Getting unstuck: curiosity and your core-commitments.

Taken at Bend of Ivy Lodge, my training grounds. 

You find yourself feeling complacent, frustrated or oddly resistant to the people or projects you care about. No matter what you do, you blow up in conversations with your loved one, you put off that book you’ve been wanting to write, or you continue to feel stuck with a monumental to-do list. 

You’re not alone.  

In this moment, and in moments to come, we are all holding numerous commitments. Among these commitments there are several that are core to who we are. We will call these core-commitments – relationships/activities/events that hold something of deep importance, connecting us to innate values and value systems. Some of these may include our faith, our family, our career, our marriage … etc. 

Each of these core-commitments both require energy of us and create energy for us as they occupy space in our lives. When we provide attention to a core-commitment, that commitment is revitalized and activated. When we ignore that core-commitment, a gap forms and an emptiness is felt.   

Further, these attended and unattended core-commitments effect one another completely.   

And this may be you today: There is a core-commitment of your life (a piece of you) that you are leaving unattended and you are feeling stuck as a result. 

This is what happened to me. And I hope that by sharing it with you it will ease your suffering and lead you to greater fulfillment in your life. 

I went through a period of deep struggle with my faith recently. And that struggle caused me to cut out any time devoted to exploring my spiritual side – a core-commitment of great value to me. No more being curious about what was out there, no more reading or studying, no more attention to this part of me.  

Because of this, other valuable core-commitments of my life were affected: my marriage and connection with my wife was strained; my fitness schedule was non-existent; my work felt more taxing than ever; and my overall outlook on life was destructive at worst and bored at best.  

It was as if all of these other parts of me were grinding to a halt. 

Then, something entered my life that I wasn’t expecting, and brought me to this conclusion and the very offering of this article: you can get un-stuck with just a small dose of curiosity. 

I was lying in bed one morning when I received an email from a church I had attended back in college (the Heart). This email was no more unique than any other – “check out our new podcast” or something to that effect – but it came from a pastor I deeply respected, so I took notice. I opened the email.  

In that moment, still lying in bed, still fraught with tension and “stuckyness,” I experienced a lightness of heart.   

There was a notable moment where the tension released, the anxiety let up and curiosity came alive.  

Suddenly, I felt hopeful and expectant. I felt like a part of me was awake again. And that’s because it was. I allowed this valuable part of myself to come alive – to feel attended.  

And it was, quite wonderfully, a small dose of curiosity that allowed this to happen.   

I listened to a podcast about spiritual things. I had no judgement of myself or the message, and no expectations of what was to come.   

Since then, I have actively been feeding this curiosity every now and then – ensuring that this core-commitment is attended. As a result, my marriage feels full, I am regularly connecting with a fitness community and, well, I’m doing work like this – writing for you – and that’s something I love.  

So, I am here to share that if you are currently feeling this way – frustrated, resistant to yourself and your commitments, stuck – there is one small step you can take today.  

Be curious.   

Being curious is an attitude that is followed by action. It’s believing that something good exist for you and then acting on that belief; it’s wondering what could happen (not convincing yourself of what will happen) and going for it. And this action can be small.  

Listen to a podcast. Ask your loved one about their dreams. Write the first page of your book. Not expectations. No judgments.  

What is one small way you can show up and be curious in your unattended core-commitment today? I’d love to hear what you come up with. You can email me at coachandrew@appalachiancoaching.com . 

~  

With love and curiosity – Andrew 

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