As someone who is constantly going on about listening to our bodies, creating time for rest, and using self-compassion…it’s quite interesting I’m finding myself in my current predicament. Hey, I’m human. Sometimes my sneaky shadows take over without me realizing, until the signs are blaring in my face. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I stay busy. I am a recovering work-a-holic, over-achiever, and will still run myself to the ground if I’m not careful. But even when my schedule is packed with fun things like travel and hanging with friends, it all adds up. It’s all a balance between expending and replenishing energy.
I’ve been juggling three jobs for the past six months. My workload has steadily increased over that time. I imagined there would come a tipping point where I would let one job go because another one would pick up. I actually referenced this “tipping point” many times over the last couple months without any real thought to how I would know it would come. I just knew I’d feel it eventually. And boy, did I. My big realization came when I got home from working two jobs in one day and broke down crying to my partner. My body was tired. My mind was fatigued. I knew I wasn’t giving my full presence at work from trying to keep track of too many things, and as someone who cares deeply about showing up fully, nothing hurts worse than that.
It finally clicked that I needed to let go of one of my jobs. With any big change, we are confronted with the hope that what’s on the other side is better than holding onto what may feel uncomfortable, yet familiar. In preparing to take this leap, my old grasps at a false sense of security sprung back up. I felt myself wanting someone else to tell me this decision was okay. I wanted to ask my old favorite question, “what do you think I should do?” Luckily, I listened to that urge and let it pass. That’s the beauty of deepening the relationship within, we can acknowledge familiar feelings without acting on them. I knew what this old habit was about. If I don’t trust myself enough to make my own decisions and rely on the approval of someone else, then I don’t take accountability for the outcome. The pattern of not trusting my own experience and what is best for me continues. Unless you decide you don’t play that game anymore. And I’ve so given up that game. That hope for something better turns into a deep knowing within, that no matter what new challenges arise as a result of a big change, we are equipped to handle it. And not just handle it, but rise above it. That’s where we call on the resiliency and inner strength that lies at each of our cores.
I wish that was the end of my little story. I quit my third job, effective immediately, and am looking forward to a lot more space in my schedule and focus with my clients. That’s coming next week. And it’s coming a little too late. The tipping point has already gone over in the direction of burn out land. It’s been a slow burn the past few weeks of increased work + lots of social engagement + travel with no down time upon my return. The perfect recipe for my body to pump the breaks and give me a huge CHILL OUT message in the form of exhaustion and psychosomatic symptoms. So, I’m laying low this weekend. Getting lots of rest and giving myself permission to recover my energy before engaging in one more thing, even if my mind tries to tell me I’m ready. When we shift into honoring the wisdom of our bodies, we allow our physical form to call the shots for more or less, rather than the stories we may believe about needing to keep going.
Looking back over the past few weeks, I see my daily rituals declined and dissolved. I gave myself a free pass last week when I was in Spain, and the days before that when I was at a weekend long bachelorette party, and the week after Spain when I was just too tired to do anything other than the bare minimum…it’s no wonder I’m off my game. Starting today, I’m recommitting to my daily necessities, no matter what what I have going on. The things I know my mind, body, and soul need to keep me at my best.
- morning meditation
- moving my body with yoga or a walk to the neighborhood park
- eating balanced, whole foods
- meaningful connection with others
- gratitude journaling before bed
- going to sleep at a reasonable time
The exciting thing about all of this is that, despite getting a little off track, I’m still in way better shape than when I previously experienced hard core burnout. The moral of this story is to listen to yourself. Check in daily about where your energy is at. In what ways are you feeling depleted, and what is filling you back up? Trust your intuition to tell you when something is off. That means letting go of the fear-based excuses about why you need to push forward. Remember fear is going to tell you to play it safe and avoid risks. Courage is going to propel you forward because any heart-centered action is a step in the right direction, regardless of outcome. And above all else, go within for all answers you seek. That is where the guru you seek lives.