(a love note to exhaustion)
You are my greatest teacher.
For most of my life, you were my constant companion, and I never knew why.
I accepted you as ‘normal’.
I thought that this feeling of utmost depletion and burnout was ‘just life’ … for all of us.
I learnt that in order to function the way I was expected to, I better just ‘push through’.
Not worrying about what any of my signs and symptoms were trying to communicate to me.
Being a good girl; making sure I would remain safe and validated, by ignoring myself to please everybody else.
Until … I reached a point where I realised that constant tears, chronic anxiety, and panic attacks couldn’t be my natural state.
This couldn’t be all there was to life. Could it?
Exhaustion, you sent me on a healing journey, one that was years and years long.
Every time I ignored you, you gave me a gentle nudge. And when I ignored those gentle nudges, they became shouts.
It took years of gripping anxiety, panic attacks, hormonal dysregulation, adrenal fatigue, and recurrent bouts of viral illness for me to finally get it:
I had to find a way of ‘doing life’ that worked for me.
Me, not anybody else.
And so, I tuned out from the world. And in to myself.
I created space in my life for me. LOTS of space. So much space that I’m sure people thought I was really selfish – but I had to decide to care more about myself than what anybody else thought of me.
I let go of all preconceived notions of the path that I ‘should’ be taking with my life … and started to do it in a way that felt right to my soul.
Every time I was presented with a choice, I actually listened to my initial intuitive guidance – and acted on that.
I stopped over-extending myself, over-committing myself, beyond my own resoucres.
I found that no, thank you… became my new phrase.
I explored the world of healing in so much depth, and found what worked for me … and what didn’t.
I studied the healing arts myself over many years (and to this day), immersing myself in science, naturopathy, personal development, coaching, and energy work.
I came to believe that rest, slowing down and stillness were my true medicine. Along with yoga and the ocean and sleep and herbs and proper nutrition.
Exhaustion, you took me on the greatest journey of my life – one which has enabled me to now help so many other women with their own exhaustion, through everything I have learnt.
To this day – you still enter my life and my being, on a fairly regular basis.
And I know now, not to try and push through you.
Instead, I invite you in, and ask:
/ What do I need to change?
/ Where do I need to pull back?
/ What situation / circumstance / person is draining my energy right now, and how can I lovingly create a boundary around this?
/ Where do I need to stop worrying, and trust more?
/ Where do I need to delegate?
/ Where am I being a perfectionist?
Exhaustion, you have taught me many things, but most of all, you have taught me how to connect in with and truly HONOUR myself.
Thank you for always showing up, when I have forgotten about how important I am. And how much I need all of the things that I so willingly extend to others.
Most of all, thank you, truly, for showing me the way back home (to myself) – time and time again.
Me (and every exhausted woman trying to find wellness in modern life).
Amazing woman, can you relate??
To my fellow women who feel like they simply cannot overcome their exhaustion and burnout:
I invite you to stop resisting it, and berating your body for giving it to you … and lean in to it.
Perhaps, you are being beckoned into a different way of life. And deep down, you probably know exactly what needs to change to get there.
And I know how impossible it feels, especially when you have a lot of people and things loaded onto your ‘life plate’ to deal with.
But, one thing I can guarantee you is this:
The longer that you ignore your inherent nature, and who your soul is trying to get you to be … the worse the exhaustion (or other symptoms) will get.
Literally, I have struggled with exhaustion, burnout and overwhelm my whole life.
I cannot tell you how much I resisted my sensitive and introverted nature in an effort to be ‘normal’.
I would constantly immerse myself in social situations , living situations, work situations and MORE, that felt so innately wrong to me.
I did this because I didn’t (yet) understand that I was allowed to choose something different. But because I wasn’t surrounded by other like-minded individuals in my life, I felt completely alone.
You, too, are allowed to choose something different.
Whatever it takes. Even if it means up-ending your world and existence as you know it – there is a way out of whatever disharmony you are experiencing.
Please know, that you are not alone. There are people out there who understand your journey, who understand that you feel like you are drowning.
The times when we come crashing down to rock bottom are our opportunities to re-build our foundation – a foundation that is rooted in prioritising yourself so that you don’t break down again.
You are not here to be everything to everyone at the expense of your own wellbeing.
You are here to first be everything to yourself – so you can go forth as your most fulfilled, energetic and vital self, and THEN serve everybody else from that place.
No matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, you cannot offer anybody anything of value, when you come from a place of pure depletion.
This is the difference between the women who heal their exhaustion (and burnout and hormones and everything else), and those who don’t:
>> The ones that heal, are the ones who work on their self-worth. <<
The ones that KNOW, in every cell of their being, that they are worthy of the exact things that they so willing extend to everybody else.
The ones who are willing to be ‘selfish’.
The ones who are willing to go out on a limb and upend their lives, if that’s what it really takes to be well again.
I say that with so much love, knowing that it isn’t easy, and also with a DEEP recognition of everything that I’m sure you have on your plate.
But at the end of the day, we can make excuses, or we can do whatever it takes to heal.
There are excuses, or there is change.
Changing a situation starts with one little step. And another the next day. New choices, guiding you in the direction of what I am certain you desire: true wellness and soul fulfilment.
All love –
Ps. Are you looking for solutions? My Burnout Masterclass eCourse is a beautiful place to start. Come on over to find out everything about this online course, and join in today, from wherever you are in the world.
Naturopath / Women’s Life Coach // Perth, Australia / Skype