We've all experience it at one point or another. Overwhelm, burnout, irritability and exhaustion--it's a slow process that sneaks up on us. Exhausted and eventually uninterested; it's not long before physical symptoms manifest. How does this happen? Are we overwhelmed by all the things on our plate? Are we overwhelmed with all the decisions to make in the day? That's exactly how it happened to me. I have to go back years and years to tell my story.
Before I tell you my burnout story, let me share what life was like BEFORE. We were living in Italy at the time. I wasn't working full time but I was homeschooling and leading several groups in my community. I had the TIME and RESOURCES to do it. Isn't that the difference? When we feel like we have the time and resources, we typically don't feel stressed.
Looking back, I had several very important pieces of life in place that made me feel grounded and relaxed. They filled me up and made me feel whole. You see, I was living into my priorities. I couldn't have verbalized it at the time, but life was good. I was involved in things that really filled me up. You can hear more in the LIVE video from last week.
After three years we moved back stateside, my kids went to school and I was ready to start full time work again. With full time work, kids after school activities, a few nutritional deficiencies, and ignoring my fundamental priorities, my life started to cave in. It wasn't only my body that decided to shut down. My job was emotionally demanding and I was spent at the end of the day. I know some of you can relate here.
I didn't have anything left to give.
I was falling asleep while my boys were in guitar practice. I was falling asleep every chance I got. In fact, I fell asleep going 70 miles an hour on the freeway while DRIVING (insert silent scream here). Luckily someone honked and it startled me awake! That was the first tipping point. It terrified me. Then my hair fell out. I literally had bald spots the size of quarters in the back of my head. That was the second tipping point. I made an appointment with my primary care physician convinced that I had some terrible ailment. He did his job--prescribed steroid cream and called it a day. He never asked me about my life. That's not his job. He was concerned with the symptoms. Fix the symptoms--fix the problem right? Well....not exactly.
Meanwhile, crazy busy life goes on! Luckily for me, I have a therapist friend. Frustrated by the lack of hair growth, I was telling her all about my hair. Realize here that I wasn't talking to her as a therapist. I didn't believe there was anything wrong with my life. I just couldn't believe my hair was falling out and I was exhausted ALL THE TIME. After hearing a bit of my story, she turns to me and says, "You're stressed!" I said, "NO, I'm not stressed, I just have a lot on my plate." (insert hindsight laughter here) Isn't that typically? We all have a lot on our plate. The danger zone is when we don't STOP and recognize when our body is talking to us. My body (and life) tried to tell me. But true to form, I charged on. I have a sneaky feeling some of you do the same.
After some soul searching, I came to the conclusion that I was indeed stressed. Things either had to change, or I was going to boil over. Have you ever felt that? That slow simmer where you know you're just barely keeping it together. That was me. I dreaded every holiday. I remember thinking...."how am I going to get through this one? How am I going to do the all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning AND all the other every day stuff I'm doing?" Somehow we manage. We manage to keep the plates spinning. We're not always joyful but we do it.
What if you could be joyful? What if there was a way to integrate all the pieces of your life into this beautiful tapestry where alignment meets responsibility and it fits?
After some serious soul searching and serious conversations with the important people in my life, we adjusted. We made some crucial pivots. Here's the thing friends, it's up to me. It's up to me to STOP and listen to my body. It's up to me to be AWARE of where I'm spending my time and energy. It's up to me to SPEAK up and make a change.
Is it time to get clarity in your life? When you're dialed in to what's most important, you'll feel like you've got some mastery over your life. This is exactly what the FREE Aligned Life 10 day Bootcamp is designed to do. We'll explore how to get the most out of your days while living your authentic life. It's time to stop tolerating your life and life in abundance and fulfillment. Tackle each module at your own pace and watch your start to change.