Think of being stuck in life like being stalled in an elevator.
You pressed the button for your desired floor/destination. Now you stand and wait. There is no other option.
Without warning, the elevator comes to a complete stop between floors.
The battery in your cell phone is dead. You can’t do anything about the elevator, except to use the intercom to call for help.
Let’s pretend you’re the only one in the cab.
This gives you a moment to be aware, to stop racing around, running from, or running towards your goal.
Worst case scenario
This unexpected stop gives you the opportunity to ask yourself, not only why you’re running, but what you’re running towards.
Can you “just be” with your thoughts?
There are only two ways out of being stuck in this kind of situation:
- The elevator moves again, up to whatever floor you selected. The predestination, the floor that you presumed you were going to. No change, just delayed.
- Or, the elevator is broken and stuck between floors. Help arrives and pulls open the doors and they help you out of the elevator. Now you’re no longer stuck, but you’re in a different place.
Where do you want to get off?
Stop and think about this question for moment. The second possible outcome for this metaphorical situation is purposefully vague.
Being stuck is like a road sign
You need to notice it because it has something of value you to tell you. The sign gives you the opportunity to notice where you are, and choose how to course correct. if needed.
How are you stuck?
Sometimes we are stuck because of our own doing, because of our own internal struggles, beliefs, and so on.
- “This is how I’ve always done it.”
- “I can’t lose weight no matter how hard I try!”
- “I wish I could live as an out and proud, gay man.”
Sometimes we get stuck because of external circumstances.
- An accident on the highway makes you 90-minutes late for an important meeting.
- Your date stood you up and you’re sitting alone at the restaurant.
- Your doctor gives you unsettling news about your health.
What’s going on? Stop. Breathe. Notice
In any of these scenarios, the possibility exists to be aware and mindful of what’s going on. It’s an opportunity to ask yourself if you’re going in the right direction, and if you have a destination in mind.
Maybe it’s time that you asked for help.
Maybe it’s time that you slowed down before you can speed up.
When help arrives, a hand reaches down to help pull you out of the elevator. Do you ignore it, or do you grab that persons hand and do all you can to help them help you?
Most of us are so busy running without any awareness of our surroundings.
- Stuck in an elevator (and getting stressed out over something you can’t control).
- Waiting impatiently in line (when we could stop, relax, call a friend, or read a journal entry on our phone from a year ago).
- Going nowwhere in a traffic jam (listen to a podcast, or an audiobook and be grateful for what you’re about to learn).
- Working on an overdue report (and missing an important call from your partner or child…)
- Texting while walking (not seeing the person who you want to ask out, smile at you as they walk by…)
These are the moments in our modern lives when we can look around, take a deep breath, exhale, and ground ourself in the present moment.
When you are in the present moment you are precicely where you need to be.
If you’re ready to break out of the box that’s keeping you stuck in life, and you’d like a helping hand to make 2018 your most authentic year, click here to find out how we can work together.
Originally published on Th-Ink Queerly. Photo by Scott Szarapka on Unsplash