There are temporary and superficial ways of getting out of a rut. Binge eating, watching movies, calling up an old flame (which you know you shouldn’t), sleeping too much and so on, but there are some simple yet powerful methods that really work. Being stuck in a rut is a common occurrence in many people’s lives, and it a normal. We all have those moments. Staying in the rut is not an option. Here are three ways that work together to get you out and on your way!
Number one, is quieting the mind. Mental noise and recurring thoughts need to be kept at bay. This can be achieved in little time with a short breathing break or a short meditation. Just breathe, and tune into your ‘Self’. If you have a practice, then this is the moment to apply it. It does not have to be long. This is not about practicing to become a monk, this is about eliminating distracting thoughts that are not serving you in the moment. Two examples would be worrying about a future that isn’t here yet or judging others for their actions. These kinds of thoughts, along with recurring and repetitive thoughts do not move us forward.
A breathing break is a great example because changing the rhythm of your breathing will change the rhythm of your heartbeat, which will have an effect on your coherence. Quieting the mind will improve your mood, your outlook and give your mind clarity. Five minutes of calming the mind will prepare you in so many ways for the next activity on the agenda of getting out of a rut.
The second method is to focus on a ‘purpose related task.’ Doing the dishes is not a purpose related task. We all need a project! It does not need to be a life goal, although that kind of project is all the more powerful. It can be a mini purpose like a hobby, a pass-time or art. If you are a model train builder, then focus on that. Finish the complex engine that you haven’t completed. If you are a personal trainer, then go perfect your personal training program. If you are a writer, then write!
These are all forms of meditation, because when we focus on a task, we are taking a break from the mental noise and treadmill thinking. It is a mindful act. Mindfulness, means your mind is full, but it is full of that which serves you in the moment, not just mental noise. The other great benefit is the feeling of accomplishment. Moving ahead with a project or perhaps even finishing the job, gives a great sense of satisfaction, which in turn leads to varying degrees of happiness!
A side note about finding a dream or goal. There are many techniques for re-awakening the ability to hear the inner voice. Our higher self is constantly sending messages to help us navigate the waters of this life journey. If you don’t have a sense of purpose or a dream to follow, then take the first step. Well it is the first step of the second method! The first step remains quieting the mind. A quiet mind is more likely to hear the inner voice. You might need guidance in interpreting the messages of the inner voice, but there-in lies the dream, the goal, the intention, the mini-purposes, which will all help shed light on your higher purpose.
After quieting the mind, which helps you focus on your passion, pass-time, hobby, mission or purpose, you need one more crucial ingredient… Your tribe. Find your tribe! You can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with like minded people or people who support you for who you are and in what you are doing. Spend time with people who understand and use a similar vocabulary to yours.
Loneliness does not serve our purpose in this life journey. We have come here to interact with others, to share and to feel. Krishnamurty said, “We are not safe in isolation.” Interesting vocabulary, but so true!
Get out there and get involved. Volunteering with a charity that resonates with you is good. Joining a gym or a sports club will support you greatly in your goal to lose weight, or get fit. There are clubs and associations for all interests. Finding a tribe gives a sense of belonging. Belonging is priceless.
These are three methods for getting out of a rut. Of course there are more, but these are key:
The first is ‘Quiet Your Mind.’ Find a way to de-stress and stop the mental noise and senseless recurring thoughts.
The second is ‘Focus on a Project.’ If you don’t have one, it is time to find one. Find a purpose driven activity. Get into a project that needs completing. Satisfaction is the reward of completion. One of the side-effects of satisfaction is varying degrees of happiness. Another detail to be added here is never stop learning! If you haven’t found the dream or the ‘thing’ yet, the process of learning can put it in front of you.
The third is to ‘Find Your Tribe!’ Surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you. Spending the majority of your time with people who don’t understand your interests, or your new passion or your new path will put you in a rut.
You might be told, ‘be strong in yourself’ or ‘stand up for what you believe in.’ But if you spend all your energy trying to stay strong and defending yourself, you’ll have less energy and drive to achieve your goal, your dream and your aspirations.
Breathe Deep My Friends,
Founder of Relaxation One and the Translator of “The Art of Listening to Life”
“Welcome to the Adventure”
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