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Posted: June 20, 2013

Stuck in the muck?

Four steps to free yourself

Teri Karjala

I am inspired by the numerous Facebook posts, cheesy emails and tweets that promote the “dream-big” mentality.  I’ like to pass them on. For me, they are the daily reminder that I can allow myself to play big.

Being inspired and maintaining a high level of inspiration takes work, but what happens when you suffer an emotional, physical or financial setback?

Over the years, I have often spoken about the concept of living in the “muck.” I am referring to the moment in your life when you are down on yourself, beating yourself up for one thing or another, consumed with self-doubt and not sure where you are going or if you even have the energy to get there.

The opposite is what I call “juicy” living. This is the fun part of life, when everything runs smoothly, when you feel happy and filled with energy, when everything is falling into place beautifully. Juicy living is when you catch all the green lights, walk with an extra bounce in you step and feel invincible.

But how do we return to juicy living when we find ourselves stuck in the muck? Try these four steps:

Stop what you are doing. The power of the law attraction is not on your side when you are going in a negative direction. You create just as easily in the negative as you do in the positive, so stop what you are doing. Change your environment to help change your thinking.

Get support. I know that you too are probably a “go-getter” and you can go it alone, but you don’t need or have to. I’m giving everyone permission right now to seek out support. I recommend venting for a few minutes when you feel the urge, then start looking for the gifts in that experience to help shift your thinking.

Exercise. We all know the health benefits of exercise for our physique, but what we have perhaps underestimated is the numerous ways in which it benefits the brain. According to experts, physical exercise releases feel-good chemicals, improving memory and increasing mental focus. A fun experiment involves setting a goal or asking yourself a question, then letting go and exercising. Whenever I do this, I always come away with an answer or solution and increased clarity on a situation. Try it and let me know how it works out for you!

Let go. This takes practice. Through letting go and releasing yourself from the outcomes, solutions, situation, etc. you begin to free yourself. When I “let go” of things, I use a physical reminder to make it more concrete. I take both of my hands quickly and forcibly rub them together in a wiping motion to signify that “I’m done and I am letting this go.” This comes in handy in circumstances that I have no control over.

Practice noticing when you’re in the “muck,” and practice these tactics to help move you back to juicy living.

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Thank you for these very wise words, Teri. I actually can use them right now! By Sandra on 2013 07 01
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