Tools for Getting Un-stuck
It's really normal to feel stuck. Getting un-stuck - not so much. Life doesn't come with a user manual. We don't know how to discharge our difficult feelings. So we often respond by being down, grumpy, pessimistic, irritable, mean, or despondent and generally making things worse for ourselves and those around us.
Here are some tools to help with some common stuck-ness. They are step by step guides and they really work. We know because we use them all the time ourselves.
You can choose just the tools that help with a specific situation, or you can have access to the entire suite of Flourish tools by doing the Flourishing Life Blueprint online program.
Below are descriptions of what each one is useful for. If you know which one you want just click on it. Otherwise read through the more detailed descriptions below and see which ones are most relevant for you.
Fixing the Frame - get yourself out of a negative eddy when the mind is stuck in down-ness - on a one-way slide down hill
Your Board of Believers - vanquish the voices of self-doubt and non-deserving that rob you of energy and confidence
Self-soothing Tactics - practical ways to calm the body-mind and dial down the stress.
These tools will begin to be available in 2021 and will be listed in this colour when they're ready. Click the button below and we'll keep you up to date!
Fixing the Frame
Things happen in life that we don't like, and sometimes we can't change them. Or maybe we can but we choose not to because the alternatives are worse. However the situation we're in is not what we'd like it to be and this can make us feel stuck in a negative mental and emotional space.
Once this gets momentum it can be hard to stop. It's the like the eddy in the toilet water, once it gets flowing in a particular direction it can be very difficult to change.
Sometimes our own minds can start swirling in this direction without even being stuck in life. We find ourselves thinking about something unpleasant, maybe even from years ago, and next thing we know, the mind's off and running, re-hashing old stories or imagining new ones that haven't even happened - ruminating on anything with the same unpleasant feeling tone.
We call this a 'negative eddy'. We find ourselves pulled downwards, our energy and vitality start seeping away. At some point it seems that joy and lightness are strangers, mere memories, and we struggle to access them. Or if we can - maybe spending time with a friend, or doing something we like - as soon as that's over, the downward slide starts again.
This is where we can use wise attention to change track.
Our minds take the shape of what we rest them on. This tool helps you lure your mind to a better place. It's not about fooling or deluding yourself, or putting on rose coloured glasses. It's about filling your attentional frame wisely.
It's about your mental health. It's about taking care of yourself as you would a friend.
When our minds go to these places we're in pain. If your hand touched a hot stove, wouldn't you take it off? Of course you would. So why don't we do this when we're in unnecessary emotional pain?
Because we don't know how. That's where Fixing the Frame comes in. It walks you step by step through a process to fill your attentional frame with true facts that are also helpful to your mental state. This changes how you feel.
The results are often quick, and SUCH a relief. The energy returns, the mind is suddenly free to roam to other places, the heaviness is lifted and a sense of possibility and engagement with life arise naturally. It's like someone just re-inflated our balloon.
You can use this tool over and over again for the rest of your life, any time you feel your mind being pulled down into a negative eddy.
Investment in your wellbeing: AU$170
Your Board of Believers
Sometimes self-doubt just gets us. It doesn't matter how competent or love-able we are, how many times we've proved ourselves to ourselves and the world, the voices of self-doubt have a way of sneaking back in.
These voices undermine our confidence and leave us feeling hopeless, like nothing we do ever changes our lot in life. We just don't deserve any better - life somehow knows this.
It sees through our kindnesses, our achievements, our attempts to do worthy things. It sees the 'real me' - the one who doesn't deserve credibility, happiness, success, or the good things in life.
These voices are not our enemy - even though it can feel like that. They're actually trying to protect us - from things that are probably not going to happen. They're just not very well informed, they're out of date, or have forgotten how capable and worthy we are. Those voices are scared.
So first we need to listen to them and hear what they're trying to tell us. We need to show these protective voices that it's okay, that even if things don't go as planned, we can handle it.
Then we need to use wise attention to bolster our self-belief so that the fears don't have an empty echo-chamber to play in.
This tool takes you step by step through a process to do these things. You'll calm the voices of fear, and then build your own personalised Board of Believers - people who genuinely believe in you, who have your back, who, if they heard these voices, would think them crazy. When self-doubt comes along, you won't need to defend yourself because it will need to get past your Board of Believers before it gets to you.
Not gonna happen!
These people believe in you not because they're nice people, but because they know you. They've seen you in action, they've experienced you first hand, and whatever your foibles, they know you are worthy of their affection and respect.
Like all of our tools, this one can be used over and over again for the rest of your life. You'll build it in such a way that it is strong enough to ward off the self-doubt that stops you in your tracks, so that it doesn't get through to your core.
You might still feel fear - that's okay, it's part of being human. But that fear won't knock you off your path, away from the things that naturally bolster your confidence - engaging with people and the world.
Your Board of Believers can go with you everywhere for the rest of your life.
Investment in your wellbeing: $170
Inviting Your Demons in for a Tea Party
Here I am again. Triggered by the same upsets, blaming others, avoiding things, pushing people or experiences away with judgment, or worse, desperately distracting myself, or desperately chasing things - outstanding success, perfection, notoriety, wealth - as if they are going to make us unstoppably happy. I know I've got sensitivities - 'hot buttons' - things that set me off, that make me behave in ways I don't feel good about, that make a mess of things, of relationships.
The upset seems to just rise up and grab me. I don't know how to un-hook from it - to let it go or leave it behind. I may know where the sensitivity came from (or not) but I just can't seem to release myself from its grip.
I feel powerless in its presence. Trapped. Unable to respond maturely or skillfully. It's like it's got me in its grip. Sometimes I think I've grown out of it, but then a certain situation arises and - boom! Here I am again, at its mercy.
