6 Powerful Tools To Get Unstuck

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There is being stuck and then there is being STUCK. Knowing these deep, dark levels of stuck all too well, I know how hard it is to take any steps to get unstsuck. When you get to the point of not even knowing what it would mean to be unstuck, it’s damn hard to find the mental strength to change things.

We always talk about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but even that is hidden from us. We are in darkness. And that is scary.

I see you.

Trying to jump from complete darkness into light is only going to leave you with more doubt and hopelessness. We need to start with a tiny spark.

How the Light Comes
I cannot tell you
how the light comes.
What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.
That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.
That it loves
searching out
what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.
That it has a fondness
for the body,
for finding its way
toward flesh,
for tracing the edges
of form,
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.
I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.
And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still
to the blessed light
that comes.
—Jan Richardson

At this point, you are just going on some blind faith that things can be better, even if you can not envision how they can. Well, if we are honest, most days you don’t even have that blind faith so you just have to hold on tight and see if maybe you can get there. Welcome to mental warrior school.

The first thing you will need is a toolbox. Nothing overwhelming here, I promise.

When I was at my stuck-iest, I was in a huge anger phase after finally understanding that my husband is a gaslighting narcissist, I had no income, no idea of how to generate an income, I was a year behind on school payments, who I thought was my support and soft place to land tossed me to the wolves, my house was literally crumbling to pieces (this list goes on for another mile), and I was exhausted from being awake all night spinning in my head with all of this. I saw no way out. I didn’t know where out even was. I saw no future, no happy ending.

When you are at this level of stuck, there is a lot of advice out there (online or from well-meaning friends). Most of this is probably great advice. But not for you. Not now.

If you try, for example, a lovely guided meditation where you envision your future self, the result will probably be that you are now scared shitless because you couldn’t see any future self, only the same stuckness. And, if you did happen to get a glimpse of future you in a perfect life, your body probably immediately felt tight and full of anxiety, doubt, fear, disbelief, you name it.

Your FEELINGS were not lining up with the pretty vision. That meditation which works like magic for everyone else just put you in more darkness and now you are certain that you are a complete (fill in whatever bad name or label you put on yourself here).

Take a look at that quote over there. “When you feel the emotion of it, you have nailed the vibration of it.”

This, my stuck friends is why vision boards, positive thinking, and manifesting should not be in your toolbox right now. You simply are not ready.

You create the perfect vision board and say your positive affirmations, but it is all out of alignment with how you are FEELING. You are a knotted mess on the inside. You have piles of debt and stare at a picture of a mansion. And the debt keeps growing. Where is the damn mansion? You are actually chasing it away because your vibration is one lined up with debt and all the icky, nasty feelings that come with it. Looking at that mansion only creates more feelings of lack. And so now your vibration is even more full of lack.


So, please, set down the big tools for now.

The first thing we need to do is allow the tiniest of sparks to come. For many years I had been drawn to the work of the Heartmath Institute. In its most basic sense, it is about creating heart coherence meaning that by FEELING positive emotions, the heart and brain are more in sync and the body functions better.

Instinctively, I was pulled to this as something that would really help me. But, I got immediately frustrated and defeated because I just couldn’t do it. (I’ll talk more about the process below when I lay out the tools.) I was trying to jump from complete darkness into the bright, sunny light which of course did not work, so I gave up. And I now had even more evidence that I was a special case, so much worse than anyone else, and would be stuck for eternity. No heart coherence for me. I was broken.

Many years after my initial go with HeartMath, I was in a Zoom meeting for business and the presenter stressed how important mindset was. She went on to share a very simple technique which happened to be from HeartMath. Ah, so the message you are meant to hear will keep coming back and one of those times, it will be a fit.

Remind yourself of that when you try something you feel is THE answer and it turns out not to work. Don’t judge yourself, don’t lose hope, just know that you are taking action in the right direction. It may work simply because today is not the day.

This time when I leaned toward the HeartMath teachings, my perspective was different. I didn’t try to jump directly into a pool of light.

I saw the itsiest little spark and I relished it. I felt grateful for it, loved it, hugged on it, and allowed it to be a tiny bit of hope. A little spark of light.

Before, I would have judged that my session was a complete dud. A failure. That something was so wrong with me that I just couldn’t do it. But this time, I didn’t focus on the darkness that was all around.

I focused on that tiny spark. Whenever my mind started looking into the darkness, I pulled it back and forced it to look at that spark. Sometimes the spark was so darn tiny I thought I was imagining it.

With just that little opening into the darkness, not only did that little spark start to slowly grow bigger, but other little sparks started to appear. Synchronicities started to happen. Things that seemed like coincidences but I no longer allowed myself to brush them off as such.

