perhaps it's the fifth time in a row you've been dumped by somebody you thought was perfect. Or maybe you feel buried by your job and can't figure out your next move. Feeling stuck is a varied human experience -- it takes technique and tranquility to get a move on.Those who have studied the matter warn that asking the question "What should I do?" is not very productive when you're at an impasse. Rather, making gains demands openness to the possibilities that play around you and a real curiosity about what your situation can teach you.
Most important, it requires putting your unconscious to work; you've got vast stores of untapped creativity just waiting to help out. One method comes from neurolinguistic programming: imagine in as much detail as you can what life would feel like if you'd solved your impasse. Then let yourself experience that feeling with all the intensity you can muster.
Ask your unconscious, at that point, to generate new choices that will bring this feeling into your life. Watch them start popping into existence. Of course, this method can be tricky if you think you need a particular person's help to get you where you're going. If your ex-girlfriend just doesn't want to come back, you need to discover the feeling you'd have if she did -- that feeling is what you really want, and, yes, you are capable of having it with or without her.
In order to connect to the unconscious, some people like to use divination tools like the tarot, runes or the I Ching (particularly the Bollingen edition). These should be seen not as foretellers but as aids to tapping your own intuition.
what the experts say
"It's important to stay focused on what your outcome looks like. People sometimes become so familiar with the impasse that they choose it as a way of life. If a person became more motivated, for example, they would have to give up the familiarity of being stuck. It's a problem all the time. People confuse the unfamiliar with the uncomfortable."
CHRIS KEELER, director, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Canada"The I Ching is about how to harmonize with change. We already have intuition about what kind of situation we're in; the I Ching acts like a mirror of that. It helps us learn when it's beneficial for us to go forward, when to wait or retreat. We don't have to be in opposition to a situation, we just have to learn how to dance with it."
TAEJI, meditation teacher/I Ching practitioner"I don't encourage people to see the tarot as the be-all and end-all solution. I tell people that the cards will provide insight into how one could better resolve a situation."
AMY LEE-ROSENBERG, tarot consultant"We discourage advice. You can tell if you're not being appropriately listened to or supported if the other person is trying to solve your problem instead of listening to you. When you're properly listened to, you have the feeling you're being helped just because you're being allowed to vent. You'll start to feel that you can work on your own problem."
KIM WATSON, training coordinator, Scarborough division, Toronto Distress Centre"Our emotional history is held in our body. An impasse is blocked energy in the body and mind usually connected with some kind of negative feeling. Become a witness of your body sensations and notice, when there is an unpleasant feeling, how you distract yourself from it or run away from it. The way to heal is to learn how to be with those unpleasant feelings with loving kindness."
INGRID CRYNS, body-oriented psychotherapist
"Life is mirroring something back to us. When we say we want something, we're telling the universe we don't have it. If we're hoping, wishing, it's always out there in the future, and the universe mirrors that back. But the (solution) is already inside us. What allows something (new) to come in is a sense of contentment. Just allow the feeling of being deeply fulfilled to come up."
VIRGINIA HART NELSON, hypnotherapist, reiki master