I made a mistake. I made the mistake of making myself too busy. A few weeks later, when I came down with a bad cold due to burnout, I understood that I had filled my schedule to the brim because I was too afraid to face a tumultuous issue that was brewing under the surface.
As always, the irony of the situation dawned on me when I felt I had nothing more to give. There, on the couch, feeling too weak to move, I was forced to pay attention to the signs that were before me all along. Instead of sweeping the proverbial dust under the rug, I held it in the palms of my hands, breathed it in and made myself sneeze a few times, blaming it on the virus, before allowing myself to face the big elephant. By doing too much, by constantly moving forward, we often keep ourselves from thinking about what makes us vulnerable. It’s easy to get up in the morning and get to work, to tackle the grit without asking ourselves why we tackle it and whether it serves an ultimate purpose. In making myself busier than I needed to be, I avoided the big question of how I was actually feeling and what I truly wanted to do.
If we are making ourselves too busy, what are we trying to escape?
We must slow down. We must slow down to allow creativity to flow. We must slow down and give ourselves permission to feel the emotions that will arise, instead of attempting to deny them. We must be honest with ourselves about what we truly want to do, why we resist certain projects, and whether we are actually meant to undertake any of those projects in the first place.
When I’m quiet, I hear an inner voice that asks me to simplify, to allow myself to tune into the creative flow. That voice begs me to pay attention to the signs that are before me. After that, I gently nudge myself to take just one step in the direction that feels right to me at this time.
What signs are before you? Have you been paying close attention to them and heeding them?
Favourites from around the web:
“Dr. Davidson’s team showed that as little as two weeks’ training in compassion and kindness meditation generated changes in brain circuitry linked to an increase in positive social behaviors like generosity.”
Three questions to ask yourself before buying something – I follow a similar approach.
How to enjoy exercising without making it feel like a chore – For me, it’s all about moving my body in a way that allows me to feel healthy, strong, and energised but grounded.
Community, and the importance of getting to know our neighbours, is a subject that has been on my mind often as of late.