Sound familiar? This is reactivity. We're stuck and we don't have access to our full range of creativity and capabilities to draw on.
The 'hook' is some kind of experience that we've associated with fear. It might be thinking others see me as imperfect, or a loser, or not in control, wrong.
The fear might be around displeasing other people or not doing 'the right thing' all the time, or not being accepted, not belonging.
Maybe it's being seen as competent or respectable or credible, which we've come to believe is the closest thing we'll get to being loved.
Whatever the specific nature of our hook, it throws us into reactivity. There's a demon attached to it - something that scares us. It feels like our very emotional survival is at stake.
At its heart is often a fear of loss or of hurt. There's some basic human need that's not being filled. Maybe it's a physical need to have your material needs met. Maybe it's a need for autonomy, for certainty, or for belonging to a group. Us humans feel unsafe when these needs are not met.
But there's more to us than this. To flourish we also need pleasure, we need to engage our talents, to achieve things with them, and to connect with others personally - more than just belonging to a group. And we need to contribute to something outside of ourselves, something bigger than just me and my life.
These needs too, if they're left empty, can lead to life feeling hollow, lacking meaning, lacking joy. These are not trifling matters. They can lead to dark places.
To disempower our reactive patterns, we need to dismantle them. To do that, we need to see clearly what they are and how they work. We need to get to know our demons. When we do, they stop scaring us so much. Sometimes they stop scaring us at all!
This tool is a step by step guide to turning and facing your demons. It helps you to get to know them rather than running from them or blocking them out. It builds in a detailed awareness of the way the fear works, and helps you to dismantle it.
As you do this, you'll feel a palpable drop in stress. You'll feel freer, and less heavy, like you've been released from a prison in your own mind. You'll be able to think about the stressful situation and stay in your seat. This sometimes happens after just one session!
There may still be some fear arise, but it won't take you over. There'll be a spaciousness, an ability to respond from your values rather than react on autopilot, even if there's also discomfort. You can stop being scared of yourself! You won't feel so stuck any more, maybe not at all!
You can have a go at this on your own. If you've got well developed personal questioning skills this might be all you need. Or if you need some help with that you'll soon be able to book in for a guided Demon Tea Party with a Flourish Guide (see below).
You'll be able to tell very clearly, through the drop in stress that you feel, how well you've gotten to know your demon - how well you've made friends with it. In fact you'll measure it as part of the process!
Investment in your wellbeing: $170
Guided Demon Tea Party
It can be downright scary the first time we invite our demons in. We've spent many years being scared of them so it can be really uncomfortable and difficult to coach ourselves through it. Sometimes, especially at first, the help and support of a friendly guide can make all the difference!
The Guided Demon Tea Party is designed to support those who haven't honed the specific skills of deep personal questioning from a place of curiosity, compassion and courage.
It's also for those who'd like some support, strength and care as they practice their courage in befriending their demons.
Perhaps you've had a go at holding a Demon Tea Party on your own but you don't feel like you really succeeded in getting to know it. It's still got you on edge. You didn't really get to the bottom of it. The reactivity still arises unabated.
Or maybe you know up front that you haven't honed these skills and you're going to need some help with it. That's fine too.
Skills aside, maybe you'd like some support because you know it's going to be emotional. It can make all the difference in the world to have someone there with you, who's used to walking this territory, who's unafraid and can give you encouragement and remind you of your strength when you need it. Simply having that person walking with you into your own personal reactive fear-scape can transform the experience.
The Guided Demon Tea Party also allows you to relax into the process. You don't need to be assessing what questions to ask yourself. Your Guide will do that. They'll notice if there's something you haven't fully unpacked and offer you the chance to do it. They're patient, fearless, supportive and curious about your experience. Our Guides genuinely love this work!
You'll need the workbook above (Inviting Your Demons in for a Tea Party), so purchase that first, have a look through it, and then book in for a 90 minute session with your own personal Flourish Guide.
With a Guided Demon Tea Party we use Telegram, a private and secure messaging app, to conduct Step 6 of the workbook Inviting Your Demons in for a Tea Party, so you'll need to download this app onto your computer (the session is better on the computer than the phone or online).
You'll need to complete Steps 2-5 of the workbook and send this to your Guide by the day before your Guided Tea Party so that they have time to prepare. You'll also be sent a Preparation Pack so that you know what to do and how to make the most of it.
Then you just need to bring your courage and your curiosity to the session and work with your Guide to find the places where you need to go - to help you get to know your demon, to release from your reactivity.
Investment in your wellbeing: $270
We all know what it's like to be triggered. Whether we contributed to a situation ourselves, or whether we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, we can find ourselves caught in a spike of stress. Maybe it's an outburst from someone who's reacting to their own stress spike - a spray of blame or criticism directed our way, an unexpected reaction from someone to something we said, or maybe it's an emotional memory that's been triggered and before we know it a wave of upset is engulfing us.
This is really normal human stuff. We don't need to feel like there's something wrong with us. It's just the way our body-mind reacts when it perceives an acute threat.
However for our own sanity and wellbeing, we need to know how to soothe the body-mind back into a calmer, safer state. Like the gazelle who outruns a lion and then returns to grazing on the grass, we need to know how to help our body-minds come down from high alert.
This soothing is also important to our ability to learn and grow from experience. Unless it's an impersonal threat like a near-miss with a car accident, these stress spikes often have something to teach us - an insight about our own patterns that could help us flourish. But to harvest them we need to bring the body-mind back to a calmer state. Our 'reptilian brain' needs to know that we're safe before it will allow resources to be devoted to learning.
This tool offers several practical tactics to draw on when you find yourself in a stress-spike. Some are things you'll be able to do straight away, and some are tactics to practice and prepare in advance. But all of them are tried and tested - they work!
Investment in your wellbeing: $TBC