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7 Steps I Used To Get Out of The State Of Numbness and Inaction

In the past few weeks I’ve been going in and out of the state of depression without realizing it. I don’t even want to use this word here  – depression. Too strong for me. I never viewed myself as someone who would experience something like this.

I am an optimistic person. Sometimes to the point of where it is stupid. The sky might be falling and I will be standing there and thinking –It is for the best. And everything truly is for the best. But sometimes being always positive and optimistic is not the best thing to do.

In the  last few weeks I went numb. I bet you noticed that considering there was almost no posts on this blog.

Main reason? My divorce. Divorce that I tried so hard to make not a big deal out of.

Let me tell you. It is a big deal. Freaking big and quite stressful deal. Especially when there are kids involved.

For whatever reason I was afraid to admit it. I was afraid to face it.

I painted a nice picture in my mind of us peacefully getting divorced but staying best friends who share a child and spend time together often. Didn’t quite work out that way. We are to the point of hardly speaking with each other.

And our son is in the middle of it all. I so wanted to prevent him from seeing us like this. He sees it all now.

So there I was. In the middle of a quite stressful divorce trying to convince myself that it was not a big deal. I would repeat over and over again to myself and everyone else around that it was just an experience. I am moving to a better place. Everything is good. I would also throw a joke there when someone asked.

Complete denial.

And to make the situation more ironic I met an amazing person who I really like and who likes me back. When I am with him life is secure, exciting, unbelievable. But then I get back to reality where there is “soon to be ex-husband”, his “moods” and all other kinds of stuff related to our divorce.

So I went numb. At first I thought that I just needed a little break. Read my previous post. But turned out it was more than that.

I literally wanted to become invisible for the outside world. Opening my email was a painful task. I haven’t checked Facebook or Twitter in forever. I wasn’t checking my voicemail, nor returning phone calls.

My dear friends and everyone who emailed or called me in the last few weeks and didn’t get a response, I really hope you didn’t take it personally.

All I wanted to do on the most days was sleep.

The funny thing is that I was still not realizing what was happening.

To make it worse I stopped working almost completely. I wasn’t promoting my coaching nor my newly released product in any way and wasn’t even responding to coaching requests I was getting. Quite an irresponsible thing to do when you are getting divorced with a child.

Everything that had such meaning to me became meaningless.

So when the stack of bills on the desk became bigger and the feeling of “I don’t even want to look at them because I don’t know how I am gonna pay all of that now that I don’t know who I am” became unbearable, it finally hit me –  something is really wrong.

That’s when I  faced it. The denial was over.

Yes, I am in a damn stressful situation. Yes, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. Yes, I am not as strong as I always thought I was. And, yes, divorce sucks. It really does.

Tony Robbins always says that to change the situation you have to see it as it is first, and only after that see it better than it is. I was avoiding seeing my situation as it was.

Awareness. I preach it every day. And there I was not allowing myself to become aware.

Why do I write all of this?

Because I know that there are people out there who experience something similar. It might happen to anyone one day. And usually when you expect it the least. I was happy releasing my new product. And right before the launch this happened. And then it got worse and worse. And I got number and number. It felt like I was paralyzed and even though I knew I had to do something, I couldn’t do anything.

Here are the steps that helped me to get out of that state.

1. Face your situation. See it as it is. Admit it. If it sucks, say it. It is ok to be negative from time to time. Stop the denial.

2. Ask yourself – What do I want to do right now? For whatever reason this step is crucial to be able to get to the next ones.

Forget about what you should do. Forget about what you need to do. What is it that you truly want to do right now? Take a nap? Go for a walk? Call you friend you didn’t talk to in years?

I felt like going to the park to a special place I and my son love spending time at. And there in the park, sitting on the bench by the river my mind started clearing.

3. Clear your mind.

My mind was so foggy and jumpy that I couldn’t focus on finding the solution. Sometimes meditation might help with calming and clearing the mind. But in extreme situations like this one meditation often doesn’t work.

What really helps me is to do a brain dump. Take a piece of paper. And  start writing everything that you have on your mind. Don’t worry about it making any sense. Just write. And write some more. And more. Until nothing else comes out. Mind clarity you’ll feel after doing this is unbelievable.

4. Find the underlying conflict. Often putting my thoughts on paper leads me to the core of the issue.  If you don’t see the core, start asking yourself – Why am I numb? Where is this coming from? What is the core limiting belief that is causing it?

