Tag Archives: crisis

How to Get Unstuck from a Long Term Pattern in Life

I ran across Rick Wolff’s writing through Stumbleupon. His latest post, Portfolio of Schemes, asks for help in getting unstuck from a lifelong pattern of continually beginning new projects without taking any to fruition. Rick plainly is a creative, intelligent man, and his writing inspired me to share some thoughts about being mentally driven rather than heart centered.

Rick, I would say that you and I are both by nature mentally driven. Anyone who is having an existential crisis and pauses to list a host of creative ideas certainly fits that category. Not that there is anything wrong with a host of creative ideas, I find them a blast myself.

However, the clue is that you are trying to think your way out of a hole created by thinking in the first place. Notice it getting deeper?

The mind is a great tool, but that is just what it is, a great tool. Handing the steering wheel of one’s life to a great tool has some severe drawbacks, which you have been noticing. The steering wheel really belongs in the hands of one’s own heart centered awareness.

Does this mean being squishy emotional? No. The heart accesses a wider range of information in a different manner than the mind. As such, it is in better position to choose a path that is holistically satisfying.

This does not mean the heart ignores the mind. The heart is informed by the mind as the mind does what it does well. But the heart is informed in other ways as well. The mind is only one tool, not the be all end all.

By now your mind may be looking around wondering where the heck this heart centered awareness is, or if this wacky lady is just talking through her hat.

Our culture is heavily slanted towards developing a mentally driven approach. Those with sharp minds easily embrace it. An integrated mental/emotional awareness is lost in the process.

Different things can hinder opening a heart centered awareness. Massive amounts of stored pain certainly hinder it. If one looks at one’s heart and sees a thorny thicket of pain, the first inclination is to slam the door shut on that direction.

Diving into the thorns can lead to wallowing in pain and misery, an unattractive path indeed.

Sometimes we just need a large machete. Leap into the thorns and go straight through them to experience and clear the stored pain. A gritty process, but one that leads us past the pain. What lies beyond is a grace filled heart centered awareness, to state the obvious here.

In other cases, the heart does not appear to be a thorny thicket of pain, but maybe is simply elusive altogether. No skills have been developed to work with it and it is missing in conscious action as a result.

In any event, get out the machete and deal with the thorny thicket if necessary. Then discover how the heart works and how to access the wisdom it can provide when retrieved from the thorns or the closet into which it has been stuffed.

Honor your mind but learn to keep it within its appropriate tasks. Honor your heart and learn to listen to it.

Only in your own healed and fully functioning heart will you find a sustaining motivation and direction for your life. Rick, I wish you well in the adventure of changing an unsatisfying pattern in your life. May you access your own deeper wisdom and joy in the process!

Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2008. All Rights Reserved.