I’m coming out of a mini burn-out. It’s been years since I last had a big one and I thought I’d got ‘burn outs’ sussed. Silly me… Nothing’s more likely to encourage complacency than thinking you have things sussed. When you do, the anti-life gremlins are more than delighted to remind you they’re always lurking and ready to bite you on the bum.
This mini burn-out crept up on me. The anniversary of my Mum’s passing hit me unexpectedly hard this year. There’s an ongoing family situation where I haven’t yet got beyond the pain. I’m facing the start of another decade as an elder, reflecting and contemplating my mortality. And I’d allowed in too many things to sort in any one day; Super Woman had returned.
Crept up on me! Who am I kidding? I just wasn’t attending to the signs. I was too busy in denial about not being 21 anymore. And, as I age, my whole system is far more sensitive to energies within and without like the Trumpo, sleaze scandal and ethnic cleansing. Great for my work but it requires me to learn new ways of managing my raised sensitivities. Another journey!
Plus, I was in mourning not just for my Mum, my aging and the world. Despite all my professional knowledge and wisdom, there were things in my life I couldn’t help improve as I then saw it. You sure as hell can’t stop getting older, re-incarnate a loved one, or yourself when you pass, or help others if they don’t want to be helped!
What I could do was STOP! Time just to be and recover; a cancelling out of stuff and a doing nothing. In that, I remembered a quotation from Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer…
‘Do you have the patience to wait ‘til your mud settles and the water is clear. Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?’
Too often our logical mind gallops ahead coming up with answers and ‘fixes.’ These are based on your conditioning and societal norms; what other people think is right for you. If we pay attention to what other people think is right for you, well, that’s how artists become accountants, academics become retail assistants and some women allow themselves to be door mats!
At certain points in the #7 Steps programme workbooks, I encourage you to wait, to do nothing. Waiting and doing nothing gives your unconscious time to work on the relevant process. It also gives your inner wisdom the space to percolate what is really right for you and your heart’s desire. Then, as if by a miracle, your mud settles and your water clears.
Sometimes, even when you’re not in burnout, to stop and be still is, paradoxically, exactly the right action to take. I think it was Ghandi or the Dalai Lama who said he regularly meditates first thing for twenty minutes. However, if it’s a very busy day he meditates first thing for forty minutes!
What about you? Are you having a mini-burnout, stressed, trying to help or fix stuff that you can’t? Or, with so much negative news, feeling raw with your sensitivities more to the surface than before? Or doing something you know isn’t valuing you?
Hunker down just like I have. YES, woman… You have my permission to say NO to people and arrangements that don’t nourish and support you right now. And, after resting, notice how the right action for you emerges all by itself.
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And remember… mud-settle water-clear!