All of this is to say that this is work. You’ll have some really amazing moments followed by a return to focusing on the darkness. But by being aware and allowing yourself to be in wonder of the tiniest little bits of light instead of feeling the pressure to have it all happen at once, you’ll get there.

The tools I’m going to list are the ones that I found to be the gentlest, the least threatening, and the most doable when taking big steps was not an option. They seemed to take the pressure off and let the sparks sneak right in.

I often did a mix of tools. I made a point of never forcing one that may have worked wonderfully yesterday but today made me feel resistant. I pulled from the box what I could do with ease and that I could feel in my body. There are a zillion other tools and techniques out there and I encourage you to create your very own personalized toolbox.

Tools For The Mental Warrior to Get Unstuck

Try them all out, mix them up, tweak them. When you are starting from a very dark, very stuck place, seize those little windows where you feel light and it is easier to connect with the good feelings you are trying to create. For me, this usually happened when I was walking to pick the kids up from school. The movement, plus the lovely sun and breeze took the focus off of me TRYING and it felt more natural. Weird as it is, when you’ve been in the land of stuck, those first times that you feel the sparks of light and hope, it feels terrifying. Well, it feels exciting at first and then super uncomfortable.

  • Tools For The Mental Warrior
    • Tapping or EFT
    • Ho’oponopono
    • The Breath Technique
    • Heart Coherence
    • Lofty Questions
    • Subliminal and Guided Sleep Meditation
    • A Mish-Mash Combo of Tools

Tapping or EFT

I almost feel like tapping had been shoved at me for years. I was always like, “yeah, yeah, it’s great, makes sense, lots of breakthroughs, blah blah blah.” So if your reaction right now is to skip anything to do with tapping, I hear you. But I’m going to lovingly tell you to stick around.

Let’s talk about the very basics of what tapping is. Tapping, also referred to as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) came to be in the 1970’s when a group of doctors began stimulating acupuncture points to help their patients deal with stress and phobias. The idea is that the body’s energy travels along specific pathways. By stimulating certain points on these pathways, you can improve the flow of energy. Instead of using needles to stimulate these energy points, tapping is able to stimulate through touch, in a similar way to acupressure.

EFT further brings in psychology to complement the stimulation of the pressure points. While using your fingertips to stimulate a certain point, you also touch on certain emotions. The two-part technique works to calm the nervous system, rewire your brain, and balance the body’s energy. It’s a way to calm the body down and process negative emotions

There are numerous studies that show some really amazing results from tapping. Things like a 90% drop in PTSD with veterans after 6 weeks of EFT therapy, a 43% drop in cortisol levels (stress hormone), a significant drop in distress, physical pain, and food cravings after just 4 hours of tapping therapy, relief from anxiety, depression, weight issues, the list goes on. If stats and studies get you excited, here are some links to the in-depth studies to get you started.

When I was at my stuckest and was so overwhelmed that all the proven techniques simply could not reach me, I finally decided to give tapping a try and I credit it with helping me to see my very first sparks of light. I think that by having the guided therapy and by physically doing the tapping, the overwhelmed mind has a chance to finally let go, if only a tiny bit. And by letting go, you make room for those sparks.

There are so many great teachers and resources for tapping, and I encourage you to explore. My absolute favorite in the field is Dawson Church as I never feel like he wants anything other than to help. It’s freeing to work with someone who never gives the feeling of having an agenda. Plus he’s funny, ridiculously smart, a great explainer of BIG things, and has a wonderful accent and comforting voice. You can get started with a completely free 21-day tapping course HERE.(affiliate link) It’s less than 10 minutes a day and a wonderfully gentle way to take some action that maybe you have found hard to do.


Don’t run and hide. I promise that this is not as woo-woo as it seems. In a nutshell, Ho’opnonopono, besides being really fun to say, is an ages-old Hawaiian technique of forgiveness. A lot of make-money spiritual freaks jumped on it and have really bludgeoned it, so I can understand if you have a stinky look on your face right now. Over the years, I would hear about it and think, “oh that sounds lovely” only to be repelled by the way it was presented. So, let’s just shove that ickiness to the side and focus on how stinking beautiful and healing Ho’oponopono is.

What exactly is Ho’oponopono? It is an ancient Hawaiian technique of reconciliation and forgiveness. There is a long history of it and similar practices in many Polynesian cultures. I’ll skip the history and come to recent history when the practice of Ho’oponopono was popularized (and tweaked) by Ihaleakala Hew Len. (Joe Vitale plays a big part in marketing and popularizing the practice, and I’m purposefully brushing over that part of the story simply because, while I do like Joe, he is pretty good at rubbing people the wrong way and giving airs of always putting money first.) Len proposes that in order to be free, you need to take absolute and total responsibility for everything. That’s EVERYTHING. Like going way back through your ancestors and taking responsibility for the shit that they did. Ok, that is pretty woo woo, but stick with me, please.

