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© 2014  Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M.  World Rights Reserved.

Stress, stuck, UpBeat Living, fear, Inner Critic


Feeling stuck, in small ways or large?  Here are practical ways to get unstuck!

On a daily or hourly basis, when we feel “stuck”, we may have trouble starting that 4-hour project or even that 30-minute exercise session.   Experts recommend we gather all the right props around us, to help us feel ready and organized for each task.  In addition, a mug of a favorite herbal tea, a coffee drink, a water, or a particular soda, may help us feel ready to accelerate into that task.  While I can’t find the research basis yet, many people tell me that starting to eat a handful of M&Ms™ somehow gets them in gear to start grading those papers.  For my clients who can, I recommend running in place for 2 minutes.  This accelerates blood flow and relaxes the shoulder muscles, which releases typical tightening of the neck muscles, thus releasing correct blood flow to the brain and energy within the brain.  This makes the task seem easier and go faster.  Try this before a task you normally dislike, like leaving for work or cleaning the kitchen.  If you can’t run in place, try gently rolling and stretching your shoulders for 2 full minutes.

So, on a larger scale, what holds us back from jumping into new experience?  What keeps us from stepping up to our greatness in new levels?  Is it simply fear?

Consider the concept of the  “Inner Critic”, or “IC”, for a powerful psyche function that inhibits action.  In a therapy context called “Internal Family Systems”, or “IFS”, the IC is the dimension of a person’s consciousness that says “you’re not good enough” or “you shouldn’t try that, because you’re not up to it.”  According to Bay Area therapist Bonnie Weiss, an IFS expert, the IC is trying to protect you from embarrassment, failure, and other dynamics, so it should be viewed as your friend.  The IC is trying to help you live well.  However, by holding you back, the IC can create the very thing it is trying to prevent: your failure.  The IC stands against your “Inner Mentor”, or “IM”, who is wise and helps you make adult decisions.  The trick is to get to know your inner parts, especially your IM, and get them cooperating with each other.  If your IC is keeping you from walking up to an opportunity and introducing yourself, try this simplified technique:  stretch each leg and each arm briefly, exhale, inhale, and notice the challenge seems more interesting and less intimidating.   Repeat.  Over the longer term, Weiss says, we should also cultivate practices that develop our sense of self, such as journaling, meditation, inviting in witness consciousness, and yoga.

What do you want to step up to in your life?  Why not step up now?  So roll your shoulders, shoulder up, and shoulder on.  Claim your life.


● Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition (http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc).  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

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