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  • Writer's pictureJanet Fox-Petersen


Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Becoming UNSTUCK in life truly is an ongoing journey. I have been on and off stuck my whole life. I am still working on patterns of behaving that hold me back and keep me stuck. I am talking about patterns that do not work so well now and perhaps never did. I will be working on these patterns for the rest of my life.

But don’t get me wrong! I love life and have no regrets! I love so many, many things about life!

Most certainly, though, getting stuck and finding ways to get unstuck is the way of life. It is the ups and downs and the ebb and the flow of the life cycle. However, we all need greater awareness, skills, and knowledge (ASK) to help us choose healthier coping skills as we are seeking to get on with it, especially when the tough challenges come.

When we have conflicts and challenges, we may have learned a few toxic patterns along the way such as abusing self, people, food, drugs and alcohol, social media, or television when things are not going so well.

We may attack others, attack self, push people away, smash things, allow others to abuse us, become defensive, seek to control others, shut people out, act out in anger and rage, withdraw, shut down, return to addictions, hang onto grudges, walk out, slam doors, drive erratically, yell at our kids, etc., in attempts to cope with or avoid the underlying issues we are facing in life.

We are where we are. And where do we want to go from here? We do not have to stay stuck!

One thing for sure, it is not okay to quit, give up, and refuse to seek better ways. Because there ARE better ways!

I view life through the lens of COURAGE. Courage requires ongoing reflection and openness to change and growth. Courage is what gives us excitement and passion for seeking possibilities in face of our challenges, rather than sinking further into despair or fear.

Courage is the willingness to fully embrace the whole of our lives, gazing deeply into ourselves and patterns of behaving, without shaming and blaming self or others, and discovering areas that have kept us stuck and stymied on our path and in our relationships. In our discovery, we find new pathways to move forward, become unstuck, and do and be better with self and others.

Courage requires digging deep for strength and perseverance in the face of trials, grief, brokenness, loss, and pain. Courage is approaching life with open hands, rather than clenched fists, and open hearts and minds, rather than becoming or remaining cold and closed.

The way of courage is not easy, but, it is essential!

So, how do we get there?

Becoming better human beings and getting unstuck does require us to be in relationships with others. We truly can’t go it alone. We just cannot!

Our brains are wired for relationships and connections. We cannot heal, grow, and gain courage without each other! Without engaging in relationships of all sorts, we have no way of receiving feedback, encouragement, love, a sense of belonging, or the ability to see and shave off those rough edges that keep us mired in the muck. Like it or not, we do need each other!

On the other hand, sometimes it truly seems we can’t live peaceably with each other. But I am passionate about fostering a different paradigm! My paradigm is this: We NEED human connection to survive AND we can learn to do and be better with each other!

I am not suggesting in any sense that we stay in toxic relationships that are harmful to our well-being. I am simply expressing that I do know we can do better. I know this because as I have gained new awareness, skills, and knowledge and have helped others gain them, too, we are doing better!

In a nutshell, I have been studying and practicing in the field of psychology, relationships, communication, mediation, restorative practices, and conflict transformation for decades. I did not realize back in the day just how much I would need these skills and knowledge for the world of today.

This world is in turmoil and in a brutal moment in history. The polarization, the violence, the acerbic commentaries all around us, the demonizing each other when we can’t agree, watching neighbor pitted against neighbor, peer against peer, family members against family – it all is exhausting and downright depressing – if we focus on it too much.

This all is tough enough without even considering the pandemic we have been facing.

The chaos of this world affects us all and our relationships and brings me to the conclusion that the work we do at JFox Mediation & Coaching is more vital than ever.

We are passionate about how we can learn to work and live together more peaceably and lovingly and communicate with each other in ways that do not bring further harm to ourselves and our relationships.

When we each do better individually, we do better collectively. How I live my life does affect you and how you live yours does affect me, whether we realize it or not.

Reaching out for help and support, linking arm in arm with each other, approaching others with openness is the only way to unleash the shackles that hold us back in our relationships. We truly are better together!

Stay tuned and contact us if you are looking for greater awareness, skills, and knowledge that can help us all to individually and collectively turn things around.

Lovingly & Warmly,

Dr. Jan

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