"She`s strong but she`s exhausted." - r.h. sin
As one of last my blog posts revealed, I couldn`t sleep this week out of joy, fulfilment, aliveness. Already yesterday night, I could feel that my body felt tired being overwhelmed by the sudden liveliness in my life. And today, on Casual Friday, I gave myself 30min more minutes to smoothly start my day. With my cup of cappuccino at hand (today I thought I might need to reduce my consumption thereof), I still feel tired, and decided, for my own wellbeing, that this day is perfect. With feeling tired, this is perfect. This is just what my body now needs. And this is the quality that is currently in my present, that I accept to let it guide me through my day.
We live in a world with unconscious pressure to be constantly productive, efficient, and performing, ideally with perfect results. We often feel guiltyif we have watched the whole season of "Game of Thrones" (but then who wouldn`t?) or somehow lollygagged, surprised how time has just passed by without us achieving anything. This focus on "doing, doing, doing" has several benefits to the ego - the ego believes that we are only worthy and good enough if we have accomplished something (also often more validated by others, than seeing e.g. "setting boundaries" as a likewise accomplishment).
Focussing on the "doing, doing, doing" part of life, it also helps us not face things we don`t want to face. We turn into workaholics, taking work as an excuse to not deal with e.g. difficult conversations with our loved ones or just own emotions. The "doing, doing, doing" world also suggests that we can find a quick fix "out there" for all our problems. Our tendency for instant gratification results from as well as further fuels this cycle. The ego believes if we get this promotion, the many "likes", or this romantic relationship, it finally means we are worthy, successful, special. Meanwhile, several side effects creep in and always find a way to come to surface in our lives.
1. Impact on our body
We can only do the "doing, doing, doing" part if we have a functioning body. However, often in the hamster wheel, we put our needs last, incl. what would serve our body. If we have deadlines to meet, pressure to perform, and family expectations to juggle, we think less "Ok, I need 8h sleep first", but more "Oh my God, I need to finish this, I still have time until 11pm". The side effects are obvious and we know it - but because our body doesn`t have a direct strong voice (yet) in our mind, it cannot object our plan to hustle. So our body finds another way to communicate with us and may send - back pain, headache, stomachache. And if we still decide to not listen to our body, as we often think this can wait until the next weekend or vacation when we really give ourselves permission to recharge, then the pain will often only grow. (Please consult with a doctor in case of any doubts and urgency).
Do we want to wait until the pain message of our body (bringing us actually further behind in our plans), or do we want to claim back our power, by first listening to our needs and assessing our resources? The choice is yours, always.
2. Impact on our mind
The mind as a processing vehicle picks up all the information it gets. So because those people, who want something from us, have communicated their requests to us, the mind will immediately take this in, process it, and put it on our priority list. It is, therefore, crucial to also let your own voice have a seat at the table and raise its own requests, to be considered on the priority list, if not for the fixed #1 slot. The requestors have trained their skills to make you prioritize their needs before the world seemingly falls apart because of you. With the same tenacity, you need to do the same for your own voice - learn to consciously say "no" or "yes" after assessing the urgency of the request and your own resources. Don`t be easily taken in by their pitch - you always have the last word. And even if this is a task that you think you cannot decline and must do, explore the possibility to negotiate the conditions for your delivery (e.g. timing, workload, interim results).
Know that the minds of people, who want something from you, often operate on fear - of missing their own deadlines, of being not good enough, of facing any potential consequences (often the worst- case scenario may not even materialize). Create a healthy boundary to be less affected by their fear-based minds, to protect your own mind - a healthy mind is a valuable resource for you to tackle anything.
3. Impact on our soul
If we decide to run the hamster wheel, we should be aware of the consequences. Now, you may think you didn`t choose to be in this hamster wheel, and I know sometimes we seem to just happen to be in this cage (again living in this current world as it is). Or the hamster wheel may be the only toy that you could use, so you tried it out, out of boredom. Or you are even good at it, so there are times you actually enjoy running and mastering the hamster wheel. But no living being, be it hamster or human, can run 24/7/365. Everyone will feel exhausted at some point (or if not because of some suspicious "push means", then often by releasing negativity on others), and the time you have spent in the hamster wheel means less time for anything else (considering the additional time we need to rewind and relax!).
As you may sense, our human set-up does not only consist of head, action, doing, but also heart, presence, being. We need both to experience all sides of life. If we neglect one or the other, it is, unfortunuately, life only lived half-heartedly and with half of our potential. Both sides do not contradict each other or are in conflict, even if we feel this way sometimes (because of the outweight of "doing" in our world we currently live in). Both forces require, reinforce, and depend on each other. This is shown by our body-mind-soul set-up, to help us live in balance, enjoying both sides of being and doing, and not only one.
What do you do when you feel tired? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Thich Nhat Hanh - The Art of Living
Reflection: What does my tiredness mean?
Intention: I take as much time to rest, relax, and recharge as I do for doing, achieving, creating.