How I Broke Out of My MIA Rut


I’ve been MIA in some parts of my life.


Lucky enough to have been a child during the Vietnam War, I recall the nightly news count and video footage of MIA (Missing in Action) soldiers whose whereabouts had not been claimed, those who had become POWs (prisoners of war) or even more tragic, killed in battle.



We all go MIA at one point or another in our lives, and sometimes that’s healthy. Vacation/holiday — here I come! We need space to reconnoiter, or relax. To “retreat” is just that- to treat yourself newly to space to recover, or withdraw from those parts of life that are too challenging (in the moment) to endure (or so we think).



And sometimes MIA patterns are more representative of shame or fear. We choose to withdraw because we’re afraid to admit something about our lives.


When we don’t “show up” in some parts of our lives, it’s like some part of us has withered or gone dormant.

Other parts may be vibrant, but a MIA part goes silent.


My MIA confession: I stopped writing, and even more importantly, stopped sharing my true work in the world. I tell myself I’ve had good reason, having been asked to step in and help scale a company that IS making a big difference in the world. But it meant I had to give up part of me that was a significant expression of meaning and purpose.



And I’ve not been fulfilled in that way, with my client roster down to the bare bones and my unfolding thoughts and deeper understanding all stuck in my own head.


For the Queen of Vulnerability, I have to fess up to being afraid to share the REAL reason I’ve been MIA.


You see, I became bogged down, stuck, even slightly bewildered when things got really hard for a while in 2018. I’m supposed to have answers, to know how to traverse the tough spots. And when I couldn’t live up to my own identity expectations, I wanted to hide.


And the reasons for the stuckness are irrelevant at this point, though they were fundamental for me to understand to get unstuck.


It was the story that I told myself about being stuck that was the fulcrum of my experience.

The story that I should be better than this. Should’ve figured this out by now.


… even though I have figured out so much more than I ever imagined in this lifetime.


… even though I’ve broken through barriers that seemed insurmountable, and achieved insights that most people don’t yet grasp.


… even though I was working through life patterns and karma that had brought me back to this lifetime.


… even though answers to deep questions just come bubbling through, right when I need them, because my intuition and psychic power had grown so significantly.


It still wasn’t enough to keep me from hiding.



And despite the fact that all the work I did in 2018 brought fantastic new opportunity, abundance, connections and even more breakthroughs in 2019, I kept hiding that things had gone awry.


The longer I told myself that I wasn’t enough, that I couldn’t share what I couldn’t figure out, that I couldn’t tell anyone about my stuckness, the longer it lasted.


The most surefire way to stay stuck is to hide from your stuckness. Pretending that it’s all ok, you’ve got it handled.


Trying to do it all by yourself.

girl island

But you truly can’t handle your MIA alone. We all need support to get found.


To get found, I needed to call on all kinds of mentors and friends to get me through. Every tough phase seems to require a new type of support, as well as some familiar ones.


If you’re lucky (like me), you’re on this wild rollercoaster of evolution that keeps you charging forward and figuring stuff out day by day, moment by moment. Each and every sharp turn helps us learn to steer our vehicles a little bit better.


In moments we feel derailed. We might even come off the track, momentarily. We may get off the rollercoaster altogether (retreat), to take a breather. We go MIA.


And then it’s time to get back on again. I encourage my clients to take ONE small step, the easiest one they can imagine that there’s no way they couldn’t help but finish. If ONLY because it’s what we’re here to do.


So I’m coming clean because I want to encourage you to also show up. I’m admitting that I had a rough patch, that another challenging phase of life has passed, and I’m ready to dust off my keyboard and appointment book and get back in the game.


And I’m ready to share what I learned in this tough period, which is also leading to my next phase of contribution.

I’m rolling out new offers that reflect my awareness that we need others to help us get found, to find our “sweet spot”.


We need major breakthroughs to break out of our ruts, and vulnerability is the key to both breakthroughs and break-outs.

So we can breakaway from who we were and move toward who we already are, if only we could see it.


Acknowledging there is a stumbling block allows your internal resources and external support to assist you thru the hurdle. Being resilient means “getting found” and using the resources available, not pretending there isn’t a challenge.


Let’s collectively enter this new way of stepping into the sweet spot of our purposeful lives by working together with other inspired creators who want to have breakthroughs, break out of their MIA ruts, and break away into their new purposeful expression.



About the Author

Dr. Holly Woods is the Author of a recent #1 Bestseller, The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life. This book will dispel any notion that your life doesn’t matter. [download a free chapter from The Golden Thread here.]

Holly Woods PhD is a visionary who sees deeply into others’ souls. She activates and catalyzes what wants to come alive in people and guides them to manifest their dreams through practical strategies. 
Holly brings 30 years of consulting and coaching in human and organizational development and two decades of experience building and scaling business and products to help entrepreneurs, visionaries and innovators create impact. 

She helps clients uncover their nuanced purpose, gain capacities and mindset to attain their unreasonable goals, and align decisions, products, strategies and systems around what matters most. Get a free copy of the tried-and-true Purpose to Impact Roadmap she uses to create that alignment and amplification in the world.

Holly earned a PhD in Human & Organizational Development, is certified as an Integral Master Coach®, Purpose Guide®, Professional Mediator and Facilitator, Master Energy Practitioner, and is a Stages of Consciousness developmental practitioner.

Holly is migrating her website from Holly Woods Coaching to her newest evolved expression at Emergence Institute. You can also schedule a 30 minute Strategy session with Holly.

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