I am an over-achiever. I am always doing something. And I find it hard to sit still. I never get bored, because I don't allow myself to get bored. I always have some project to work on, activity to complete, or friend to see. The people around me think my life is a blur - so many different things happening all the time it's hard to keep it all straight.
But I recently started to feel burned out, I was running full steam ahead. Working around the clock, as always, and spinning my wheels on a lot of minutia that didn't really matter. Only I didn't realize it didn't matter because I was so busy running full speed that I never took the time to just stop and re-orient myself.
I was reading through my journal last night - I like to write down 10 goals / dreams / wishes at the new moon (which fell on July 3rd). It's well known in the astrological world for being a time of new beginnings and manifestation. So each month I write down some of the wishes that are top of mind for me, and then I look back at past month's to see what I was writing down then, and how much of it I had managed to achieve, or manifest.
As I was scanning back to April and then March of this year, I realized, I had worked myself into a tail spin. I was pushing so hard from every direction to get my business to the next level, that I couldn't even keep ideas or thoughts straight. I just kept working. Around the clock. I continued my spinning classes, another high energy and intensive exercise, and had virtually foregone all forms of meditation or reflection, fearing that if I slowed down too much to work on my emotional and mental well-being that I was losing time.
This is coming from a woman who happens to be very self-aware and works with others on their own self-awareness to prevent them from experiencing the same feeling of burn-out and overwhelm.
This was humbling.
I am once again reminded that I don't ever get to perfect my life. It is a constant work-in-progress. I only have moments of tranquility and peace and moments of chaos and overwhelm. None of them are permanent states. Just moments in time.
The best I can do is to give myself permission to be present, and to fully experience whatever space I am in in that moment - and to accept it. I have daily rituals and habits to keep me grounded, to support my mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being, I make time for fitness, I eat healthy (most of the time), and I read - a lot. I do the things I love and I feel grateful and happy to be where I am. And still, I remind myself that being in balance is not a static state, but one that comes and goes as my energy levels shift, and my ambition takes charge.
So I took some time off. I gave myself space. I wrote in my journal, I wrote articles and blog posts, I picked up a fiction book (lately it's been all business and self-help books!), I got together with friends, I played with my cats in the yard, I had coffees in the morning with my mom. I took time to slow down. To be present where I was. To stop pushing. And to re-calibrate.
It took me 1.5 months to come back to center. And now, I feel grounded. I feel balanced. I don't feel overwhelmed and anxious. And I am writing about it so that I can remember what it feels like to be here. How clear my head is and how certain I am of being where I need to be at the right moment. I am writing about it so that you, too, can be reminded to come back to center and be present where you are.
How do you tackle that inner voice which tells you to keep pushing, to keep taking action, to not slow down? What happens when you find time for rest and reflection?
Amanda is a purpose-driven entrepreneur on a mission to humanize the workplace. She helps purpose-driven scaleups to create an empowering, high-engagement culture that inspires individuals to show up with passion, purpose, and creativity every day.
She also works with badass humans to activate their courage and take their personal and professional lives to the next level.