The core is usually some deeply hidden limiting belief that often comes from your childhood or some kind of painful experience from the past. Your subconscious got so impressed by the feeling that you experienced because of it that now you repeat the same pattern over and over again without realizing it.  I learned that just remembering the core experience and becoming aware of it helps to release the limiting belief.

No belief – no pattern anymore.

I won’t tell you the exact experience from my childhood that I remembered but the feeling that it left behind was  – “I am not responsible for my life. I am not in control. I am helpless. There is not much I can do to change the situation.”

And that’s exactly what I was experiencing this past few weeks. That’s exactly why I went numb. Why I wanted to become invisible. Because it felt like there is no sense in doing anything. I can’t change it. I felt helpless.

I am always amazed how all the answers are already there. All I had to do was to ask. What is the core? Where is this coming from? And right there and then I remembered the situation that happened over 15 years ago.

Your mind has all the answers for you. Just start asking questions.

Like I said often just becoming aware of the past painful experience is enough to let limiting belief go. I used EFT and Sedona method to make sure I really let it go. Google them. There are plenty of info online about both.

5. Figure out the next steps. Only after you cleared your mind, found internal conflict and let go of the limiting belief, can you start thinking of what’s next. And usually the next steps will come to you easily once the mind is clear. Write them all down.

6. Do something right away. To keep the momentum rolling take some action. No matter how small it is, do something right away. It will be a signal to you mind that you are serious, that you started moving.

7. And as a bonus step, I really recommend to get rid of the clutter in your physical space. My home never gets too cluttered, I make sure to get rid of the stuff I don’t use/need often. But sometimes I clear everything out just for the sake of clearing my mind. It works each and every time. There is definitely a very strong correlation between clutter in our physical space and clutter in our minds.

Those are the steps I used. I feel better. And so much clearer now. And even though the situation is still stressful, I face it. I am not numb anymore. I take full responsibility. I am not helpless. If I got myself into it, I can get myself out.

I learned lots of lessons on the way. And I am sure there are more lessons to come and more limiting beliefs to clear.

I am moving. Moving forward. And it feels good. Feels like myself again.

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Love Is Everywhere or I Hope I Know I Will I Can | Daring Clarity
June 10, 2010 at 8:01 am

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Eduard @ People Skills Decoded June 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

That’s funny Lana: from the passionate way you write, I wouldn’t have guessed they you were ever in a state of numbness. Then again, probably everybody is at one point or another.

What helps me the most is chunk-ing my objectives down into small, digestible steps. Then I focus on the next step at hand, and it’s much easier to get motivated this way.


Lana June 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I know Eduard, I couldn’t tell myself for a long time:) Small digestable steps is exactly what I am doing now.


Jeanne June 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

Wow, Lana — a major stressor! I so relate to your conundrum of being an upbeat, optimistic person in the throes of depression. Only in retrospect can we appreciate these distresses as “character-building experiences” and only in retrospect can we see our magnificence in overcoming such a crippling turn of events. Now, (a lifetime later) I can even smile about it, but that may be because my children managed to weather that storm and go on to grow up beautiful people. Take heart, and take the hugs of all of your friends. You rock!
.-= Jeanne´s last blog ..Hello, Anybody There? =-.


Lana June 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thank you Jeanne. That’s what helps me alot – knowing that I’ll be able to smile at all of this soon. You rock too!


Topi June 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hi Lana, I was just thinking about you today, and wondering how you are. I worried because I hadn’t seen your posts and comments for a while. I’m sad to know that you’ve been in a bad place, but I’m so sure of your inner strength and I know it will see you through. One day at a time, Lana, one day. Let me know if I can help. Give that sweet boy of yours a big hug.
.-= Topi´s last blog ..How will you be defined? =-.


Lana June 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I’ll give him a big hug Topi, thank you! You are right, one day at a time. Thank you for your thoughts and offer to help, that really means a lot!


Anastasiya June 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Lana, I am sorry that your divorce turned into such a stressful situation. But pity is not what you need right now. I am glad that you are getting out of that dark feeling of numbness. Once you get back to life I am sure that you will find more bright colors in the world around you and it will be easier for you to get over this stressful situation.
Your tips on how to get out of the state of numbness are great. I just feel sorry that you had to go through such a difficult period of time to come up with such a strong and passionate post.
.-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..Which Pair of Glasses Are You Wearing Today? (and is optimism always the best path?) =-.


Lana June 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Anastasiya, I think I am starting to see bright colors again and a lot of them!


