(Since my year-long project on exploring my resistance has me getting more organized as a way of supporting my creative flow, I am going through things I have written. I wrote this one a few years ago and then never shared it!)
Journal Prompts for when you're so stuck you just can't do your dream but you also can't just give it up
I went to see a friend I hadn't seen in a long time.
In the time I hadn't seen her, she sold her business, retired, moved, and dealt with several family illnesses and deaths.
She was telling me about her new creative dream - to write a book. It's a very specific book, and as she was telling me about it I realised.... she had told me about this before. Before all these big changes, before the pandemic.
She kind of winced. "Yeah, I have been wanting to do this a long time. I mean... I did write one chapter."
But the way she said "I did write one chapter" discounted what she was saying. Like, because she didn't make the progress she wanted to make, the progress she DID make is not valid.
We were quiet for a minute and then she said "It's just so hard"
I've heard that so many times from so many people and each and every one of them felt ALONE in it.
Like everyone else is happily writing and creating and getting things done and they are just all alone in finding this all kind of hard.
But it's hard for everyone.
It's hard for everyone and that hard is magnified by feelings of shame and failure and being all alone in it.
This is why I do my work in an ongoing community - so you can see that others are on the path with you and help normalize that it's just hard. (Join us here, it's amazing!)
When you accept that it's just hard then you don't have to get all emotionally tangled up about it being hard.
You don't have to be STUCK in the hard.
You can just face the hard parts and move through them. You take your power back. (I know it's not quite that simple, but I have a lot of tools to help you do this in Dream Book. It's absolutely do-able, with some time and work.)
It's hard because it's vulnerable.
Listening to your dreams is some of the most vulnerable work you can do. It touches on your deepest inner stuff because it pushes you to be more authentic in how you're showing up in your life.
That's vulnerable because of the reasons WHY you're not already being more authentic, creative, powerful and brave in how you're showing up in your life.
This is all very deep down hard wired and mostly lives in the shadows where you can't see it.
Working with your dreams makes it more visible because your dreams push up against this and asks you to bring healing and new possibilities to these places inside you.
So: Journal Prompts for when you're so stuck you just can't do your dream but you also can't just give it up:
Where are things really hard for you right now with your dream?
How does this feel? Where is this feeling in your body?
Stay with this. DO NOT move ahead to the next prompts, don’t try to get to the solution. Stay with the feelings until you feel you have fully described them. For bonus points: can you actually FEEL the feelings? Notice where they are in your body and focus on those sensations.
What are the other thoughts, feelings and questions that come up when you sit with how hard things are with your dream?
How can you validate all of these ways that you react to it being hard?
I can tell you: your thoughts, feelings and reactions ARE VALID. This is hard stuff! You’re doing great! But how can you validate this for yourself?
How can you think of yourself as a success for staying with this?
If you’re feeling like you’ve failed because this feels stuck, can you instead see yourself as being IN PROCESS? Instead of seeing yourself as stuck, can you see yourself as being incredibly brave because you’re still showing up?
Can you remember that creative dreaming is about answering your soul’s calling which includes a lot of inner healing and growth, and that your dreams often push you to face all the hardest things you have to face, all of the things you would much rather avoid, and so: it’s not that you are struggling with this, it’s that this is inherently experiment difficult work and no one moves through it in a linear way?
No one moves through it as quickly as they would like to. No one “feels successful” while they are in the middle of it. AND YET YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL HERE.
How can you offer love to the places in you that are hurting with all of this?
How can you offer love to the places in you where you feel stuck and small?
Really sit with this. Be with the sensations in your body, ask yourself what you need and give yourself some time to find an answer that feels right for you.
Can you trust that your inner genius is guiding you?
And that this means: if you have some really hard stuff going on and you feel stuck, that maybe being with this stuck is the right thing for you do right now? Can you see this as a part of your path?
Somewhere inside you, you do know how to work with this obstacle. What would help you get in touch with this part of you?
HINT: It’s RELALY hard to do this work when you are avoiding anything that you’re feeling. So you may need to repeat this process a few times before you start to get in touch with the answers… but I promise they are inside you.
Want more help with this?
If you're in Dream Book, you have a whole library of inner work practices here.
If you're not in Dream Book, check out my free courses, which include a healing circle for working through the hard stuff.
Dream Book members:
Come to the forum to share your thoughts or start a conversation about whatever you're working with.
Check out the calendar of upcoming calls. Make a plan to join us live or catch a replay.