It was hilarious the first time my therapist ( we broke up quite a long time ago!) told me that I needed to learn how to get out of my own way.
“Dana, you need to get out of your own way.”
“How do I do that?”
“Well, you just do.”
(this was when I fired him)
I mean… how do you get out of your own way?
The thing is, I could have told you that I needed to “get out of my own way.” I was boiling in my own perfectionism, lamenting my past decisions, strung out on every legal speedy-making substance (coffee, sugar, energy drinks, cigarettes, you name it) that you can find… and I couldn’t move forward. The problem was that I just didn’t know HOW to get out of my own way.
It took me a handful of years of trial and error to figure this out for myself. And feng shui was very helpful in this regard. After all, if you remove the physical blocks from a space, you have more space to think clearly, and to make better decisions for yourself.
Today I am going to share some of what I learned and did to get out of my own way: creatively, mentally, physically. Some of it may seem unusual. It was my way. My hope is that perhaps it can help you find your own unique ways out of self-sabotage, too!
One Person Show. My first steps out of self-sabotaging, creatively-blocked paralysis started when I signed up for an acting class that was rather famous and acted, well, like a smug chick for six months… until I was assigned to write and perform a personal monologue. I had to write a story of my life. It was 15 minutes long. It involved a hammer banging on a table to punctuate the big lines as I paced back and forth, and cried and finally felt the fog lifting of my own perfectionism. You can’t be self-conscious and present at the same time, banging a hammer on a table.
I had to let go of being interesting and start being interested in life again. In my own home, I did a whole lot to the helpful people/compassion area (the far right of your home along the wall that contains the entrance door).
Despite the pervasive idea that self-empowerment is a wholly self-focused endeavor, in feng shui in my way, it is compassion, cultivating relationships with other people and having empathy— in other words, being interested, rather than interesting— that empowers your life.
Move Away From Drama. I had to move myself out of the neighborhood filled with trendy, hyper-dramatic people that I flooded my life with when I was stuck. It’s funny: when you are stuck and frustrated, rather than reaching for people who are motivating and living their dreams, you tend to collect more stuck people. Or at least I did! I had to move myself out drama (it was like 30-somethings in High School) , and had to take responsibility for the fact that I chose the drama and I helped to create it. No one is bad or wrong, but some people are stuck. When you stick close to stuck people, don’t be surprised if you get stuck, too.
In your home & life, move away from drama that doesn’t want to be peaceful. Understand that you created it, and participated in it, but you can choose to stop that. Drama people are being interesting. It’s far more cool to be around people who are interested.
Learn To Be Quiet. I talk a whole lot about creativity, feng shui and making things personal in your home and life. I don’t talk enough about meditative silence.
Shutting down my cell phone for all but select calls at night, ending the TV white noise in the background of the house, even shutting off the radio in the car… these all went a long way toward helping me to get out of my own way as they eliminated static. Just like dramatic people create emotional static, lots of noise creates a fuzzy cognitive static. It becomes harder to think, to conceptualize, to create things.
Yes, music and great films and even TV might inspire you… but if you are looking to get out of your own way do it less and have more silence. See if the silence can help you to focus more and to flow more with what is in front of you.
Talking less is another part of the quiet equation that was very powerful for me. When you are talking, you aren’t doing. I learned for myself that talking about my creative dreams was a way to substitute for doing them. Once I started talking less, I started doing more. In New Jersey, the saying is “Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
Silence can make things more simple.
Take Spa Time.
In Japan and Korea, spas are less of a luxury and more of just something you do to take care of yourself. That’s how I have come to understand spa time.
Whether it is taking a bath at home, spending the day at a spa or even going to the beach (a nature spa!), time to rejuvenate in relaxation was my personal antidote to being strung out on caffeine and sugar and other speedy stuff that fragmented my life.
In essence, when you are sabotaging yourself, standing on your own way and blocked, your mind, body and soul feel all scattered. Have you ever felt that your mind, body and soul were not working as a team? That’s my analogy for knowing I need downtime.
Take enough spa time for yourself… in fact, overindulge to really rest your body, mind and spirit. Once you are thoroughly rested and replenished- you’ve had enough water to drink, and herbal tea, you’ve been massaged with enough moisturizer and you have done enough stretching as well as sleeping… now, do you feel like anything is possible?
Typically, I do! And I hope you do, too.
The whole ideas isn’t that you come upon a “Eureka!” moment that turns your life around and prevents you from ever being stuck again, though if you do have that happen I am both astonished and thrilled for you! The idea that is more feasible that anyone can do: discover ways to plug into peace, get integrated as a being and start connecting to life in more genuine ways… then design these into your lifestyle.
If you want to go so much farther into the land of creativity, I am creating a giant and dynamic camp- yes a camp!- to go wide and deep into the land of living in creative freedom and infinite potential and walk you through designing just that into your life. If you haven’t joined my newsletter yet, you may want to hop on it. Lots of creativity videos are coming soon…! xoxo Dana
And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui right now in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101. Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks. It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do. Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow. Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE… And, as always, please let me know what happens! xoxo Dana
Dear Dana, thanks for sharing this ! It works so refreshing and inspiring. So helpful. Xoxo
Super helpful post. Thanks, Dana. Looking forward to this camp you speak of! Being a follower of your blog, I can only imagine it will be full of color and light and other things of awesomeness, beauty, and simplicity.
🙂 !!! I’m so glad it’s helpful… and yes, the “catalyst camp” is going to be big fun! Spring to early Summer, it’s on! 🙂
Hi Dana! Any suggestions about a fireplace in the compassion area? I’m not reading good things about it! Thank you!
Not sure what you are reading, but its not a problem. The problem is when a space is way off balance. Too much fire is can be tempered by water or earth. Otherwise, there’s not really a “bad thing” 🙂