What Happened?
Julie Jordan Scott

Idyllic.  If the day had to be described in one single word, that would be it.  Your afternoon is spent whiling away the time in a rowboat on a serene body of water.  You have chosen to surround yourself with those you love the most dearly.  Together you are enjoying the lusciousness of a late Spring day. The air smells great, the sunshine is perfect and the company is divine.

After you have been enjoying the scenery for a while, you notice something a bit unusual.  Nothing is changing.  The boat is not moving. 

You put the oars into the water and stroke.  Still nothing.

Peering over the side as you try not to tip your entire group, you experience a revelation that groans from the depths of your being.

You have landed squarely in the middle of a sandbar.

Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.

No matter what your role is, you will experience bumping into a "sandbar" from time to time.  You will experience stuckness at some point, even if it is for a split second.  It's exactly because of this that you will want to be aware of ways to insure you do not have to wait very long for the tide to come up so you can once again enter smoothly into the flow.

These techniques are for everyone: computer programmers get stuck while working towards a technical solution.  Parents get stuck while dealing with a challenging phase in their children's life.  Artists get stuck when crafting a work of art.  Business people get stuck when the current campaign hits opposition or unexpected snafus.  Public officials get stuck when they hit an unexpected leak in their budget and have planned for assets disappear.

And then again, none of those blocks are mutually exclusive:  anyone may hit a block or get stuck at a sandbar at anytime.  Finding yourself stuck in and of itself is not "wrong" it simply is what it is.  It is your privilege and opportunity to learn from it.

Thomas Szasz said "People are afraid to rock the boat in which they hope to drift safely through life's currents, when, actually, the boat is stuck on a sandbar. They would be better off to rock the boat and try to shake it loose, or, better still, jump in the water and swim for the shore."

There are those who act as if drifting is superior to partnering with the people in the boat to create a different experience.

These same people may speak as if drifting is objectionable and yet take no action which is consistent with that speech.  It begins and ends with talking.  Nothing happens.  The boat and all its occupants stop feeling so heavenly.

In the movie Grand Canyon Steve Martin portrays a character who has a brush with death following a stabbing on the streets of Los Angeles. 

Suddenly he is interested in the beauty of the sunrise. 

Suddenly he is no longer interested in creating schlocky movies which glamorize violence.

Suddenly he has a desire to create something of significance.  As he is wheeled out of the hospital into a waiting limousine he tells his friend, "I don't want to talk about it.  Something about spending a lot of energy talking about it may keep me from actually DOING it."

In other words, he is saying his project is much easier DONE than MERELY said.

The simplest way to insure you will not get stuck on any sort of "sandbar," carefully observe what you do as you approach the various pieces and projects which combine to create your life.  You may follow this checklist and you may use this as a springboard to craft a similar list.

1. What percentage of time do I spend continuing to talk, talk, talk about a project without taking any intentional forward action in relationship to it?

2. Is my concern about "how-to" make my plan work stopping me from making the necessary connections to bring it to fruition?  Who do I know who I can partner with to solve my "how-to" stuckness?  Or who do I know who knows someone else with whom I can create a partnership?

3. Am I only looking at the huge leap from where I am today to the end result or am I looking at what's next in creating a bridge from this moment to the next and the next and the next and eventually to my desired result?  What can I do to look at both the larger picture AND stay firmly in that particular

4. What daily practices am I using to continue to attract new energy, creativity and breathe life into my project?  Am I meditating, free writing, praying, mindfully exercising or setting aside special time to remain firmly grounded as I look vividly towards the future of my dreams?  Am I using each moment optimally or am I stalling by just talking about consciously doing my practices?

5. Am I giving more power to minutia and details while allowing myself to fall into overwhelm rather than staying firmly in conscious, mindful, deliberate action?  What can I do to simply stay balanced in what is really the most important:  maintaining a peaceful level of movement, continually in the flow.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said, "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."  It may take getting out of the boat, it may take collaboration, it may take doing something you never thought you could do. 

The best way to get off the sandbar and stay successfully off the sandbar is to consistently and consciously take action in the direction of the flow of your life.

Julie Jordan Scott.  Julie is a Personal Success Coach who left her career as a government bureaucrat and built a successful business in less than six months.


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.