How to Get Unstuck from Any Sticky Situation
Last February, I had one of the strangest Airbnb experiences of my life.
I landed in Ho Chi Minh City at mid-night, hailed a cab to my Airbnb, feeling excited about taking a shower and rest. But the moment I got out of the taxi, I thought I had stepped in a crime movie.
Pink and blue neon lights flashed on the street. Beer cans and empty bottles lying around on the pavement. 5 meters from me, stood a middle-aged white man who looked as if the only shower he’d taken in the last 5 days was vodka. 3 drunk guys sharing one cigarette (or whatever that made them so damn high) asked me if I needed help to find the direction. No, thanks!
To make things worse, the place I rented was inside a maze. To arrive from the main street, my journey included: 10 minutes walk in dark, tiny alleys, taking 4 turns, and encountering a guy peeing in a corner.
No one was there to check me in. I dragged my luggage up 4 flights of stairs and opened the door to my room. It was beautiful and spacious. And I thought all would be well from there.
I took a hot shower, rested my head on the pillow, let out a long exhale…
That was when I heard: Bum bum bum… from a nearby dance club.
F***!!! This is not working!
I had a gut feeling that I should move to another place.
But I told myself:
- The room is nice. Finding something last minute will be expensive. You’ll waste your money. The host’ll be furious. Why go through all the trouble?
So, as someone who’s good at coping, I coped, sandwiching my head between 2 pillows.
The next day, things didn’t get better.
I got lost when trying to find my way to the main street and stumbled upon another guy peeing in a corner.
I felt stuck and frustrated. The thought of staying there for 6 more days made me want to poke my eyes with a chopstick.
But every time I thought of moving out, the same thoughts came up: “It’ll be expensive. You’ll waste money. It’ll be so hard… blah blah blah.”
Luckily, years of practice in observing my thoughts kicked in.
“Wait a minute…” I shook myself.
“What if my mind is telling me a story that isn’t true because it’s afraid of change?”
I felt a splash of energy in my body. I picked up the phone to look for a new place.
“It doesn’t hurt to try.”
On my very first search, I found 5 places with great location, great design, and surprisingly great price.
Being on a roll, I checked the refund policy and discovered that I’d get a small refund. I messaged my host. She wasn’t furious with me. Instead, she gave a sincere apology. I booked a new place. Paid for it. Checked out from the old place.
Just like that.
The whole process took less than half an hour.
The following morning, I took my luggage to my new Airbnb. It belonged to a safe and quiet neighborhood where I could sleep like a baby.
Did you see what happened?
If I hadn’t questioned that mental story, I would’ve had to cope with the noise every night, develop a terrible stiff neck, become too groggy to do my work, and who knows, see a guy peeing in a corner everyday before breakfast.
There’s a reason why renounced spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle tells us to
“Observe your thought, don’t believe them.”
We all tell ourselves a mental story about things that happen in our life.
Like when we date a narcissist, and we tell ourselves how “He just doesn’t know how to express his love.”
It is not the circumstances that keep us stuck. It’s the stories that we tell ourselves about the circumstances that do.
Imagine someone holding a 30 by 20 centimeters prison window up his face.
He is not locked up in a cell. He is standing on a meadow, free to go anywhere he wants to. However, he doesn’t know it.
He’s pressing his face so close to the window that he sees the world through thick metal bars. He feels imprisoned and powerless. He blames the world, blames himself. He forever stays where he is.
That’s how most of us live our lives.
We think we’re stuck in our relationship, in our job, in our addiction… But the truth is: we are not. What we need to do is simply drop that prison window made of limiting stories.
Then we realized we’ve been free all along.
Dear one, no one is there to physically stop you from doing what you love, loving the ones you love, having the experiences you love, and live your life the way you love living.
So whether you’re feeling stuck in your job, in your relationship, in your family drama, or… with your head between 2 pillows in an Airbnb, start to break free by wondering:
“What if the story I’m telling myself is not true…”
You’d be surprised by what you find.
That’s how you create a life that feels like freedom.
You drop the prison window, one situation, one story at a time.
And I’ll be over here on this vast meadow, waiting for you to join me running free.
P.S: Want to learn more about creating a life of freedom? Join me in my next workshop in Singapore “Find Your Freedom: 4 Steps to Get Unstuck and Live the Life You Truly Want”
>> Click HERE to learn more.