Stuck is a desolate place to be.
Your body is moving forward, trying new things, but your spirit is locked into a paradigm of thinking that repeated, year after year, you’re not ok. You should be doing something else.
It’s amazing how we can convince ourselves that we’re one thing, when we’re really another. Deep inside of ourselves, in some dark, primordial place, we’re playing tapes. Tapes of the way things should be. Tapes we recorded to protect ourselves when we were young, to shield us from pain, to keep us safe. But the tapes don’t serve those purposes any more. Now they serve as shackles, to lock us in place. And the more often we play them, the longer we stay stuck, living a life of quiet pain.
Stuck in a place that we don’t belong, don’t want to be, and don’t need.
Because fear, in all of its manifestations – and heaven knows there are many – grabs joy, eats it and spits it out, convincing us that we’re among those unworthy of genuine happiness. And we acquiesce, thinking that nothing’s ever going to change, not really, no matter how badly we need it to.
But what if we stop playing the tapes? Where would you be able to go if you were really free of the paradigms that hold you in place?
Where could you go?
Maybe some place new, energized, reflective of all that you’ve learned, all that you’ve done and all that you hold dear? A new physical place – a change in where you live, where you work, where you expend your energy, where you love?
Or might it be a change in your spiritual place: how you live, how you work, how you expend your energy, how you love? Or how you feel?
Or maybe both?
We change things at the physical level with the spiritual intent of self development. We know something’s off, and to deal with that, we change our jobs, our location, our relationships. What we are actually doing by changing our physical situation is putting forth the intention of spiritual change, asking for guidance, allowing growth. Starting change in some small way leads to shifts in our perspectives about almost everything, and that can be overwhelming, as old perceptions (and the baggage that goes with them) finally falls away.
I’m Diana Baur, author, coach, artist and innkeeper. I live and work in the beautiful wine hills of Northern Italy, where my husband and I have restored an old abandoned farm into a creative, elegant B&B.
Had you told me twenty years ago that I’d have a B&B and art studio in Italy and that I’d be a published author and coach, I’d havecried at the impossibility of it.
I was a burnt out business excutive. Failure wasn’t remotely an option. It didn’t matter if I failed myself personally by not listening to my body or inner voice. As long as the outside world thought I was doing well, then I was doing well. It took just about every ounce of spirit I had just to get through the day back then.
I knew things had to change, and I did change my location – several times. Moved to Germany with my husband for his career path, learned a new language. Started an English Language consultancy, learned pottery under a ceramics master.
But I was still locked up. Stuck and dissatisfied with anything I did. Critical of my own art, my own teaching abilities. Instead of becoming more mute, the tapes were becoming louder, hurting me more, because I was more vulnerable, out of my comfort zone.
I discovered that it did not work to put myself outside my comfort zone physically yet to continue to hold on to the same old paradigms I’d always had. Doing so kept me from fully enjoying my life and all the wonderful things around me.
Then we moved to Italy. Bought an old farm to restore into a small inn in the middle of the most beautiful wine country you can imagine. I figured if I wasn’t happy living the dream, then I could simply never be happy with anything. The dream quickly dissolved into cement, plaster and tears, overwhelming construction and nightmares about financial loss, sore knees and worn out fingers, sleepless nights in stone-cold rooms too damp to heat, and the aching truth that I was fully unequipped, either physically or emotionally, to take on such a massive, challenging project.
I bashed my hands against the walls of this 400 year old stone house and cried out. Capitulated. You’re bigger than me, you’re stronger than me, I admitted in a heap on the floor.
And in that moment, I felt that this house was not only there to challenge me and bring me to my knees. It was there to protect me as I let go of my pain. The pain that had held me stuck most of my life.
It seemed that I had bought and renovated a 400 year old therapy session. My fears blossomed, bubbled to the surface. Some days I couldn’t leave my house. The shackles that had held me in place for so long started to unravel and instead of being afraid of touching my fear, I called it forth. I needed to look at it, give it air.
It was then that I embraced change fully, and stepped into the risk and reward of it. I let go of ruminating about ruin and getting things wrong, and started to try new things. Writing. Coaching. Teaching cooking and making new, interesting art. I started to love the life I was living, instead of pining for all the things I couldn’t have or could never be. The tapes fell into silence. And my higher self’s voice became clearer.
I love helping people find the courage to change. I spend hours on end with my guests and coaching clients talking about how change will mold us into people capable of doing things and creating realities for ourselves we never even fathomed.
We are on the precipice of something new.
It’s how we absorb our current situation that determines what direction our life will take. Do we resist? Block? Ignore? Do we see events as mere co-incidence, or do we search for a deeper meaning to the magic that unfolds before our eyes?
There’s something about the air here at my little retreat in the Piemontese hills of Northwestern Italy. Actors, creatives, doctors who spend half their time working for free in developing countries, designers, writers, restaurant owners, psychologists, moms and dads, brothers and sisters come and share the gifts they’ve learned along their paths. The power of this place, my little hill, where the leaves rustle, the vines grow and the seasons dictate everything, brings people back to themselves, to their essential energy and often leads them to question where they’re headed.
But you don’t have to be in Italy to reach whatever you want… self-determination through financial freedom, the ability to say no when you want to, the freedom to be who you are to everyone you come in contact with, time to dedicate to causes that move you. These goals are both simple and haughty, because while we can see them clearly, it might very well take everything we’ve got to manifest them.
Your arsenal is big. Much, much bigger than you think. If change has taught me one thing, it’s that we spend our lives underestimating what we’re capable of. Our abilities far outweigh our concept of ourselves. We can draw from the huge pool of experience that we have at our disposal, every minute of the day.
Often, simple steps are what’s needed for a successful sprint towards living the life and doing the work you know you want. Many times, it’s about seeing yourself in a realistic light, accepting your gifts with grace, affirming your boundaries, and controlling your own time and energy. Small, incremental steps like these can remove obstacles that have been blocking you for years. Your powerful arsenal of goodness and grace is waiting to help you towards finding the way back to who you really are and the life you want to live.
But first there might be a whole lot of ugly to get through. Because we get into nasty habits over the years that make it almost impossible not to need some sort of exorcism to change them. Things like material trappings, debt, taking our self-doubt seriously, being afraid of every worst case scenario we’ve been creative enough to dream up, making our partners and kids into real, viable excuses not to change ourselves, or simply not being able to stop other people’s judgments from killing our self-worth.
On the other side of change, there’s clarity. And that’s where we’ll walk to together. Towards clarity. Towards your own creative entrepreneurial world.
Towards knowing what’s the right thing for you. Towards the work you were created to do. Towards the love you were meant to live, give and be.
In 2013, I’ll be putting together workshops and retreats with special friends, new classes and coaching models, and many more blog posts geared to help you get clear.
Sign up for the blog and newsletter — I’ll keep you updated and informed on all the newness!
Thank you for joining me on this journey. It’s an honor to have you here with me.