Stuck? A Super Simple Shift that Can Change Everything


“Why do I keep attracting unavailable men?”
“Why can’t I maintain healthy boundaries with my mother?”
“Why do I still hurt so much, when we broke up so long ago?”
“Why am I so afraid to ask for what I want?”
“Why do I always feel taken advantage of in my friendships?”
These are some of the questions some of my clients have asked themselves, and me, in our sessions lately.
When it comes to self-inquiry, they’re certainly provocative questions and questions like these do have their place, for understanding patterns, or identifying blind spots.
However, they can also hurt us. Questions like these (especially when we think them repetitively) beat us down with the underlying belief that there is something wrong with us. There is quite often blame in a question that starts with “why.” 
There is a presumption of defect, convinced that things should be different.
Oftentimes, wishing it was we who were different. Here’s what we’re probably really thinking…
“Why do I keep attracting unavailable men?” Because there’s something wrong with me.
“Why can’t I maintain healthy boundaries with my mother?” Because there’s something wrong with me.
“Why do I still hurt so much, when we broke up so long ago?” Because there’s something wrong with me.
“Why” questions want to point fingers and place blame, and frankly, aren’t very productive, and can only take us so far. I’ve got an alternative.
The next time you find yourself pondering your life with “why” questions, stop and convert your inquiry into a “how” question.
Where “why” places blame, “how” opens doors.
Where “why” contains resistance (things/I/he/she/they shouldn’t be this way.), “how” creates possibility.
Where “why” focuses on the problem, “how” focuses on discovery and solutions.
Here are some examples…
Instead of asking “Why do I keep attracting unavailable men?” try asking “How can I become the type of woman that attracts emotionally available men? How can I release my attachment to this old pattern?”
Instead of “Why can’t I maintain healthy boundaries with my mother?” ask “How can I create a healthy boundary with my mother this week when I see her for dinner?”
Instead of asking “Why do I still hurt so much, when we broke up so long ago?” ask “How can I be more gentle and accepting of what I’m feeling, and allow myself all the space I need to grieve?
Can you feel the difference between “how” and “why” questions? Words have energy, and energetically, the difference is palpable, even without definitive answers to the questions, in even just the asking.
The secret is catching yourself in the act and consciously converting your inquiry.
Practice with a supportive friend the next time you are griping about why things are the way they are. Take turns brainstorming “how” questions until you run out, even without answering them.
Feel the spaciousness and possibilities in this new line of questioning. Feels like throwing open the windows of a dusty, cramped room, and letting the fresh air and sunlight rush in.
I love this practice in my own life, and I’ve seen it work wonders in the lives of my clients.
Our minds are busy little bees, so why not direct the flow of the buzzing, in the direction of potential, healing, compassion, acceptance and freedom?
Try it, and let me know how it goes! In fact, why not post a “why” question you’ve been stuck on and see if you can’t convert it, right here, right now. What have you got to lose, except maybe blame, finger pointing and stuckness.
Happy pondering!




In Honor of the Stuck Place

Stuck. Blocked. Creatively constipated… That’s what I’m feeling today. Perusing old blogs for new inspiration, I came across this one, first posted almost one year to this day, on November 14th. In fact, I think I wrote it on November 12th of last year! Interesting! Is mid-November a generally stuck time for me? Or is this just a curious coincidence? I’m not sure. Either way, I’m honoring the stuck place today by letting myself off the hook of having to write something brand new, and will re-share this blog from one year ago, trusting that it will meet you where you’re at, as well.  When Inspiration returns, I’ll be waiting for her with open arms. In the meantime, let’s honor the Stuck Place together… She’s a treasure, too, though highly under-appreciated. – Lisa Carmen

The Perfection of Stuckness

I am learning to trust stuckness as a vital and necessary stage of evolution.

I didn’t always. In fact, sometimes I still forget to trust my stuckness. You know what I mean by stuckness… That uncomfortable, icky place that feels like nowhere, nothing… Where you can remember what it used to feel like to be connected… To others. To yourself. To spirit. To your purpose. But in the stuckness all you feel is disconnect.

What if you simply allowed the stuckness, for a bit? Instead of resisting it, squirming in it, wishing things were the way they used to be, what if you decided to view the stuckness as a resting place instead of a black hole?

What if you trusted the stuckness as a stage, an essential stage in your life’s grand plan?

What if you simply cut yourself some slack?

Take a look outside… It’s mid-November. The trees are shedding their leaves, releasing their past, standing naked , seemingly barren.

Do you think less of the tree in the winter time, because it’s not producing blooms or leaves?

The tree trusts its fallow stage, for it knows that deep below, where its roots burrow into the earth, there is magic happening.

There is growth and change and evolution that we don’t see… The trees must experience their fallow time, in order to give us spring.

I think many of us are afraid that if we surrender to the stuckness, we’ll get swallowed up, forever fallow, lost in the darkness… We are so terrified of the darkness. We are so resistant to the stuckness.

What if you trusted your fallow time, and simply embraced it as a season? Knowing that seasons always change, and after the winter comes the spring, in all its brilliance, vibrancy, color and celebration.

What if you truly accepted the fact that the stuckness was preparation for the unstuckness, the dark is preparation for the dawn? Winter is preparation for the spring.

And whether you feel it or not, there is magic happening, even in your stuckness.