that we live in a society devoid of conscience? That we live in a society that continues to bomb its way through its problems while others invest their resources in alternative energy? We, on the other hand, have no shortage of politicians funded by greedy, self-serving lobbyists who pay these Washington imperialists to stay on their corporate funded IV's, hooked to financial funding connected to the oil and pharmaceutical industries while keeping blinders on to climate change, alternative energy development projects, and the fact that the American economy is toast, not to mention the American educational system.

But if they can keep Americans silent and stupid, all the better - oh, make that silent, stupid, and frightened - oh, and now let's add poor. If that's not the perfect combination for control, then you do not know history and how the disintegration of a democracy works. Mind you, they make sure their own children are superbly educated...let their children inherent the power, as it were.

Silence and passivity are lethal. Sitting back and saying, "Oh, I'm just not the sort to get involved," is the same as saying, "Someone else has to be responsible for my freedom. I'm just too lazy and too comfortable. Besides, I am choosing not to believe things are as bad as they are. I prefer La-La Land."

Well, they are bad and getting worse by the day, by the drought, by the the second.

It will take every alert, concerned, devoted American to rise up and act before it's too late. If you know your educational system is crumbling, become part of making a difference. I don't care whether you have children or not. I don't have kids but I am passionate - PASSIONATE - about education. No, about KNOWLEDGE and my calling to pass knowledge on to others. And I am passionate about TRUTH and FREEDOM. Look what that evil man, Murdock, has been able to get away with for years because people have sat silently around him, allowing his dark and nasty agenda to weave its controlling threads through every segment of British society. And who knows how deep his evil control runs here - he owns FOX network, after all, and they are in the business of manufacturing one lie after another. There was a time when journalists had the courage to do serious investigative reporting - the days of Watergate, for example. Now they are puppets reporting celebrity hype and nonsense and why? Because feeding America hype was also part of the plan to dumb down America, to block out international news, to keep Americans "in America", believing American perspectives about American going to war.

A great nation like America doesn't end up in the shape it is in today because it is being led by wise and great people. It ends up bankrupt and spinning out of control because it has been led by liars, inept fools, narcissists, and greedy corporate agendas. And Americans fell asleep at the wheel, believing their great nation would never change. Well, it has changed, faster than any one could have imagined. It is collapsing, as Thomas Jefferson once predicted, from the inside, not from an outside invasion. And unless Americans remember how to BE AMERICANS once again, we had better review how to return to the feudal system.



PS - If the teacher who phoned in my radio show reads this FB entry, please contact me through my business partner, David: People have sent me emails naming resources for you to contact, should you be interested.

[This article is copy of the original (in its entirety) posted as Caroline Myss's notes on Facebook]