Tag Archives: rut

Intent of the Day: Consider Something New


We can all find ourselves in that rut. The rut can come in all shapes and sizes. It can look like a routine that has zero excitement and 100% consistency. It can look like constant tiredness. It can look like a brick wall we keep running into, metaphorically or literally. We can find ourselves stuck and stuck can look different for everyone of us, but restlessness, frustration and hopelessness are things we can all understand. What do you do when you’re stuck? The truth is the hopelessness can start to feel comfortable and it takes a lot of energy and effort to get your brain to think and do something different, but if want to stop running into the brick wall, we gotta find the courage and the strength. Our intent is to consider something new!

You ready for that? Here are 3 things to help you do the same: Continue reading

In a Rut? Five Steps to Get Unstuck


The days roll by and sometimes you might wonder, “What did I do today? Did I get any closer to my goals and dreams?” Life gets busy and you get focused on what has to be done, not what you want to do. Your goals could be anything from finally losing those last 5 pounds to changing your career or moving to a new location.

Maybe every January you make the resolution that “this year will be THE year” but then before you know it, December rolls around and you are making the same resolution for next year. For many people, the rut just gets bigger and the opportunity to escape it seems less and less likely.

There are many very legitimate reasons why people get stuck in a rut. Life really is demanding at times. There can be health issues, family issues, and financial concerns, and sometimes the focus has to be on the emergency at hand, not on the dreams to come. But no one wants to feel unfulfilled and as if life is one big unrealized dream. What can you do, even in the midst of your daily life, to get unstuck and start to take those steps forward to the long-held dream?

Here are the five key steps to getting unstuck and moving toward where you want to go: Continue reading

Feeling Stuck? Put It on the Back Burner

Archimedes figured out how to determine how much gold there was in a crown while lying in the bath tub. While dozing by the fire, Friedrich August Kekule had a dream of snakes that allowed him to understand the structure of benzene. For both of these scientists, the answer came when they stopped “thinking” about the question and did something else. They put their problem on the back burner and suddenly the answer popped into their minds.

Has something like this ever happen to you? You aren’t sure about something. Rather than thinking about it over and over, you get up and take a shower. Or go for a run. Or listen to music. Or watch TV. Suddenly the solution pops into your head—that day or the next, or maybe a week later.

Brain scientists now know why this happens. It’s because when we focus on something, there is a part of our brain that is trying to help us concentrate by cutting off access to the rest of our brain. When we “give up,” that part turns off and we are in touch with all of our resources. Isn’t that ironic? By trying to help us, it actually hinders!

The problem is that, because we’ve never been issued the driver’s manual to our minds, most of us believe that we need to focus even more. And that can actually prevent us from finding a solution. According to Robert Cooper and Ayman Sawaf in Executive EQ, for instance, working too long at mental tasks can cause your problem solving time to increase by up to 500 percent. In other words, the more we try to stay focused on a task, the worse we get at doing it.

Next time you’re stuck or want to think creatively about something, don’t try to work on it. Go for a walk, play golf, draw, talk to a friend about something else. Notice if a solution comes.



Ruts- Turn them into Rhythms!

I had tried all the tried and tested versions of rut busters lately, sadly to no effect. One day it would go but the next day it was again there like a wrecking monster of my life. The thing that amuses me is there actually are good ruts and bad ruts and mind sticks very persistently to the bad ones. I could never form a good rut or may be having a rut never appeared good to me. Any rut after all is bad. Balance is very important here – Not letting anything become a rut, even a positive thing, because the moment it becomes one, it becomes boring, one can’t tolerate it. So how do we do it, where is that magical formula that one can take for a week and be done or a wonder course of about two days that works as a quick fix or for that matter even these blog posts that would supposedly help one out? Here are a few tips: Disclaimer: Use at your own risk, Satisfaction not guaranteed–

1. Recognize the rut and look for its deeper meaning. For example, if you are in the habit of getting up late in the morning and starting your day late, see if it is some element of work that stops you from looking forward to your day and hence the rut.

2. Curing the symptoms won’t work for long and rut would always come back. Roots have to be shaken. How?? Going for a movie, going shopping, doing something totally new or different would give you a little nudge but rut won’t budge. Look for the deeper conflicts within yourself that make you stick to something that actually you don’t like or is not serving you well- Meditation and breathing exercises help in energizing the mind opening it to the vast awareness.

3. Accepting the rut: After recognizing the rut and looking deeper, accept it. If you would resist, it might persist. May be a rut is needed as a temporary phase in your life. Do not panic, do not give up, do not surrender. Keep working on it. Rely on the fact that once you have done enough of something, once you are totally shaken by extreme boredom, you won’t sit quiet, you would fight it out. So, let it expand, not literally, but in your mind. Believe that change is the only thing constant and even the most persistent things have to change in time. Your control is merely an illusion. Don’t go crazy with trying different rut busters everyday. Just be patient and kind with yourself in dealing with them.

4.This tip works in almost one hundred percent of the cases: Set a deadline or some kind of commitment with another person, company, group, place that would help you getting out of this rut and will push you towards something that you never could have finished otherwise. Talk about it to people. Let them know that you are going to be there, let them be the people you cannot let down in any case.

5. Sometimes rule#4 doesn’t’ work, which usually means that the Rut disorder is not only chronic but also severe. On such occasions, pray to the almighty for the extra will power, strength and motivation. Look back at times when you have had fought greater battles with ease. Get support of your loved ones.

