In this fast-paced world, I use the term Percolate as a metaphor for how you can move forward with growing awareness, live in the present moment, and experience greater joy and peace. It’s a way for you to let your heart and mind brew powerful ideas so that your spirit floats to the top like the foam on your latte. No matter how stuck you feel, moving forward is always possible. Grab a cup of your favorite joe, put your feet up, and let your heart’s desire surface as we talk about how to get unstuck and beginning the percolation process.
Are You Stuck in Hamster Mode?
Once you’ve made up your mind to start percolating, it’s time to meet a very special critter. My family is the proud owner of an adorable hamster named Emma. She’s possibly named after a pretty young actress, but my 16-year-old son won’t fess up.
Anyway, she is really quite cute.
You’re probably wondering what hamsters could possibly have to do with percolating. Well, as a hamster owner, one thing I’ve become incredibly aware of is their behavior. Like human behavior, hamsters have their own way of doing things. Have you ever seen hamsters in their cages? They sleep all day and spend all night running endlessly on a wheel that takes them where? Nowhere! They run and run and, well, you get the picture—they run! They run in a wheel in never-ending circles over and over again . . . and they never get anywhere!
Let’s talk about being in hamster mode. Hamster mode equals being stuck. You might be stuck repeating the same behavior; or you might be stuck in a job, stuck at a certain weight, stuck in a bad marriage . . . just plain stuck! Whatever internal hamster zone you’re stuck on, it’s important to recognize and deal with it. My goal is to remove you from that place and get you moving in a more consistent, effective direction. My mission is to get you off that wheel to nowhere.
Step away from the wheel. Get off the wheel!
Imagine if the hamster got loose from its cage and off the wheel. What would happen? Getting out of hamster mode takes courage to step away from your comfy hamster zone. Let’s reflect on these important questions:
What gives you courage to ask, “Can it get better?”What can you do to make your life easier?What can you do to make your life better or more fulfilling?What’s your first step?Are you afraid or hesitant to take this first step?What messages in your head may tell you to be afraid?Can you substitute these negative messages with empowering ideas of what you can and will do?What holds you back from fulfilling your needs?
One of the most powerful enemies you have that can lead to your downfall ishabit. Habitual patterns of negative thinking can hold you hostage from change. Instead of making your usual to-do list, write an “I Can’t Because” list. While this might sound like yet another tool for losing your happiness battle, it’s helpful to see all of your self-defeating messages materialize on paper. After you’ve had a chance to reflect on this list, substitute these words of defeat with empowering statements in the present tense. For example, if you wrote “I can’t surround myself with supportive and caring people,” change that defeatist message into something positive that is happening in the now. Your new statement might read: “I surround myself with supportive and caring people.” See how much more powerful that is than, “I will surround myself with supportive and caring people”? This exercise is about empowering yourself in the present, getting past your fears, and living in the now.
Below is a list to help you on your journey to empowerment. But hold on for a minute—before you attempt to run through this list, stop and consider what I’m asking you to do. Choose one—yes, only one item from the list, and do that one thing today.
15 Ways To Empower Yourself and Get Unstuck
1. Love yourself, and accept your imperfections.
2. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes per day.
3. Forgive someone.
4. Smile and laugh.
5. Clear out clutter.
5. Be proud.
7. Eat healthy food.
8. Evaluate and reevaluate priorities.
9. Recognize stress in your life, and find ways to lessen it.
10. Appreciate yourself, your life, and those around you.
11. Give back.
12. Splurge a little.
13. Laugh at yourself.
14. Take a break.
15. Breathe deeply and say, “I am worth it.”
Have you chosen your one task? You’re probably wondering about everything else on this list. Well, I encourage you to pick one and only one thing per day or week. Don’t rush this list! After all, change takes time. And to be honest, the items on this list can’t be accomplished in five or ten minutes. Don’t rush them. It should take you at least several weeks to complete all of the activities on your list. Reflect and take the time you need.
Hamsters, humans—we all get stuck in a way of doing things.
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, Hay House author and founder and CEO of the Best Ever You Network, understands firsthand the challenges that life can bring and has worked with thousands of people worldwide to illuminate their light within and help them live their best life. She has a degree in communications and broadcasting; is a life coach, food-allergy expert, and anaphylaxis survivor; and is the host of The Best Ever You Show. Elizabeth and her husband and four sons live in Maine.