Advice from A Lexis

Stuck? Check your level.


Dear Lexis,

I find myself feeling a bit stuck lately. Life seems to be going okay, but I don't feel particularly hopeful or happy on a daily basis. I'm not really sure why I feel this way, but I wish that life was better somehow. Do you have any advice?



Hey Wondering, 

I'm sorry your life isn't going the way you expected or wanted, I know it can be a challenge to face the day sometimes. In some ways, I think we all struggle with feeling stuck at one time or another. This past year alone has offered more than enough blocks for the average person -- it's amazing we're all not completely depressed! It actually sounds like you're doing pretty well all things considered, and while not where you want, you're not bogged down by the challenges you're facing.  For that, I commend you. 

Improving your life from this point sounds like it might come down to your Base Emotion Level. Essentially, in order to start enjoying life, you need to shift the primary emotion you feel to a higher/better feeling emotion. The majority of the world lives in a state of near constant stress or frustration, but if we all shifted to a state of base contentment or peace, life would be much better for all of us. 

Shifting your Base Emotion Level

Shifting your Base Emotion Level is certainly something you can do, and with relative ease. However, as we are generally comfortable with our base emotions, it requires you to pay more attention to your thoughts and your life. Perhaps the best place to start when it comes to Base Emotion Shifting is with your blame. 

Blame vs. Acceptance

We are often taught to blame early on, it’s almost an instinct we develop in order to avoid getting in trouble. Classic my dog ate my homework. Unfortunately, this once useful skill we learned in our youth often destroys our lives as we age. We start to blame automatically and as a result give up our power. If nothing is your fault, then you are the victim of life.

The best lesson I ever learned (and am still working on) was to accept responsibility for everything that happened in my life and stop blaming. And I don’t just mean accepting responsibility for the things you control; I mean accepting responsibility for everything.  A lot of people hear this and assume that I’m wanting them to start blaming themselves for all the crap that has happened to them, but that is not what I’m suggesting. 

We’ve all been through some terrible events, many of which we weren’t directly involved in creating. Death of a family member, having our house broken into, being bullied, these are all examples of events occurring that we could not control. Blaming yourself for these things won’t help anybody. 

There are three steps to breaking the habit of blame:

  1. See what happens as merely an event

We tend to read into what happens to us. We default to some belief structure that all humans are basically selfish, or that what can go wrong, will go wrong. I understand why we may have developed these belief structures, but hopefully by reading them here, you can start to see just how damaging these beliefs can be. 

So, instead of justifying whatever happened by saying "this is just how life goes", instead look at whatever happened as if it's a strange anomaly, or merely a chance encounter. It's not your fault, it's not their fault, it just is.

When you can start to see the encounters of your life as mere events, you open yourself up to a world of options.

  1. Recognize that you get to choose how you react

Once you can stop getting bogged down by your belief structures, you can start to see the events of your life with fresh eyes. Now, for the first time ever, you have an entire world of options to pick from, as far as your reaction is concerned. 

My dad often told me when I was young that, when I was angry, I was angry because I chose to be. While immensely irritating to hear, I think this message is an important one. Someone else at this moment is dealing with the same situation you are, but they are dealing with it in an entirely different way. Something that bugs you, might not bug them at all, or vice versa. 

Recognizing that your perspective and innate reactions are just one potential option can help you see the situation more objectively, and therefore help you choose the best reaction that can lead to the best result. 

  1. Choose the best feeling course of action

Now that you can step back from the situation and see it with clear eyes, you will start to see how different reactions can cause different results. Yelling at someone may feel good in the moment, but maybe it will just lead to a larger rift overall; whereas, admitting that you were hurt may be challenging in the moment, but leads to a deepening in the relationship overall.

Play the different scenarios out in your head. Don't worry about choosing the best path of all time (I doubt there is one), but choose a path that feels good to you now, one that you feel will result in a positive outcome or shift. 

I often find that forgiveness is a great place to start. You can do that by acknowledging that you don't necessarily have all the information. There may be some aspect to this scenario that you can't see, or some result of this scenario that will lead you to the desired life you want. Sometimes things happen that launch our lives in directions we never would have expected but that we wind up loving. 

Blame is a very strange phenomenon, but by following these steps, you will discover your Base Emotion Level shifting every day toward a better, more positive emotion. Life will start to blossom before your eyes and the world will brighten. Without warning, one day you might start waking up excited to discover what kinds of opportunities you will be presented. Challenges will stop weighing you down and you'll face each event with hope, eager to see what gift each scenario will offer. 

Shifting your Base Emotion Level is a process and it won't happen overnight, but if you stick with it, it's amazing how something so simple can dramatically alter your life. In the long run, it's always worth it.

Life is always working out for you. This is something I believe with all my heart. We may not be able to see the forest through the trees sometimes, but if we are willing to trust that things are going our way, we may find ourselves in amazing situations that we once thought impossible. 

Hope reigns eternal. There is always something good going on in your life. Focus on that and trust that "the sun will come out tomorrow". Life can be amazing if you let it, just be open and take some deep breaths. The clouds will soon clear.

I wish you luck on your journey,

~ Lexis  

Alexis Baker writes from her home in Olympia.  Write to her at 


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