BN.com Gift Guide

Simple Acts of Moving Forward: A Little Book About Getting Unstuck

Overview

Get Out of the Rut

We all get “stuck” at times. You may be creatively blocked, spiritually burned out, or in some other way stalled, paralyzed, or simply bored. The good news is, there is always something you can do to move forward. In this thoughtful book, Vinita Hampton Wright offers sixty practical and possible suggestions and meditations to help propel you out of gridlock and into a richer life.
...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $3.96   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.96
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(49)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2003-09-16 Hardcover New A great book in new condition. may show slight signs of shelf wear. We provide USPS confirmation tracking and email when we ship. We want your complete ... satisfaction. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Maryville, TN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$8.50
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(1625)

Condition: New
New

Ships from: Fort Worth, TX

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$11.99
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(21)

Condition: New
New,No writing,marks,or highlighting.Binding is tight and intact.Ships fast

Ships from: lincoln park, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(193)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Get Out of the Rut

We all get “stuck” at times. You may be creatively blocked, spiritually burned out, or in some other way stalled, paralyzed, or simply bored. The good news is, there is always something you can do to move forward. In this thoughtful book, Vinita Hampton Wright offers sixty practical and possible suggestions and meditations to help propel you out of gridlock and into a richer life.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877880820
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/16/2003
  • Pages: 163
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.54 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Vinita Hampton Wright, a writer and editor, is the author of two critically acclaimed novels: Grace at Bender Springs and Velma Still Cooks in Leeway. She conducts creativity-and-spirituality workshops at conferences and retreats. Vinita and her husband Jim, a photographer, live in Chicago.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Getting Unstuck, Moving Forward, Feeling Better

Most of us work hard, and we mean well. But we get stuck. And we get hung up, not on the big things or the months and years, but on the small things that make up our single days and hours.

You may have larger dreams for your life, but your most common struggles have to do with what you’re doing today, during this small collection of moments. You’ve probably been forwardthinking enough to make plans, and you’re doing your best to make them happen. But even the best efforts don’t always satisfy you—and, too often, you beat yourself up for that. Sometimes you feel that you will never get ahead or even get beyond the spot you’re in right now.

The only way to get unstuck is to take a step. It can be a big or little step, and you usually have a choice of directions. But it’s an action with purpose behind it, and no one else can do it for you.

Moment by moment you and I are making decisions and taking actions that help us move through time. Sometimes we move ahead in survival mode, “making it,” but just barely, and not in a way that feels positive or successful. Occasionally, we slip backward or make choices that undo some of our progress. And sometimes we move in a way that is meaningful and gives us a feeling of forward motion.

This little book is for helping that forward motion. You can dip into the sections in no particular order. They describe sixty powerful acts that can make the difference in your hour, your day, maybe even your life. Some of these acts are easier than others, but they are all possible, and they will definitely move youforward.

One simple act is a step in the right direction. It won’t take longer than five minutes to read any one suggestion in this book. And in many cases, it won’t take longer than a few minutes to actually take the step. Some steps will lead you to carve out larger blocks of time such as an afternoon activity or a weekend trip. But the majority of these acts are designed so you can do them immediately. Their purpose is to help you get unstuck from right where you are.

At the end of each act is a short prayer to help you, if you so choose, to reach out to God for the love, wisdom, and power that are beyond your own abilities. After the prayer is some space, in case you want to make a note to yourself. If you follow through and do a simple act of moving forward, you might just want to celebrate by writing down what you did.

Read these acts one at a time. Be kind to yourself. And be kind to all the other folks who are trying to take those forward steps as well. Journey with them when you can. A step at a time, in good company, will make us all feel a lot better.


Acts of Creativity

Creativity opens us to revelation, and when our high creativity is lowered to two percent, so is our capacity to see angels, to walk on water, to talk to unicorns.
—Madeleine L’Engle, Madeleine L ’ E n g l e H e r s e l f

Make a List
Jump Ahead Ten Years
Think Again
Write Your Story
Find the Child
Reorder Your Universe
Imagine the Worst
Go to the Library
Leave the Box
Take a Road Trip


Act 1
Make a List


There’s so much to do that I don’t know where to start. I think of everything I’m responsible for and everything I’d like to accomplish, and I panic—and sometimes I cope by doing nothing at all.

Time to make a list. When life gets cluttered, it can be a good thing to get a huge sketchpad and just list everything you can think of that needs your attention in some way. You don’t write anything in order of importance or difficulty; you just get it down so you can look at it. Then you move to another sheet of paper and start sorting the mess on the first sheet and throwing the items in some loose order onto the second. You categorize however you want. Maybe one list is “urgent,” another one is “fun,” another is “people I need to spend time with.” The beauty of lists is that you can work with them so they serve you.

And it is important that your list serve you, not the other way around. When used well, lists can help you collect yourself. But they can beat you up when you give them undue power. You have to decide when it’s time—or not time—for a list. You have to decide what kind of list it will be and what power you will give it.

Sometimes you might make a list of all the tasks that need to be done—every last one—just so you can give yourself permission to cross out half of them and not worry about those. Or maybe you put that half on another list to be dealt with later. In doing that, you have relieved yourself, for today, of those tasks and narrowed today’s list to something that is doable.

Lists are good for dreaming, for prioritizing, for helping the mind make order out of a situation that has become overwhelming. Not every person enjoys lists. In fact, a list for me is a somewhat left-brained, straight-lined thing. Another sort of person might cut that sheet of paper into little pieces, each piece with one task written on it, and then draw out an item for the day and go from there.