Genia Larionova June 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Lana, if you need any help, let us know.


Lana June 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Thanks dear, I am so glad to have you.


Olivia June 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I have been through a deep fog recently and have just started opening my eyes to everything again. I will be using your advice. 🙂


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:11 am

Glad my advice could be helpful Olivia!


Tisha June 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hi Lana,

Yes, divorce is a painful situation and it can be easy to sink into the numbness of inaction. I speak from experience. I commend you for having the courage to move forward with what you know your heart and mind are telling you to do. There are no easy answers and you are so right that sometimes there is a need to face the ugliness and call it by it’s name before you can do anything about it. WE can stay centered inside ourselves but we have to admit that the world is not always so. I wish you the best of luck with your situation – thank you for sharing your story; I know it couldn’t have been easy, but as you observe, feeling that uneasiness and writing things down is part of the healing journey.
xo, Tisha
.-= Tisha´s last blog ..Friday’s Feature: Moving Forward After Pregnancy Loss =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:11 am

Thank you Tisha, you are so right, writing things down always helps!


Eric | Eden Journal June 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Hey Lana, Good to see you getting back in the swing of things. I’m sure it’s a tough situation, but I’m sure you’ll come through it better than ever. Your optimism shows in your writing and that positive attitude will pull you through.
.-= Eric | Eden Journal´s last blog ..Smile, It’s Contagious – Glow, It’s Infectious =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:12 am

Thank you so much Eric, I appreciate the support!


Luda June 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I’ll be glad to help any time.
And you are such an encouraging person!


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:12 am

Thanks my dear, I am happy to have great friends like yourself.


suzen June 6, 2010 at 3:14 am

Big hugs, Lana! Been there, done that and it really does suck. You are indeed Daring Clarity! Your strength is evident in this post.
.-= suzen´s last blog ..Whole Living in 10 Easy Thoughts =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:13 am

oh suzen, I felt so far from being Daring Clarity or any clarity for that matter just few days ago, glad I am back:)


J.D. Meier June 6, 2010 at 4:26 am

Beautiful steps and it reminds me how much pain is a process.

It’s a sharp reminder that no matter how big the world is or how full of people, sometimes we’re alone and sometimes we’re inconsolable.

In my worst pain, the most important question I found is, “What’s the one quality I need to make the most of this?” It helps me follow the growth. I also ask myself, “Who do I want to be?” and “What experiences do I want to create?” It doesn’t mean I’ll run out and do it, but at least it gets my mind and emotions on the same train.

Maybe though, the more interesting question I ask is, “What’s the favorite part of my day?” Just finding the little joy adds up … like a little piggy bank that gets fuller and fuller.

Sometimes knowing is half the battle and if it helps to know, your explanatory style can be your best friend. Don’t make things permanent, personal, or pervasive while things run their course, and the fire in you will light when it’s ready.
.-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Inspire Yourself with Skill =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:15 am

J.D. as always you have the best advice, I didn’t know you’ve been there too. You are right, asking the right questions definitely helps to refocus.


Ben June 6, 2010 at 7:22 am

I wondered where you’d gone Lana.

That sounds like a pretty tough situation you were in but I’m so pleased that your self awareness have helped you pull out of it.

Tony Robbins’ approach of seeing things as they are and not worse, then seeing them better then they are and making that reality become true is a really powerful one.

I learnt something this week in a personal coaching session and that was we all have the power within ourselves to overcome any obstacle in life no matter how big or challenge. You are testament to that Lana as you have found the power and resources within you to bring yourself out of your depression

.-= Ben´s last blog ..This week’s homework. What’s your genius? =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:17 am

Thank you Ben! We do have the power. It easier to get caught up in victim mentality instead of claiming the power and taking responsibility but I am so done with feeling and acting like a victim.


Marina @ MyBusyChildren June 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I agree about clutter in the house connected to emotinal state. I read an aricle somewhere that kids living in an organized home are able to concentrate better and do better in school overall
.-= Marina @ MyBusyChildren´s last blog ..HappyBaby: Organic food for Babies and Toddlers (Review and Giveaway) =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:18 am

I read that too Marina. Trying to implement with my son, doesn’t always work, but I keep trying:)


Alexander June 7, 2010 at 12:41 am

Hi Lana,

Let me tell you. It is a big deal. Freaking big and quite stressful deal. Especially when there are kids involved.

