I’m a writer, so, by nature, a thief, or maybe more like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich — of character, dialogue, ideas — and passing on the spoils. For years I have gathered epiphanies, phrases, descriptions, catharses.
Now that my focus is on focus itself, on helping people move through procrastination, unconscious patterns, fears, and “I don’t wannas,” I collect ninja tricks for getting unstuck.
Living an intentional, creative life is a practice. Our brains are wired to auto-correct to keep us fed, mated, socially accepted. They’re wired to identify what is wrong, not what is possible.
And even when we move in our chosen direction, we are never actually “on course.” Like a pilot, we set our coordinates, but 99% of the time we are blown off course by wind and weather. The entire flight is one of readjustment, dependent on avionics to reach our destination.
Our personal “wind and weather” manifests in different ways. We get tired, our workload increases, our heart gets broken, we fall in love, someone writes a book just like the one we’ve been laboring on, we get sick. The momentum that was carrying us dissipates, or we just get stuck.
This is where the ninja tricks come in. We need endless ways to hotwire our inner GPS, stop the voices, disrupt the doubt, interrupt old patterns of giving up or giving in.
The key, again, is that this is a practice. Intention is a practice. Making creative choices and acting on them is a practice. Trusting yourself is a practice. Touching the gateway of the divine is a practice. So become a collector and a thief! Find as many tools as you can, figure out what works, toss out what doesn’t. And share!
Here are 7 such tricks, in no particular order, from assorted sources.
#1 Whatever Arises, Love That.
This comes from modern mystic, Matt Kahn, who wrote a book called, well, Whatever Arises, Love That. This is MY take on his take, based on my own practice.
The most disruptive force we live with is our own judgment. It pries us out of the present, stifles our work, shuts down our hearts.
It comes in many forms, but is lurking just beneath almost every negative emotion. If we feel lonely, unworthy, or stressed out, the discomfort comes from our judgment— of the feeling, of its truth, of our own inability to overcome it.
You can cut right to the chase and say this: “Let the one who judges, be the next in line for love.”
And let it sit a moment. You can also say it for each feeling that arises. “Let the one who is lonely, be the next in line for love.” “Let the one who is unworthy, be the next in line for love.”
Don’t get caught up if it sounds wonky or weird. Weird is the new normal. Just take it in.
“Let the one who dismisses, be the next in line for love.”
#2 Inhale An Essential Oil.
It took me awhile to come around to oils. I’ve always had a witchy part of me, but I didn’t really get oils. Honestly, I thought they were a little TOO hocus pocus. It turns out they are little powerhouses, and are becoming far more accepted in the mainstream.
Essential oils trigger impulses to the olfactory bulb in the brain, which transmit to the amygdala — where emotional memories are stored — and to the limbic system.
The limbic system is connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress level and hormone balance.
In short, they are NOT hocus pocus.
All oils are not equal. If you are stimulating your brain, you want quality. Ask someone knowledgeable at a health food store, or use highly regulated oils like Young Living, where they control the process from seed to bottle. I like Lavender for calming, Lemon for clarity, and the specially formulated blends for emotional balancing like Sara or Stress Away.
#3 Look At Something Vast And Spectacular
Looking at something beautiful can increase blood flow in the brain up to 10%, and can also create a sense of timelessness. Color has well-documented effects on mood and physiology.
One of the fastest ways to energize yourself and shift a pattern is to look at something spectacular. It might be the shock of orange from a field of poppies, the blends of blues from Hawaiian waters, the complexity of a brilliantly constructed building, depending on your taste for beauty.
This is also one of the easiest, even if you are in a windowless office, as long as you have google.
The only caveat is, don’t’ start surfing the web if you are trying to finish your book…
#4 Text A Friend Who Loves You
You can also do this with a life partner, but doing it with a friend, where there is utter trust and no expectation of “I love you too” allows you stay in the ACT of loving.
The act of loving someone taps into universal love, translates to shining that love upon yourself, and literally calms and shifts your nervous system.
You don’t have to literally say I love you. You can be playful or silly, recap an inside joke, or a just say “what’s up?” The key is to reach out without expectation, to someone you know holds you safely in their heart.
#5 Become Aware of Your Breath
You’ve heard this before, but really take this in: the difference between life and death, is breath. Is there a more miraculous, mysterious force?
When we get stressed, we often hold our breath, even for a second. When we concentrate, sometimes we constrict it unconsciously. All of this creates tension in the body, affects the flow of oxygen to the brain, and creates that spinning feeling of overwhelm.
You don’t need to do anything extra or do fancy breathing exercises, though those are nice too. Just literally take a moment to feel your breath return to its natural rhythm. This calms the body and the mind, and acts as a mini reset button.
#6 Call Your Energy Back to Yourself
This is a little trick I first learned at the Berkeley Psychic Institute and have adapted over time. Psychic tools are fun!
We send our energy, thoughts, love, ideas, out into the world constantly. Think of your energy as a beautiful bag of glitter that has blown open and scattered in the wind.
In truth, we can always tune into an endless supply of energy, the source of all creation, but psychically, we may still feel connected to that scattered glitter. We can begin to feel depleted, “stretched thin.” Some empathic people may even feel other people’s energy through their own. Calling back our energy from all of those destinations is a powerful refueling technique.
Here is the process:
Imagine, over the top of you head, a bright golden sun. Put your name in it, in bright letters, and imagine it like a giant glowing magnet. Say your name three times as you imagine your energy flowing back toward you, drawn by that magnet, into the sun. Imagine the people, places, ideas where you have put your energy.
Don’t be afraid that you are abandoning anyone. Love is endless, has its own source, and does not need to be “left” with anyone. All of this beautiful energy belongs to you.
Once you’ve gathered it, draw that that glowing sun down through the crown of your head, allowing it to fill your whole body. Feel the glow all of your energy returning to you. Let it fill every part of you, until it is overflowing.
Once it feels complete, lean over and touch the ground to ground it all in.
It might take longer than seven seconds the first time, but if you like it, as you practice, you will find you can do it almost instantaneously.
#7 Make A Decision
We burn endless amounts of energy looping things over and over in our heads. You might be looping a difficult conversation you need to have with someone, shuffling through which project to start, or what should be the first step be of a multi-step process.
These are energetic loops that drain your energy, heighten anxiety, and kill creativity.
The big fear here is no mystery. If you make a decision, it might be the wrong decision. You will close down options. You could waste years of your life (translation: do something that isn’t rewarded by accolades and money). Burn bridges. Change everything.
Yep! But what is the alternative? Spinning in circles for the next year, and the next, never discovering how courageous and magnificent you really are, and never getting anything that you really want to do, done.
All successful artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, humans, have made massive blunders, executed terrible ideas, been horribly wrong.
The thing they ALL have in common, is they keep making new decisions.
As soon as you do it, you will feel a burst of energy. And at that same moment, do whatever it takes to ensure you’ll follow through with the commitment. Put it on a calendar, make a note, write it down, or do it right that second if you can.
Do you have any ninja tricks? I’d love to hear them! Comment below or find me at sheilagallien.life.
Originally published at medium.com