UNFROZEN: A Ritual for Getting Unstuck

Call it anxiety or procrastination or what have you*, life often grips many of us in a tense paralysis wherein we know we must act, we have obligations and deadlines and must-dos, but we just can’t move.

It is a terrifying feeling: to watch the sand dripping through the glass and yet not be able to make one’s self do what must be done. It can affect every aspect of a human life. It’s crippling.

What it’s about, fundamentally, is how the brain processes dopamine, the neurotransmitter of initiative and reward, but also of dread and anxiety.

Personally, I have problems producing dopamine. I take medications to keep my dopamine levels elevated, because I am prone to depression. However, this can also make anxiety more likely for me; the medications are a two-edged sword.

Accordingly, I have turned to my Atheopagan practice to help me break logjams when they occur and get to work on What Must Be Done. Here’s an example of a ritual I have done to get myself moving:

Preparation: Write down a list of what needs doing. Be thorough. Add everything you have anxiety about or are procrastinating about. Write the list in pencil on a small (5″ x 4″) sheet of plain paper.

Put the list in a quart container, such as a yogurt container. Set the list so that it stands upright in the container. Then fill it with water, and put it in your freezer until frozen into a solid block of ice–overnight should do. Remove the block of ice from the container by running water over the outside until it slides out.

Set up a Focus on a countertop in or near the kitchen. You should include a container of oil–perhaps scented oil, and, if you’re really stuck, WD-40 spray or 3-in-1 machine oil, to “lubricate what is not moving”. Other elements to include are a pair of orange candles in candlesticks, an incense burner set with incense that helps you to feel powerful and centered, a bowl or teabag of caffeinated tea, and symbols of the work you need to complete. Place the block of ice in a bowl in the center of the Focus.

Dress in your “power clothing”–whatever that means to you.

NOW, it’s time to do the ritual.

Put on some music that makes you want to move and helps you to feel good about yourself. I picked ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”.

Ground yourself. Speak the names of the qualities you want to help serve you: Motivation. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Focus. Feeling Good.

Light the incense and the candles, saying, I am in motion. I am Getting It Done. I am able, and willing, and DOING IT!

Now, take the block of ice in the bowl to the stove, and put the block of ice in a saucepan on high heat.

While you are waiting for the ice to melt, go and do something you have been procrastinating about. Yes, RIGHT NOW–go do it.

When you come back, wait until the water has all melted and has come to a boil. Add the tea. When steeped, pour a mug of tea (make sure the paper doesn’t slip in).

Before taking the first sip, say: I am breaking the spell of resistance. I am calling on my superpowers to Do The Things. I accept that Getting Them Done may mean not everything will be perfect–but it will be GOOD, and that’s good enough. I have GOT this. 

Drink the whole mug of tea. And get to work!


*But don’t call it laziness: that’s excessively cruel to yourself and completely unhelpful.

2 thoughts on “UNFROZEN: A Ritual for Getting Unstuck

  1. This makes twice this week I’ve read “trading ‘perfect’ for ‘done.’”

    And it’s stuck.

    My difficulty is not getting the motivation to start a thing; it’s letting a thing go until it is perfect.

    My Fall will be spent experimenting (it’s science what we do, yeah?) trading perfect for done.

    Excellent article

    Liked by 1 person

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