A loose translation of Ho’opnonopono is to “make right” or to “make doubly right.” Hmmm. So it’s about becoming right with others. Forgiving. Loving. And thus becoming right with yourself. It’s like a clearing or cleaning of all the junk that you hold onto and all the junk that your ancestors created and fills your world without you even knowing it most times.

What really spoke to me was the simplicity of it. It’s BIG and complex when you dig deep but you don’t need any of that to benefit. In a multi-day seminar I watched, Joe and Dr. Len liken it to a whiteboard that you are constantly erasing. Remember, when you can make even just a little space in your mind, you make room for what your soul really needs.

In the simplest sense, Ho’oponopono is repeating four phrases (in your mind though out loud if that’s your thing). I have an order that I like, but you can put them in any order you wish. Dr. Len even says that you don’t have to feel what you’re saying, just repeat over and over the four phrases which are:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

And guess what, you can make this even simpler. Cut everything out except “I love you.” Direct it at the universe, at source energy, at the big dark space out there. Just send that out every time you think about it. So often being stuck is being disconnected from everyone and everything. We feel so alone. This simple practice will very gently start to filter little bits of light and connection back into your life.

I never really “went big” with practicing Ho’opnonopono, but I feel like I reached a level that really shifted things for me and created space. I feel like this, more than any other tool, is what allowed me to feel ease for the first time in decades. It is not something that I make a regular practice of these days (I did have it on my habit trackers when I first began) but it is the one thing that I know I can look to when I am falling back into darkness. On those days when I feel defeated and like I just don’t have it in me to do any of my mental work, I will nudge myself to just say “I love you.”

For a basic walkthrough of Ho’opnonopono, I suggest this FREE COURSE by Mabel Katz (affiliate link). She has a wealth of experience with the practice and often works alongside Dr. Lew which speaks volumes. The free course is more than enough to get you to the level you need for a simple and very helpful tool. Should you be sparked by the practice and want to dig deep, Mabel has some really amazing courses and seminars that you will looooove.

You can read my full post on Ho’oponopono HERE.

The Breath Technique

Over the years, I have tried many different breath techniques. But what I always found was that, the big deep breaths, guaranteed to relax me, always made me tenser. Somehow, I’d tighten up even more while trying to calm myself through breathing. Boo. One day, I was browsing through testimonials from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s page (Dr. Joe is mind-blowingly amazing and holy cow we’ll be talking a lot about him on this site.) One light-hearted testimonial caught my attention. It was about a guy who practiced “The Breath” and set off the airport scanner because of the concentrated energy coming from the top of his head. (Here is that video.) The airport agent said his scan looked like a unicorn! Say no more. I needed to learn this technique.

What you basically do is pull your breath from your groin all the way to the top of your head and you hold it there before slowly letting it out. This is another great, non-threatening tool. It’s something you can do whenever you happen to have a quiet moment to yourself. I started it after dropping the kids at school. Instead of heading straight home, I’d walk to the ocean and sit for the amount of time that was comfortable for me and do some of these breaths. No pressure. Just pulling that breath up.

Here is a talk from Dr. Dispenza explaining the how and why of the breath. Sometimes, especially when you are in overwhelm, all the extra explanations will be a hindrance. So don’t feel obligated to listen to it. Start the video around minute 8:40 and watch just until around minute 10:00 and again at 14:50.

Don’t get me wrong, this technique is actually quite advanced and quite difficult to do. BUT we are going for little sparks, here. I simply started by pulling my breath up and feeling it at the crown of my head. I didn’t even consider trying to get it perfect. On a scale of 1 to 100 in mastering this breath, I was probably at a 5 but it was more than enough to shift things for me.

Heart Coherence

This is another really simple, yet powerful tool. It is the one that I struggled with the most because I felt that I wasn’t “getting it.” I would feel like I was just a tightly wound, fiercely guarded, and absolutely stuck person every time I tried it. I’d think of a moment when I know logically that I held extreme gratitude, but trying to pull that feeling up and into my heart just wasn’t happening. It was frustrating and scary. Was I a monster? How could I think back to the first moment I held my baby and not feel softened and full of love and gratitude? Why was I just tight and closed off?

I finally had to let go of how I wanted this practice to go and just let it meet me where I was. I also chose times to try it when I was feeling good. In essence, you are balancing your heart with your brain. It comes back to the idea that you need to feel what you are thinking or else your vibration will be wishy-washy or doing the exact opposite of what you want. It’s why affirmations fail for so many. You look in the mirror and declare “I am a successful billionaire” or “I love myself” and yet you feel lack and self-hatred. Well, that sure doesn’t work, now does it? You need coherence.

When you can get your heart and brain working together, all of your energy changes. This technique is HUGE. And, lucky for us, it is quick and you can do it whenever you have a quiet minute.