6. Doing something to get joy or getting somewhere either puts people off when they don’t really get there even after handwork. They stop trying. Sometimes when it works, they start believing that they have formulated some law. So that now when they follow this exact protocol and they know this would happen. With this mindset they make a hypothesis, then it turns into a philosophy and they strictly follow it because they fear if they try any other way, it might not work. This becomes a positive rut, if it keeps serving them well; inflexible attitude and narrow mindedness, if they become too possessive about it overlooking hundreds of other possible ways. Worse happens when one day all of a sudden they become prisoners of it, and remain so, even when it doesn’t work for them anymore. So, what is the final solution–doing things knowing that you are joy, doing things spontaneously and balancing it well with day to day responsibilities, competitions, deadlines is important. I have seen that I can’t do something I don’t like. In past I had done those things out of compulsion or because it was need of the hour but not anymore. May be rut is a way of telling you to cut loose those ends that don’t serve you well. In that case listen to it and select what works.

7. Final point: While adding the final point I changed the title from Ruts-The worst Nightmares to Ruts-turn them into rhythms. The difference between a rut and a rhythm is intricate balance. Balance leads to harmony. Everything that exists in nature follows a pattern, a cycle. But it has a rhythm. It is because of harmonious existence of one thing with the other that such a pattern is so beautiful and we never get bored of it. Spring comes after the winter and then comes summer followed by the fall. Everything around us and within us changes with it acclimatizing and we live in harmony with our environment. If there were only a season, then no one would have liked it. Watch for harmony in your life. How much in balance with all the aspects of your existence you are? Focusing on it would lead to sweet surrender yet affirmative active life and there won’t be rut, there would just be a rhythm.

People change and so their likes and dislikes too change. You live one life at a time. There is no point wasting such a beautiful journey which is all about diverse experiences, waiting in a single color painted four walled apartment. Only if you live with faith on God, yourself and the world, only if you feel that you are love and joy yourself and life is not to be taken too seriously, would patterns disappear. All of the knowledge and human support and practices need to be combined together and utilized for the same.




Spiritual Stagnation: What Is Missing In Your Life RIght Now?

If you approach life as a student matriculating through levels of spiritual growth, what most people call ruts are more like semester breaks. Or, to switch metaphors, if you’re on an ever-ascending spiritual path, the ruts are plateaus. In my own life, and when working with people who feel spiritually stagnant, I find that the feeling of a rut comes with a sense that something is missing.

Therefore, the usual question—“Should I stop doing what feels like a rut?”—is incomplete without also asking, “What else can I do?” We are fortunate nowadays to have a vast curriculum to choose from—although the number of choices can be paralyzing in itself. In that context, I find it helpful to think in terms of the four classical yogas, or pathways.

1. Jnana yoga, the path of the mind. Generally speaking, this is the road traveled by those inclined to study sacred texts and contemplate spiritual concepts. In its purest form, however, it trains the aspirant to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the perishable, the Self from the non-Self, the Truth from illusion. The ultimate goal is to transport the mind beyond itself, to the realm of absolute spirit. The approach of learning, however, can serve the interim purpose of giving us insight and fresh understanding.

2. Bhakti yoga, the path of the heart. Worship, devotion and love are the hallmarks of this road. It is favored by those who are driven more by feeling than by thought. The object of worship might be a god-like incarnation such as Jesus or Krishna, a revered figure from religious history such as Buddha or the prophet Muhammad, or a living personage such as a guru or a revered cleric—any of whom might be adored as a representative of the ultimate Reality. For some, the focal point of devotion is a spouse, a child or the unspoiled natural world.

3. Karma yoga, the path of action. Favored by individuals who are drawn to the pursuit of worthy goals, this approach demands ego-free detachment from the fruits of one’s efforts. One works selflessly, with no thought of personal gain and with complete absorption, as if every action were an offering to the Divine.

4. Raja yoga, psycho-physiological path. This pragmatic path emphasizes the disciplined use of mental and physical practices. Meditation, prayer, yoga postures, chanting, breathing exercises and the like are systematically used to open the mind to the Sacred and to cultivate within the nervous system the capacity to sustain higher states of awareness.

Those are the four broad pathways, and aspirants will favor one of them over the course of their lives, according to their personalities and preferences. But few of us confine our path to only one. We incorporate elements of all four, because they complement one another, and the proportions shift as our developmental needs change. That’s why the perspective is useful when ruts/semester breaks/plateaus come along. It can help you sort out the possibilities when you ask yourself, “What do I need at this stage of development?”

Maybe what you need to move into the next phase is something for your mind. Do you need to gather information? Learn something new? Find out what wise ones have to say about something that perplexes you?

Or do you need some bhakti? Maybe you’ve been in your head too much, and what seems like a rut is your heart calling out for some nourishment. What would crack open the love? Worship? Chanting? A silent walk in nature? Spending time with children?

Maybe the rut-like feeling comes from thinking about your problems too much. If so, maybe you need a dose of karma yoga. Serve a cause. Volunteer. Do something entirely selfless for someone.

Or maybe you need to shake up your nervous system with a new practice of some kind. A different type of yoga? A new form of meditation? A fast, or a different diet?

You get the picture. The point is, instead of focusing on what feels boring or dull—the rut itself—shift to what might be missing and how to fill the void.

I looked up the origin of the word rut. It shares a common ancestor with route and roar. Somehow, I find that inspiring. A rut is on the route to higher being, and we can burst through it with a roar.

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