Wednesday 17 July 2013

Breaking Free From Life’s Quicksand by Julie Rorrer

It starts out nice and gentle … you see your toes submerge beneath the grainy surface. It might even feel nice and comforting to be enveloped in wet sand, but not for long. You soon realize that this is no walk on a sandy beach. Within seconds you are shin-deep and can’t get your feet out.  You are shouting, screaming and thrashing around, and everything you do just sucks you deeper. Nothing seems to help. The more you struggle, the more the sand and water separate to force you to deeper and deeper. Soon enough, there you are stuck in it waist deep and you can’t move an inch. Now what do you do?

They say the only way out of quicksand is to stop struggling, which is probably the hardest thing to do when you are panic-stricken and facing a force of nature that seems out of your control. While we may never encounter any actual quicksand in our lives, there are plenty of situations that can leave us feeling stuck and unable to break free, struggling uselessly while we just sink deeper.  Here’s how to break free:
  1. Stay Calm. Shouting and screaming may seem like a natural response, but they’re not going to help you here.
  2. Stop fighting. Struggling and flailing only gets you deeper into the abyss.
  3. Reboot. Sit down, lie down, or take a time out … do whatever you need to reenergize and regain your focus.
  4. Make a plan. Calmly figure out what needs to be done to stay afloat and rise back to the top.
  5. Put your plan into action. You know what to do … now get busy doing it and get the heck out of there!
  6. Congratulate yourself. Be proud of doing what’s necessary to get yourself unstuck–that was quicksand for crying out loud! Not everyone is so lucky.
  7. Now that you know what it feels like, don’t forget. If you see yourself falling back into the sand, repeat steps 1-6.
Unlike the natural version, it can take years to get mired in life’s quicksand. Sometimes you might not even know you’re sinking. But what’s important isn’t how you get there–it’s how you get out and what you’re going to do differently to keep from falling back in again.

Known in certain circles as Danger Girl, Julie is never afraid to throw caution to the wind and take a chance. She’s been creating things since she was a little girl and shows no signs of stopping. As a grown-up (more or less) she’s created a bath/body products brand, launched the largest indie fashion website (at the time), learned to ride a motorcycle, and done various other things large and small. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and son and a yard full of lizards and is currently writing the book she’s been dreaming about for years.


  1. Julie--I am SUCH a thrasher! It takes me so long to remember to stop fighting--thanks for the timely post. I'm going to print out your steps and put them in my journal so I can get out quicker next time. :) Good stuff.

  2. Hi Shelley! I *may* be one as well. Glad you enjoyed. :)