If you don’t get the wow feeling of love and gratitude washing over you, please don’t judge that. Be gentle with yourself and where you are. Look really closely and see if there is a teeny tiny little spark there. Just a small bit of coherence forming. Take that, and relish it.

Here is the walkthrough of the technique to get you started.

Lofty Questions

This is a fun one. It’s something I learned from Christie Marie Sheldon and a great alternative to affirmations. Repeating myself here, but if you attempt affirmations before you are ready, you will end up pushing yourself in the exact opposite direction that you want. Why? Because the affirmation you are saying does not line up with what you are feeling. As you say “I have a wonderful marriage” but your mind starts screaming “the hell you do. You are a mess and no one could ever love you” guess what you attract? Yup.

Enter the super fun lofty questions. It’s like a perfect bridge to the land of affirmations. Instead of stating something as fact, you ask yourself a question. A lofty question. Somehow, this takes the pressure off. It doesn’t feel as threatening and scary and it gets you all kinds of excited. It gets your subconscious mind working to solve the question and start putting things in action.

My gentle path into lofty questions was to always make sure that I was already “up” when I did it. If I was feeling really negative or defeated, it was a no-go. My favorite time to do this was when I walked to pick the kids up from school. The movement helped. Lofty questions can be anything.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Why am I so full of energy and focus? Why is my bank account growing every single day? Why is my body so strong, toned, and flexible? Why do I attract such wonderful, kind, loving people into my life? Why does my work energize me and fill me with so much passion?

I want to keep the list short so that I don’t intercept your own ideas. Go wild with this. There are no rules.

The only other thing that I will say is that I hit a block so badly, that I couldn’t even manage a single question. Finally, I found one: Why do I love myself enough to ask myself lofty questions?

Find a way to work these in every day and see where they take you.

(I’m hesitant to post the link to Christie’s course (affiliate link) here because it is from back in the day of CD courses and hasn’t been redone. But since I got sooooo soooo sooo much from it, I’ll put it here in case a used one ever pops up for you at a decent price)

Subliminal and Guided Sleep Meditation

Yup. This is where I had to go when I found myself spinning night after night with worry and anxiety. I bought some nighttime headphones (these-affiliate link) and created a playlist on youtube of 8+ hour sleep meditations and subliminal meditations and anything at all that spoke to me in that state. I’ll list some of the ones I leaned on the most but I’d suggest that you surf around and find what will work for you. This is like a visit to the emergency room. We are looking to stop the bleeding and then we’ll get on to the other stuff.

Some of the ones I listened to were beyond wack-a-doodle but I didn’t care. I needed a way to sleep and to plant a few seeds of hope. And it worked.

Brainwave Therapy

Joe Dispenza guided night mediation (there are lots of variations of this that have been put up, so shop around for the one that works for you)

The Gem Goddess

Abraham Hicks (many versions of this as well)

Like I said, I would just click play on anything I felt would get me through the night. Joe Dispenza was my starting point and I went in all kinds of crazy directions from there. This isn’t something that I do any longer which is pretty cool to see how all of these tools work at the time we need them. Oh! Also, note that a lot of these nighttime meditations contradict what I lay out above. That you are not ready for the future-self visioning or the manifesting. Ah, but therein lies the beauty. You’ll be soothed to sleep and not even consciously aware of what you are listening to. Does subliminal meditation work? Who knows. What I want for you is a solid night of sleep. If you get some amazing seeds planted in the process, we’ll call it a bonus.

A Mish-Mash Combo of Tools to Get Unstuck

The point of this toolbox is that it always feels accessible, doable, and non-threatening. So please please please please don’t get hung up on specifics. Don’t worry about setting aside certain amounts of time when you HAVE to do these. Don’t force. Don’t stress about exact techniques. These are your beginner tools and are made to be easy and to experiment with. They are here to get you used to utilizing tools. To help you clear even a tiny bit of space in your head. To take your focus off the dark and find some itsy bitsy little sparks to focus on instead. You may find Ho’oponopono interesting but, while learning about it, you tweak it around. Maybe what you end up doing is something a Ho’oponopno purist would slap you sideways for. I don’t want you to think about that. I want you to do whatever the heck you need to do to BREATHE, to shift, to feel even a tiny bit of hope. This is only a starting point. You are not to think about or worry what the next step is. Start here and be ok with that.

Ok, so now with all of that permission, let’s take it a step further. Feel free to take bits of one technique and pieces of another and mix and mash them together any way you want. For example, I like to take The Breath all the way up, and while holding it in, say the four Ho’opnonopno phrases. There are no rights, no wrongs. This is about you finally listening to your inner voice. Finally taking the time to seek out what works for you and what is going to start clearing the way for all kinds of bright sparks to fill up your life.

If being stuck is keeping you awake at night, check out my post about some techniques to get you to sleep and get your brain shifting at the same time.

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