In a Slump?

Ever been in a slump? Depression creeps in. The world is grey. Nothing seems to go right. 6 feet, 5 inches tall, 240 pound Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, felt this hurt about a month ago. Passes intercepted, sacked without mercy, games lost. Before this, he had been one of the most efficient passers in the NFL. Known for playing outside the pocket, he thoroughly enjoyed what he calls “backyard football.” But the word on the street was he was finished. Washed up. Done. Lost. He was stuck.

Big Ben got so angry he even challenged the media, the merciless nemesis of football. He stood there in the locker room and told the journalists, “Maybe I’m done. Perhaps I don’t have what it takes anymore.” The reporters were shocked.

But Roethlisberger had faith in himself. He worked with his coaches and together they developed new plays and strategies. Now Ben and the Steelers are on a winning streak on the home stretch of the season. They are living unstuck.

Have you ever been in a downward spiral? One you can’t stop? Things in your life start to go sideways, and before you know it, you’re at the bottom of the heap. And up looks a long, long ways away. That happened to me when I was in my 30’s. And at the root of depression was anger turned inward. Yes, I was angry. Frustrated. Flummoxed. Unsure of where my life was going. The only thing I knew for sure was: I didn’t like the direction I was headed. I was stuck.

I turned to mindfulness, a process of seeing and appreciating the present for what it is. For reveling in my blessings, no matter how small. A turning point was hearing a story of a middle-aged woman who was trying to cheer up her aging father. She sat down next to him on the front steps of the house, and told him they were both going to think of 3 things they were thankful for—each day. He grumbled he didn’t have anything like that. She retorted, “Oh, yes, you do. Let’s start with where you are. You have a pair of shoes. Lots of people in this world don’t even have that.” And on they went. The last I heard he was up, helping the neighbors with the harvest. He was living unstuck.

Are you stuck in the doldrums? Challenges overwhelming? Start with the little things. Appreciate them. Live unstuck. #Unstuck living

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.

—Carol Burnett

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