We’ve all been there: feeling stagnant, directionless, lacking motivation, creativity, drive, purpose…at least I think we all have. And it’s not just an emotional or mental state, there is a physical manifestation that comes with all that as well. You feel drained, fatigued, sapped. That’s where I’ve been for a little while now, and until recently I don’t think I really even realized that’s where I was. Or maybe I was just ignoring it. It’s not the most fun place to be.
Lately I’ve felt like I’m standing still watching this flurry of life and activity swirl around me, but have been unsure how to unstick myself from where I am and jump back in. I see so many people my age, and even younger, who seem to be charging ahead, taking no prisoners and making big things happen for themselves. It’s awesome. And yet, I seem to be in the same place I’ve been for years now. How do I break out of this cycle of sameness, feeling lost like I’m missing something bigger, and chart a new course for myself?
I don’t know what the answer is, so all I can do is start trying things and see what works. Who knows, maybe they won’t get me any closer to the answers I’m looking for, but maybe, just maybe, they will. It can’t hurt to try. It’s better than where I am. So here’s my starting line:
- Just Start Doing Something, Anything I think starting can be the hardest part…and sometimes that lack of any action can hold you hostage and wipe out your creative center. Sometimes the best source for new ideas and new lines of creativity come when you’re right in the middle of something else. So I’m just going to regularly schedule time to “do something” and get my juices flowing again.
- Turn Off The Technology So often I come home and turn on the TV, or fire up my laptop, and then get nothing done the rest of the night. It sucks my motivation to do anything out of me. I can’t really explain it but often I think I am helping to fuel my creativity by surfing the internet, pinning away on Pinterest, pouring over “inspiration blogs” filled with beautiful pictures but not much content and I find that I’m left feeling more hollow and down than inspired and encouraged. I’m not trying to knock those blogs and platforms–some of them are really full of truly beautiful things that, in moderation, can be very inspiring–but my soul and my intellect are craving more depth and challenge. I’m not going to find the challenge and inspiration I’m looking for by passing (many) hours in the spaces that aren’t filling my needs, so I need to turn them off more often.
- Make an Aspirations List Not just goals, but long-term personal aspirations. I need to spend some time doing some soul-searching to discover what it is that I truly desire and am meant to do. When I stopped dancing back in college I never really stepped back to think about where I ultimately saw myself outside of the dance world and instead just moved on to something I thought I could be somewhat successful at. I didn’t take any time to think about what really gives me fulfillment, my passions and my strengths. Once I figure out what my aspirations are, or at least a path down which I can further explore, then I can formulate a game plan.
- Write More Writing is my healing balm. Just putting pen to paper for this post (yes, I wrote it out on paper first, so old school. ha) already has me feeling more hopeful and focused. Why do we so often run from the things we know are best for us? I know that writing is the one thing that I can always do to make sense of what is going on in my head. It’s not good enough for me to just try to think through things–I have to hash it out on paper. It’s the only way I can really get a good grasp of my emotions and thoughts and direction. And I must do it more.
- Pray More Again, let me ask, Why do we so often run from the things we know are best for us? Not that I’m running from prayer, but I’m certainly not spending as much time in prayerful meditation as I should be. When I spend time with the Lord, I may not have all the answers when and how I want them, but at least I know I am connected to the one who does have them. I am hoping that all of these earthly things and accomplishments and relationships will fulfill me in a way that ultimately, only my relationship with God can. It’s so easy to get caught up in feeling like my current position in life is where I am always going to be. But I know there is more for me in this life, and that there is even more waiting for me in Heaven. Yes, I want to accomplish and be all that I am meant to be on this Earth, and make an impact on the world we live in, but I can only do that if I’m walking with God and listening to Him in this time when I feel like I’m a little lost on my path. What better way to find my true path than by going to the One who created that path I’m searching for.
So that’s where I am starting and hopefully these things will help me to propel myself out of this little rut. This too shall pass, right? Just laying all of this out and getting it off my chest has me feeling better. I’ll be back kickin’ ass and taking names, or at least on the path to figuring out where I’m supposed to be, in no time. Have you ever found yourself here? What did you do to get through it?
photo by Michael McCauslin