But when you make a list, when you take what’s on your mind and put it out where you can see it, handle it, and do with it as you please, you regain some control over a mind gone berserk with clutter and worry. A list can be very helpful this way. The key is to never allow the list to be the boss. I no longer expect to tick off everything on a list. It’s a mere tool, something to help me keep my place, to keep track of life’s details.

A Little Prayer for the Next Step
I can’t control most of what happens in life, but I enjoy the way I can write down what’s on my mind and give it some order that helps me right now. Thank you for the ability to make lists. I ask that they would serve me well as I seek more order and calm in my life.



Act 2
Jump Ahead Ten Years


I am stuck, stuck, stuck. I don’t want to be doing this. I’m sick of this project. I think I may actually be sick of my life.

When the details of a given day or week get to be frustrating or discouraging, ask yourself, What do I want to be doing—and who do I want to be—ten years from now? Dare to write down the first thing that comes to mind. Then have the courage to look at your life today. Are your present activities actually leading you to the person you want to be in ten years? If not, don’t panic. Give yourself permission to be dissatisfied with what you’re doing now. Go ahead and imagine quitting the current thing and looking for something else that would set you on the better path.

Allow the ten-years-ahead vision to release you from today’s anxiety. If you look carefully at your present tasks and worries, you may see that few of them have any long-term value to you. If you don’t succeed at this class or project, how important is that? On the other hand, if you hope to be married to this same husband or wife ten years from now, what can you do today to keep the relationship healthy? If you believe you have certain gifts that aren’t getting any exercise now, what can you begin to do—even in small increments—to make room for those gifts in your life?

I knew I would change to a writing career a few years before I could actually make the shift in terms of my job. But the day I knew what ten-years-ahead should look like, I began to make plans and take steps, some of them pretty small. The general vision helped me persevere through the present, and it eventually led me to a second career.

The ten-years-ahead vision is good for clarifying what’s important. It also can remind you of what your true purpose or your real dream is, and it just might give you the courage to take a step toward it. Of course, any such vision is speculation, but longterm dreaming can help you focus better on today and persevere in—or step away from—the present job or project. Our culture does not teach us to think in the long term; political plans often aim merely for the next election, and corporate plans tend to address only this year’s urgent issues. But creative people learn to step back and think forward regularly, to keep life fresh, to view larger options, and to give themselves inspiration.

A Little Prayer for the Next Step
Help me think bigger and more long term. Life goes by quickly, and I don’t want to get bogged down in details that won’t matter even a month from now. I offer you my anxiety in exchange for creative dreams for my life.



Act 3
Think Again


How did this project ever get so bogged down? Why won’t it work? Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the punch? I should be doing better work than this.

Don’t assume that you’ve thought through anything completely. There’s always an angle you haven’t considered or data you haven’t computed.

So if the given task is not going well, just stop. Back away from the thing however you can. Get up from your desk, if that’s where you work, and step away from that computer screen or spreadsheet. Turn around a few times (yes, physically turn yourself around). Take some deep breaths. Sit in a different place or in a different position. Find a pen in a different color of ink.

And think again. Instead of starting where you left off, take up the thread of thought at a completely different place. If you’re at the beginning, look at the end. If you’re stuck in the middle, remember the beginning that inspired the whole thing.

When my fiction writing bogs down, I switch from creative and intuitive thinking to working on time lines or doing research—or even doing a spell check. One friend of mine shifts to writing with her nondominant hand when she’s stuck.

Shift modes and ideas. Ask yourself what you’re assuming to be the goal, the problem, or the main part of the process. Ask yourself what you’re assuming to be true and false, good and bad.

You always have more brain cells than you’re currently using. So exert a few more of them and think all over again. If you do this often, you will become known as a genius simply because you thought about something one more time.

A Little Prayer for the Next Step
Okay, so what am I missing? Where’s the puzzle piece, the new approach, the right angle? I’m going to try again, but I know I need your help.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
Getting Unstuck, Moving Forward, Feeling Better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Acts of Creativity
Make a List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Jump Ahead Ten Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Think Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Write Your Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Find the Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Reorder Your Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Imagine the Worst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Go to the Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Leave the Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Take a Road Trip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Acts of Daring
Walk onto the Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Look to God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Make a Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Say Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Read Something Different . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Say a Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Build on Hope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Face What You Dread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Say No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Say Good-Bye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Acts of Generosity
Give Praise Where It’s Due . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Help Someone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Lose an Argument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Listen to Someone Younger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Be the Bad Guy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Share a Secret . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Offer Forgiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Feed Somebody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Nurture a Colleague . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Give a Friendly Push . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Acts of Healing
Take a Walk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Choose Not to Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Remember Other Pilgrims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Daydream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Shut Off the Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Tell Someone Your Troubles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Take Breathing Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Cry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Get Quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Relive Good Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
viii Contents
Acts of Integrity
Identify That Feeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Admit Defeat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Ask for Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Tell the Truth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Confess Your Faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Forgive Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Listen to a Critic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Recount the Successes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Grieve the Loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Look in the Mirror . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Acts of Joy
Sing a Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Watch Children or Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Congratulate Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Play in the Dirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Allow Some Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Do the Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Attend the Feast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Laugh Out Loud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Get Naked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Throw a Little Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Contents ix
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Sometimes the Most Important Step Is the First One
You may have larger dreams for your life, but your most common struggles have to do with what you're doing today, during this small collection of moments. You've probably been forward-thinking enough to make plans, and you're doing your best to make them happen. But even the best efforts don't always satisfy you–and, too often, you beat yourself up for that. Sometimes you feel that you will never get ahead or even get beyond the spot you're in right now.
The only way to get unstuck is to take a step. It can be a big or little step, and you usually have a choice of directions. But it's an action with purpose behind it, and no one else can do it for you.…
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)