It happens to all of us. Hell, it happened to me yesterday when I sat down to write this newsletter to you, and I sat staring at a blank screen, stuck about what to write.
Common advice to writers is to “write what you know”, and yesterday, it meant writing about being stuck. So here we are.
Being stuck is, in part, how Actually, I Can came to be. I haven’t told this story before, but here is how my move into coaching and developing programs for women in midlife came about:
Simply put, I felt stuck.
About five years ago, both of my daughters were away at college. I had completed the sale of my house and had moved in with my sweetheart in semi-rural south Jersey.
I was at the time still working on writing poetry and children’s books on a regular basis, but things were mostly not selling.
There was plenty to be happy about (happy kids, happy relationship). But I spent most of my time home alone.
My clothes bored me—they were variants of t-shirts or long-sleeved t-shirts plus jeans—and I didn’t find them flattering, or comfortable, or inspiring.
Most of what I wore were shades of grey and black (and blue, if you count my jeans). My days bored me—there was so much sameness to things. It occurred to me that I’d spent days and weeks and months in the same way, and was going nowhere.
I started to wonder when I’d given up on myself.
When had I decided I needed to wear a boring uniform? When had I decided to make myself small? When did I decide I didn’t deserve to take up space? When did I decide that boring sameness inside a “safe” box was all there was for me?
When those realizations came crashing over me, I decided to start taking action.
Those actions included a lot of things: getting rid of boring, ill-fitting, or uncomfortable clothing and replacing them with things that I liked, that seemed fun to me; taking up art, to the point that I created an arts business; examining my spiritual beliefs still further and starting to incorporate more “woo-woo” elements into my daily life; traveling more with my husband, both to expand our horizons and to enjoy our time together.
When I first started taking action, I didn’t consciously set out to improve my self-esteem, increase my self-acceptance, or any of that stuff. But along the way, that all happened. And I also started consciously working on it all.
I also started to realize how (very) many women I know, in real life or online, are in a similar position to where I started: stuck, and feeling boxed-in by expectations (their own or other people’s), and wondering where they lost themselves along the way. I realized that I wished I could help them.
And then one day it occurred to me that actually, I can.
Some Ideas For You If You Feel Stuck.
Remember that any movement breaks the “stuckness.” That includes physical movement or any change at all.
Physical exercise of any kind is good. Walking counts. So does gardening.
Raising your energy level is great. That can include doing an energy clearing in your space, or raising your personal energy level however works best for you. (It can be through meditation, exercise, dance, using scents that lift you up, etc.)
Go through your closet and find something you love, that makes you feel good when you wear it. Put that on.
Exercise your creativity! Make something, whether it’s food or art or music or something else.
Think of something you’d like to do. Take one small step in that direction.