When you’re stuck — move.
And I don’t mean you literally have to disassemble your kitchen chairs, book a Budget truck, hire some buff ppl to hike a stairwell with your headboard, and take on a new zip code (unless you want that!) What I mean is, when you’re sad or stressed or overwhelmed or underwhelmed or unimpressed or over it or feeling crazy — move your body! Take a walk. Go run. Go into a different room. Go outside. Even if it’s for five minutes. Or three minutes. Or thirty seconds. Find a change of scenery (whatever that means to you.)
Moving your body moves your mind.
I almost always find that when my heart is pumping and my blood is racing, my mind comes up with new ideas it would’ve otherwise never thought of had I allowed myself to stay stuck.
One of our greatest powers as humans is that we have a choice of whether we want to stay stuck — physically or mentally. For me, moving physically simultaneously moves me mentally. (This is why I'm so in love with cardio!) I'm not saying it's easy to get unstuck, but it will get easier the more you start moving (and maybe your first move is admitting you're unhappy in a certain aspect of your life.) If you honestly think about every big move you've ever made, it likely began with a series of many small movements. Like how a novel begins with writing down one word and a marathon starts with taking one step.
I am a sucker for that quote: "You're always one decision away from a totally different life." It's so true. But what's also true is that decisions require movement.
Take my recent story for example:
In Nashville, the traffic killed my spirit. It unmotivated me because in a city where the infrastructure cannot keep up with the rapid growth, it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere. (Full disclosure: I cry when I get angry. And I lost track of how many times I cried in Nashville traffic!) Anyhow, by the time I did get to where I was going (usually late .. like far beyond missing-the-movie-previews kind of late), I was in a terrible mood. So in an effort to be my best self, I made the decision that I wanted more control over my commute — I wanted to eliminate the unpredictability of getting stuck behind a slow driver or getting caught on I-24 during rush (which is all hours of the day in Nashville .. am I right???) I decided that in order to achieve this desired control, I needed to live somewhere where my commute is via my own two feet.
It definitely didn’t happen right away (confession: I made that decision more than a year ago), but I did immediately start making small moves in order to make the big move happen:
1. I started saying I wasn't happy with my circumstances.
2. I started talking about my plans with my family and friends.
3. I started researching what needed to happen to make the idea of moving to Chicago shift from conversations into action.
4. I started applying.
My movements to get from where I was to where I am sort of make me think of the Milwaukee Zoo. I know what you're thinking: what on earth does the zoo have to do with me moving from Nashville to Wisconsin to Chicago?
Hear me out ..
At the Milwaukee Zoo, there is this massive globe made of marble. It's placed in water and spins when people push it. It is so much fun to push the earth and make it go as fast as you want it to. I mean, who wouldn't love that kind of control? But when you decide you want to switch the direction it's spinning in .. it's so hard! Your hands slip and slide all over the place and you can't get a grip on the globe. You use all your power and it's exhausting. By the time you slow the earth down a bit, you need a break. You eventually get up and go at it again because after all, it's still not successfully spinning in the new direction. All of a sudden — BAM! You did it. With soaking wet hands and hardly any energy left, you finally got that marble earth to spin in the new direction .. slow at first, until you regain the strength you need to get it spinning fast again.
Where am I globing with this story? ;) What I am saying is that momentum takes time! Deciding to spin your world in a whole new direction takes time!
Right now, I actually am in the slow-moving phase of my world spinning in the new direction I decided to push it in. Why? Because finding rhythm in the rerouting is far from easy. And it likely won't happen in one push or one pull (unless you're Hercules.)
I'm sharing pieces of my life story in hopes it'll connect with you. And I also hope it'll inspire you. It's easy to get deterred from making changes from what you've grown used to, but if you're unhappy (like I was), the time it takes to spin your marble earth in a new direction will be so incredibly worth it.
Accept and acknowledge that whatever big move you're trying to achieve is going to happen as a result of many small movements over a period of time. And remember to allow yourself time to rest.
I’m writing this blog from the high rise I now live in — a high rise with a view greater than I could’ve dreamed. I lived in Nashville for seven years, and city wise, it always felt like an outfit I wasn’t sold on in the dressing room. I’ve lived in
Chicago for one week, and from the very second I unlocked the door to this place, the skyline wrapped itself around me like it was custom made to fit perfectly.
Because of the small moves I started to make more than a year ago, I can wholeheartedly say I LOVE MY COMMUTE. (Bye, bye I-24!) Every morning, I get to walk to my new job, strolling partially through Millennium Park, with coffee in hand and fresh (& freezing) air filling my lungs. New songs are stuck in my head and Cross Point podcasts bring me weekly inspiration.
Walking is way > driving, my friends. (IMO!) I feel empowered, awake, and alive by the time I get to where I'm going.