“Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure.”
~ Lemony Snicket
Yesterday’s post was all about using your imagination to create a day designed around one thing – giving yourself emotional satisfaction and pleasure. I was thrilled with your responses – it’s such a fun game and I really hope you take the time to play it from time to time, on your own or with loved ones.
I also received a trail of sad little messages in my inbox yesterday. They were all similar, but this one sums them up:
Dear Nicole, while I loved the idea of your magical carpet ride I couldn’t think of a single place I wanted to go, or any food that I would eat, or even who I would be with. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve drawn a blank. Is there something wrong with me? I feel like such a failure. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I love your blog, but I don’t think I’m any good at imagination games. All I know how to do is work. I’m just really stuck where I am. 🙁 Could you maybe blog about that?
Whenever we have that empty feeling, or it seems there is a big wall between us and that place where we know what we want it’s time to pay attention.
Common reasons for not knowing what we want include:
- Being physically, emotionally or mentally exhausted.
- Being in Survival Mode – survival mode is where we are functioning on reserve energy; doing the bare minimum to sustain life, pay bills and get through the day. In survival mode we think we cannot afford to waste even a shred of extra energy on anything non-vital.
- Being a low priority in our own lives. That’s a self-worth issue, honey!
- Having an ingrained belief that we are not worthy of pleasure.
- Having an ingrained belief that we can’t have fun until the work is done. Newsflash, people – the work will NEVER be done!
- Running on limited resources and worrying that if we don’t make the perfect choice we will waste time, money, effort or satisfaction. We are risk averse. Better to stick with something safe and reliable, even if it’s boring, than risk choosing something that doesn’t deliver, or, even worse, brings criticism from others. (Note – this is also a red flag that you are heading towards Survival Mode!)
- Fear that our choices will be judged, criticized or belittled by others. When we live in fear long enough we learn not to be visible or to do anything that may draw attention or criticism. We let others make the decisions for us.
- Social and cultural isolation – where our world has shrunk so small that we aren’t even aware of what choices might be available to us.
- Believing we don’t deserve pleasure, because of a past action, decision or some other choice we have made on which we judge ourselves negatively.
- Fear around taking time for ourselves or spending money on ourselves because we believe that unless we are 100% productive all the time we won’t be loved or lovable.
Sometimes all it takes to break free of this stuckness is to simply acknowledge that we ARE stuck, and to feel around for WHY we cannot connect to dreams any more.
Without hope, without dreams for tomorrow, life becomes colourless and meaningless.
If you’re one of those people who is stuck and don’t know what you want, that’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. What you need is some inspiration.
So read books, watch movies, go to travel agents and get some brochures, or browse online. Research and ask others what they’ve enjoyed. Try to make a little room in your life for possibility. Make a little room in your life for self nurture and self care. Reach out and make some new connections. You’ll be amazed at how, once you give your heart and imagination a little room, that the road begins to open up in front of you again.
This technique of ‘exploration through information and connection’ works for fantasy magical carpet days, relationships, holidays, jobs, homes, and other matters close to your heart. Why don’t you try it and see for yourself?
Much, much love to you, ♥ Nicole xoxo