Running on Empty?
Sometimes, I have a tendency to push it a little too far... Okay, a lot of the time. Do you know what I mean?
I want to do just one more thing or make just one more call or go just one more place or get just one more thing done than the day, or my body, or my energy level, or nature seems to allow... But I do it anyway. Maybe I have a superhero complex of sorts.
I know that I CAN do anything I set my mind to... So I'm out of excuses and I push to the max.
After a lot of years of being too afraid to try anything, thinking I wasn't good enough or didn't have enough to pull it off... that seemed like a relief for awhile! Knowing and believing that I CAN do anything, changed my life! I found my confidence to pursue my calling and create the life I want! But now I'm on the other side... And sometimes I get a little too far in.
I forget that just because I CAN do something doesn't mean I have to... Doesn't mean I should... And doesn't mean I WANT to... and that's okay!
I spent the morning doing nothing for the most part. And the first hour I couldn't stop thinking about all of the things I should be doing with that time. Sometimes I get so caught up in the idea of making my time count that resting doesn't seem to have much of a point. Once I get into a space of resting, it generally becomes obvious how I have been complicating that transition from work to rest, by not supporting myself and balancing my energy through the action.
Which brings me around to the idea of BALANCE. According to Chinese Medicine, we should really only be putting 60% of our energy into anything we do... 60%! That's a far cry from the 200% I often find myself pushing for! 60% allows us to continue at a steady pace for a longer time. It allows us to maintain our physical functions and emotional balance and to transition with greater ease... to go from action to resting and back to action with greater vigor and greater life force.
I'm not advising that we slack... or don't do anything at all. But how about we consider this idea... If you run the water at the max heat at full force you will run out of heat a lot sooner than if you run it tepid in a gentle stream... right? You work the same way. If you pour ALL of your energy into something that doesn't feed you back, you will have less energy left for the next thing... you will also find it harder to transition into a restful state when it is time getting less restoration... and so on and so on... continuous outpour... draining, right?
This doesn't mean that you can't put your whole heart or your whole intention into anything... You can do this, while keeping yourself balanced by incorporating things that feed you back! You don't have to be the best at anything. You don't have to go full force all the time. You can accomplish your goals and feel purposeful while maintaining your own needs in the process! What do you need to support your energy investment? How can you incorporate these things into the day? Gratitude, moments of reflection or connection, physical breaks, reminders of your purpose, moments of joy, what can you add to your environment to make it more sustaining for you? Where can you ease up a bit?
It does mean that you need to keep your receiving channels open as you are pouring your energy out. It does mean that you need to acknowledge your own need for space or rest as it comes up... AND that there's no guilt in giving a little less in the moments that you feel you have less to give. Give the best that you have to give without running yourself into the ground, right now (not the best that you gave yesterday or the day before, things change and that's okay.) Find a way to do your things in a way that sustains you!
The more you pay attention to your own physical, mental, and emotional needs, the more you can learn how much energy is appropriate for you to give and where it is best for you to give it. You can also learn ways to support yourself through the process. If you are exerting all of your energy into something, make sure it is something that gives back to you! Save your biggest energy investments for the things that help you feel purposeful and whole and alive! This will keep you more energized in the long run!
If you feel like something in your life is totally exhausting you or dragging you down, ask the questions:
"What is so taxing about this?"
Is it physically draining, emotionally draining, mentally draining or spiritually draining? Often times, it's a combination.
"Is this something I can adjust on my own?"
Is there a way you can shift your perspective or your approach that will make it less draining for you? Is there a way to pull back or conserve some of that energy? Maybe you are thinking about it too much or maybe you are over-exerting yourself physically, maybe you could take breaks or ask for help, or rewrite an irrational thought that is creating a negative cycle of emotions.
"Is there anything I need to communicate that could make this easier?"
If this is emotionally draining, find someone to whom you can, or some way to, express those emotions. If it is physically draining, give yourself some leniency and find out what options are available to support you --ask for some help! Can you take breaks? Can you share the load? Is there a certain kind of shoe or clothing or posture that would offer more support? If it is mentally draining, how can you focus your thoughts in a more positive direction? How can you find the opportunity or the growth?
"What purpose is this serving in my life?".
What are you getting out of this thing? And is it worth your level of investment? What purpose is this serving? If you cannot identify any adjustments that you can make to better support you, what other options are available to meet that need in your life? Change is scary, but sometimes necessary.
Remember, you are only "stuck" when you say you are!
If you need help with this, give me a call!
Love & Light,