Real + Raw: Burn-out & Realignment
It's easy to great wrapped up in the thin layer of the surface, of what we do and how we do it. They say "how you do one thing is how you do everything" and I think I bought in to that... but not so much anymore. We aren't the sum of all of our outcomes because sometimes we act out unintentionally or idiotically- to be quite frank. When we are intentional then wouldn't that be the real summation? The real indicator of our true spirit and heart?
When we are aligned, living from the purest space of our hearts we shine because we are living in connection to everything. We live outside of our fear, our scarcity mentality, our stories and confabulations. We get to really show up as who we are - true character, spirit, heart, soul.
I'm a big believer in intention, it is deeply ingrained in to everything that I do but I'm also a flawed human and fall away from my own beliefs and values of those intentions sometimes- not on purpose, no- never ever on purpose. Which I would argue is the general consensus- never on purpose, just auto-pilot. Have you ever been just swept away with stress, emotion and then quickly realized you ditched something important to you - like how you really feel about things? - along the way? I did that and continue to do it because well- I won't always get it right and sometimes life and my emotions get ahead of me.
Wedding season paired with a busy interiors season had made me feel a little wind-blown; like, my hair, my house, my life, my connection to my yoga practice - it was just everywhere, yet no where, aka what I call a huge mess and a first class ticket to a exhaustion induced breakdown. (Yay)
Somewhere along the way I got lost in the 'service' of it all and forgot the bigger picture. The service OR rather the SURFACE leaving me irritable, resentful, and to put it mundanely... kind of miserable. "IM NOT THIS PERSON!" I would think to myself. "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?" Exhaustion, story, and disconnection is what happened. It happens to us all. We are human. I am human. YOU are human. Some of us will hide, deny, or ignore. It's ok. It's part of the process.
It happened with my career as a yoga teacher and it happened to me as a photographer at the end of last year. The strings became loose again and my marbles were rolling in to every corner of my office.
So how do we get it back? Well the exact opposite of what got us in to this place. Reverse engineering, digger in to the deeper space of WHY and the BIGGER PICTURE. Let me walk you through it because I guarantee you this has happened to you, will, or maybe it's happening to you right now like it was for me just a few months ago. So as I dish out this advice, you bet your buttons I had put this back in to practice to get back to my normal, creative, 'all heart all the time' self.
one / Rest + reset
It's clear you are exhausted which means your boundaries are either in major need of a tune-up, you're just too proud to ask for help, or you think you can just do it all... but let's be real- you can't. Hey, maybe it's all of the above! (That's quite the cocktail.)
So you need to ask for help, ask your parents to take the kids for a weekend, say "No" to a few clients and ditch your office for hiking boots and a sunset instead. Be honest with yourself if you are over-taxing yourself and walk away from opportunities if you just. cant. do. it. If something that usually excites me - no longer excites me - I take a much needed break. I Paint. Go to bed early. Read a book. Attend a networking party. Do whatever you need to do to feel re-energized. This looks different for everyone so I can't tell you exactly what to do.
Make a "play list" - list out everything you love that you lose the time. I got this from the amazing Brene Brown. Mine will be very* different from yours. Mine:
. Boards games, wine, and friends
. Organizing my closet (strange I know lol)
. Reading Harry Potter for the millionth time
. Going to live theatre with Landon (preferably a musical)
. Yoga class or workshop
. Coffee with my best friend
. Calligraphy practice
. Cocktails with girlfriends
. Solo movie-date with sugary candy and popcorn
Then go do them! Schedule them in-between things. Take a "mental health day" and do them all or just do one. Or take a nap! Listen to that inner voice and let them guide you. As Elizabeth Gilbert would ask herself, "What do you want to do today Liz?" Well... what do you want to do today?
two / debunking + clarity
S T O R Y. Is ultimately the source of all our pain. The ego or small self chattering in the background creating all sorts of anxieties, worries, panic, anger, frustration. It's the voice in your head saying this persons expects this or you didn't do that properly, they said that because they believe this about you, etc, etc. One of my favourite take aways from Byron Katie is this one and simple question: "Is it true?" Also... who's business are you in right now? Often we are tangling ourselves in to stories that aren't real. They are 100% made up of our insecurities, anxieties, and past stories that we bring to the forefront to explain a discomfort or feeling. Fact-checking the stories we are saying to ourselves is a HUGE practice of mine. I can have a simple conversation with myself or sometime I have to do it on paper. Example:
"They don't like this. That's why they haven't gotten back to me about it."
"Is that true, Jamie?"
"Well yeah... why else wouldn't they get back to me?"
"Maybe they are busy, maybe life has gotten away and you are at the bottom of their priority list because everything is actually perfect? Maybe they forgot...MAYBE a whole slew of other things is happening right now. So I ask again... is the story you are telling yourself, the one causing you SO much stress, true? Can you be absolutely certain it is the truth?"
"Who's business are you currently in?"
"MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. If you want to be certain and clarify this then you need to ask THEM.
Simple, effective fact-checking your own none-sense. It is extremely clarifying and really points to your struggles and what you need to work on in the self. Notice my inner-voice is a "no-nonsense type?" lol.
three / connection
Connection to something bigger like the divine, god, the universe (whatever you feel the most comfortable calling it,) the 'more than.' Connection to community, your family, your tribe, your purpose, your SPIRIT. For me this means I have to take time to connect to something so much larger than myself, my business, my goal-setting, or my incredibly driven self.
This generally means going to a yoga class, volunteering, sitting in meditation, going for reiki, going to church, nature walk, going to a drum-circle, a shamanic journey, listening to The Robcast, or having a very philosophical discussion with my bestie about LIFE. Whatever it takes to realize that everything that I am experiencing is quite small and infantile in the grand scheme of things. Essentially its the reality-check PART TWO. And it's probably my favourite part.
It also comes from G R A T I T U D E. This basically goes hand in hand with reality-checking. Once you reality-check it's a wonderful practice to count your blessings and truly focus on everything you are certain of in your life that you are truly grateful for. I always think of Oprah, "What I know for sure..."
What I know for sure...
I am healthy and rich with physical ability.
I have the most amazing partner in life.
I have the coolest job in the world.
I meet the most amazing couples and some of them really want to be my best friend! How cool is that!?
My natural state is ABUNDANT
I have food in my fridge and will not go hungry
I have clean, fresh, and safe water to drink
I can sleep in tomorrow if I really want to! AMAZING!