Have you ever found yourself overstretched? What do you do? Pull back or push through?Nov 13, 2020
I always used to be a 'push through' kind of girl. I would see others relying on me. I'd feel responsible for them. I'd see it as my 'duty' to serve and put everyone else's needs before my own.
I'd hear in my head, my parents' frequent mantra: "Do what you have to do before you do what you want to do" in the voice of that personal policeman who keeps us self-regulated.
So, tired as I was, I would look at what I had taken on and try to juggle my time to make sure I could fit it all in. I'd get up at 4am to find an extra few hours, and maybe a few extra hours in the evening, so I'd end up working 12 and 14 hour days.
I'd keep trying to meet every commitment, meet every deadline, as a matter of personal pride, duty and responsibility. I never wanted to let anyone down.
And on the surface of this, these all look laudable character traits.
You often hear someone being praised as being someone who "always puts everyone else first". People win awards and accolades, for their selfless devotion to duty and service. We all learn from society that selfless service is considered a 'good thing'
And indeed it can be. I love serving. I love to give to others. It makes me feel good inside. I am generous with my time, my love and money and always have been.
But sometimes I overstretch myself, when I find I've (usually inadvertently) taken on more than I can reasonably cope with.
Do you ever do that? Like, agree to help out your family member, who's having their kitchen redone, by having them to dinner on the same day you've offered to do readings, as well as deliver a workshop that still needs preparation, plus write a newsletter, and set up next week's social media posts....
but in between now and when they all need to be delivered in 48 hours, you have a day with your grandson, a visit with your mum and your Fitsteps dance workout and yoga class?
I love to do all of these things. I love all the people involved. I want to give all of these things. And I could just about manage it if I cut the dance and yoga class, got up 3 hours early, skipped doing my morning meditation and worked later in the evening.
But did you see that...? The first thing to go was the self care.
It always was.
Cutting the exercise, the meditation and the evening wind down that would mean I'd get a good night's sleep, and cutting the sleep at the other end, which would make me even more tired.
Can I truly give my best when I am running on 2 cylinders instead of 4?
Of course not. And I know that because for years, decades, I would still try.
And if it were just for a couple of busy or overstretched days here or there, then pushing through might be an option.
But if you are already very busy and have been working on a knife edge for weeks or months to keep that balance going, then it doesn't take much to push you over the edge.
In my lifetime I've had 3 major breakdowns from burnout, when I kept going for months and months before I collapsed. But the good news is that, in learning my 'need for self care' lessons this long and hard way, I have now recognised when I see the warning signs.
I now realise that 'pushing through' is not the heart-led way.
The meditation, the yoga, the dancing, the sleep, the time with my grandson .... these are what make it possible for me to give freely and with joy. These are what fill me up with energy and love that can overflow into all that I do.
If I cut these, then I cut myself off from the energy source of Spirit, which carries me through.
So why did I used to push through to the point of burnout? Well I used to carry a lot of emotional baggage.
- Like, a fear of rejection, that if I let people down they wouldn't like me.
- Like, a perfectionism that made me feel that if I wasn't meeting every single responsibility then I wasn't 'good enough'.
- Like, a sense of duty and responsibility that was based in self sacrifice.
Plus a hundred other false beliefs, old wounds and childhood conditioning and patterns that kept me limited, small and in a place of self-sabotage.
Until I found the Heart Space Room.
This is a meditation I came across in the early days of my awakening, that I adapted and developed it until it became my 'go to' tool to help me heal these old wounds, false beliefs, patterns and conditioning.
If I found myself with an emotion or situation where I felt unhappy, or out of balance in some way, I'd take it into the Heart Space Room and go through the process to see what was coming up. And always I'd be surprised at what I found was underneath the pain or emotion I was exploring.
I learned so many things about what was driving me: the false beliefs, conditioning and old emotional wounds, many formed in childhood, that were still in play.
But I didn't just learn about what they were - I was able to resolve them and bring those parts of me that were stuck in the past, up to speed:
- By changing those old beliefs into new beliefs.
- By showing how those old wounds were actually serving me.
- By loving those parts of myself I'd abandoned because I feared losing love from others.
And in using the Heart Space Room regularly, the patterns and conditioning just disappeared and I'd strip off layer after layer, to find the true me underneath.
I've created a mini course using the Heart Space Room meditation as its core.
It's called "The Heart Space Room: A journey in inner healing."
The videos in this mini course
- explain the concept
- show it in action
- show how to set up your own Heart Space Room
- and then guide you through the meditation
Check it out here, or in the link below, if you are interested in finding out more.
As for me, Spirit has delighted me with these synchronicities.
I sat down at the PC to write a short Facebook post about how I was re-organising my commitments so I could meet them all in a way that allowed me to incorporate my self-care.
In the process of doing so, and letting it flow, I now find I have created a blog post, newsletter and advert, written from the heart, that allows me to share my new Heart Space Room mini course with you.
I don't think I would have come up with anything as perfect, if I'd sat down to compose one.
As to my current heavy schedule situation, it was easily solved. I rescheduled things, let go the need to have things perfectly completed, and trust that Spirit will be with me to carry me at all the right places. It always will.
Click on the picture below to take you to find out more about the mini course.
If self care (or lack of) has been an issue for you too -
Click on the picture below to claim your free self care workbook and video series of 10 self-care practices for your awakening journey. Helping you to bring your mind, body and spirit back into balance.