Oh I can relate to you very well: my parents divorced when I was 6 and following that my mother decided to move with me and my sister to Italy.

Now I’ve some difficult times in my relationship and a lot of fears arises because I too don’t want that our children gets involved.

Ending relationship get very more complicated when kids are involved.
.-= Alexander´s last blog ..Legge dell’Attrazione e il “Pensiero positivo” =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 1:20 am

Absolutely Alexander, it gets so much more complicated with kids. Hope all the difficult times in your relationships are behind and don’t return.


Hilary June 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

Hi Lana .. I can totally relate .. as to how you feel .. and my thoughts are with you .. look after yourself, don’t doubt – all will be well ..

With a big hug .. Hilary
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..Food, Food, Glorious Food … What could possibly go wrong …? =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Thank you Hilary, I will look after myself and definitely won’t doubt anymore:)


Phil - Less Ordinary Living June 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Lana –

Take care of yourself – you are such a positive light in the world. Make sure you follow your own advice and teachings and you’ll get through this.

.-= Phil – Less Ordinary Living´s last blog ..The Power of Promises – How to Never Let Yourself Down Again =-.


Lana June 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Thanks Phil, isn’t it ironic how sometimes it is difficult to follow your own advice? I will take care of myself.


Irina June 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Lanochka – you are great and strong!!!
And you will be even stronger after you will leave this experience behind you…
Your post reminds me of the “Munhausen” who pulled himself with his hair – remember? 🙂
I wish you learn your lessons sooner than later and I am sure you will 🙂
And in the meantime – if you need or just want any help – please let me know!
I hope your phase when you wanted to hide from outside world is over – you definitely needed it – but now its over!
Looking forward to see you soon!


Lana June 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Thank you Irina, yes, I remember Munhausen:), will try to do the same. Thank you for the offer to help, I am blessed to be surrounded by such supportive friends!


Nichole June 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Lana, I wondered where you were! My heart goes out to you. I’ve been there, and I’d like to say it gets easier with time, and it can. I hope your ex is as adamant about moving on as you are. That will make it easier. It takes tremendous courage to allow yourself to be so transparent; just know that someone going through the same thing needed to hear that they’re not alone and that they, too, will make it through.


Lana June 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Thank you Nichole, I know that it gets easier with time, but it is always comforting to hear it from someone who went through the same thing.


JB King June 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I wondered what had happened but of course me being me, I wouldn’t dare ask or speak up about it. I’m glad you seem to have moved forward and rejoined the world in a sense.

Does it feel better or worse to know you have so many caring people ready to help you through this? I’m just curious as i can see each side pretty easily and wonder how others may view it. I hope things improve for you and maybe this was a useful lesson in some way that you may just not know yet.
.-= JB King´s last blog ..Another week in my life has passed =-.


Lana June 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm

JB, thanks, I am sure it was a useful lesson and there are more to come. And it does feel better knowing that I am surrounded by supprtive friends who CARE.


Veggie Val June 9, 2010 at 6:31 am

Bravo, Lana! I was wondering what happened to you and was hoping you were taking another well-deserved break. Sorry to hear it was for that reason, but, as always, you found a way to share a learning process that is meaningful to so many.
.-= Veggie Val´s last blog ..Plastic Bag by Ramin Bahrani =-.


Lana June 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Thansk Veggie Val, I am so happy if this post was helpful to someone. It is a break, just a different one:)


Millie April 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

Hi lana, I have never read your blog before but I just wanted to say thank you for putting your experience out there. I am in that place you describe right now although the situation is different. I can only think of the things that need to get done but seem impossible right now or I just can’t bring myself to face the fact that even if I do get work done it really won’t change my situation. I’m the kind of person who has always given everything to projects and always had to over achieve, but now I feel like I have nothing left to give. The little things that would give me joy seem meaningless. I know I need to change my living situation and that will improve the social aspect and clutter aspect but being a student means years until I can afford to do that. The people I am surrounded with have their own issues and refuse to declutter or be more positive and this affects my effort to live simply and healthily and to build relationships. I’ve always managed to turn my mood around- re doing my own space, talking to family about my situation, clearing out our house.. Only to have them fight about unimportant things and fill the house with clutter and rubbish soon after they seem to have ‘changed’. I don’t get angry about this, I just get upset and years of me getting let down and internalising my anxiety and sadness has only left me feeling a sense of detachment. I don’t know if this is because I physically and mentally can’t afford to invest my energy in something that seems fruitless.


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