Many people I know felt a sudden upsurge of fresh, benevolent energy as Mercury turned Direct on January 8th. In fact, all planets will remain Direct until February 6, 2017, which means these next few weeks offer strong forward momentum with no extra planetary resistance. Good times, but what happens when you find yourself in such auspicious astrology with lots of internal resistance? Today’s post is for those people I’ve heard from who feel stagnant, bored, full of ennui, or plagued by a major case of “The Should’s.” If you feel like you should feel better or more inspired but just don’t here are some tips for shaking up the energies.
The Mary Poppins Principle
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and, snap, the job’s a game.” When life feels stagnant it means it’s time to do something fun or to tackle a project you have been procrastinating. Both things can rejuvenate you out of any kind of funk. Experiment with treating yourself before and/or after a big task to see which works best for you. Sometimes you don’t feel motivated because you actually do need a break. As Mary Poppins says, “A lark, a spree, it’s very clear to see … that a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go down…” .
If you can’t remember the last time you allowed for adventure and delight, then go window shopping, rock climbing, or tea rooming. Treat yourself to a massage. Redecorate instead of cleaning. Plan a weekend (or afternoon) getaway.
If you routinely separate “work” and “play,” find ways to bring a little play into your work. Hate doing tax prep? Make a ridiculously elegant and nurturing time of it — music, scents, colors. Personally, I henna my hair and do at home spa dates whenever I need to move through paperwork. Combining sybaritic delight with drudgery lifts those tasks into something I know I will enjoy. People stuck on creative projects often find that changing location — coffee shop instead of office — or even taking a cat nap loosens perspective and brings a fresh flow of ideas and solutions. Find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game. Or at the very least more interesting!
Make Procrastination Work for You
We live in a society that shames procrastination, but you can totally make it work for you. The secret is to have many, many things on your to do list. You can procrastinate things so many layers deep that you can procrastinate something else by doing something on that same list! Best of both worlds: feel like you’re getting away with something sneaky while also getting something done.
Only David knows how often we’ve gotten a spotlessly clean and organized house, drawers and closets instead of a newsletter I didn’t feel like writing. People often marvel at how much I’ve accomplished in our yard or in other areas of life. For me, the secret is maintaining a very long list of projects, interests, wish lists, and to-do’s so that I feel flexibility and choice yet still get things done.
One key to this method: every once in awhile, you will need to set yourself a very firm deadline and reward for finishing something big. Otherwise, you can end up never completing projects. You can bribe yourself with getting to begin a much desired something new only after checking off the something old.
It also helps to check in with yourself to see if you really want to do the thing you find it so difficult to get yourself to do. Does the lack of motivation signal a lack of interest? Or do you need to inject more fun into less exotic steps towards a truly desired goal?
Die hard procrastinators might also appreciate S. J. Scott’s book, “Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes that Take Five Minutes or Less”: One Routine + Multiple Habits = Habit Stacking . While multitasking can slow people down and make them less effective at the individual tasks, habit stacking combines habits that don’t require much thought so that you end up accomplishing exponentially more in autopilot mode. It’s kind of like the permaculture idea of “stacking functions” applied to your life instead of your yard.
Mental, emotional, and spiritual levels don’t just affect the physical. With everything interconnected, you can also influence emotions, mental and spiritual processes by addressing the physical level.
Great poets often composed their best poetry while walking, which mimicked the rhythm of iambic pentameter and provided fresh scenery and oxygen to the brain. Rebounding also works great if you have a mini trampoline. I rebound all winter to get the lymph flowing. I particularly love rebounding to sacred chants, thus moving energy in multiple ways at the same time. My favorite CD’s for chanty-dancy-bouncing include: Krishna Das’ “Pilgrim Heart,” M.C. Yogi’s various hip-hop chants, Aykanna, or any number of compilations. I also love “Enter the Center” by Abigail Spinner McBride, which gets me groovin’ and tuned into the Earth and Sky in English instead of Hindi or Sanskrit.
Rebounding has so many health benefits, and moving that stagnant lymph energizes on several levels at once. I love rebounding so much I wrote about it way back in 2012. If you have access to other forms of exercise at this time of year, treat your body to some movement, in whatever form calls to you. Dancing feels especially freeing and creative, but hikes, biking, kundalini yoga, or even water aerobics can get that stagnant energy moving again, which then makes other areas of life that much easier to move through, too.
Another powerful physical movement includes making small, conscious feng shui cures in your home. I often suggest David Daniel Kennedy’s “Feng Shui Tips for Better Life,” because he really distills complex ideas into simple tasks. Feng shui works with Chi, or the energy that pervades all of life. Blocked energy in our homes can create blocks in our lives, and sometimes, it’s much easier to move a crystal, install a small mirror, or add a plant than it is to manifest an entirely new career or relationship. Funny thing, though: once that stagnant energy gets moved in your home, opportunities appear in your life.
Allow Yourself to Ask for Help
If you still feel stumped, blocked, stagnant, or otherwise uninspired, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I created this month’s Coaching and Reiki Bundle to bring guidance, clarity and energetic support to people seeking the change that’s also seeking them. We all go through periods of growth and processing. I personally love learning new skills via books and living a DIY lifestyle, but sometimes feelings of stagnation indicate our soul’s longing to reach a level beyond what we could on our own. Or more efficiently than our own tools currently facilitate. Our souls and minds want to grow, just as our bodies and emotions want to heal.
Ask yourself if January’s malaise is really tomorrow’s freedom and joy knocking on your consciousness. Have you outgrown your old life? What new version of you awaits release?