I’ve been hesitant to share this—as I’ve told myself a story that I have to be the one who holds it all together. Who has it “figured out,” the one who isn’t messy.
Here’s what’s behind the kimono:
I’m burnt out.
What happens when you burn out, when your heart cracks wide open and sorting it back together seems impossible.
What happens when what you’ve always felt passionate about fades like a dim sparkle?
This week I’ve had the pleasure of having some great conversations of the #REALTALK variety. Tossing about questions beyond the “what are your resolutions for the new year?” and more in the neighborhood of, “what am I doing with my life?”
We’ve gone there.
Asking the questions that typically scare the hell out of us—ok, they always scare the hell out of us. Like, “what happens when the thing you worked so hard for, you just don’t want anymore?” or questions like “am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?”
These aren’t easy questions. They are the kind that keep us up at night and bring us to our knees. These are the questions that we fear and run from. These are the questions that we numb ourselves from answering with food, alcohol, sleep, and overscheduling.
But what lies on the other side of answering these questions is the next version of ourselves. The questions are the shell that we hide behind and not answering them keeps us small. Living an unexamined life holds us back from shining our light.
This is the time for you.
Here’s what burnout has been teaching me—that it’s easy to lose yourself (even in doing what you love), it’s easy to forget your compass, and lose your spark. It’s easy to take what has always lifted you up for granted and that too much of a good thing can be too much.
No one is exempt from burnout or overwhelm—I’m in it right now. It doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate the life you built, it just means that you need to put yourself on the menu more.
There were times in the past when I didn’t see my burnout coming—I’d only realize it fully when I was face down in the monsoon of overwhelm or crippled by panic attacks. I’d let myself go for so long that I felt unrecognizable. I wasn’t making time for personal growth or asking myself the questions that would help me to grow. Instead I treated everyday like a to-do checklist—just going through the motions of living what looked like a real life (but truly was a shell of what I truly was capable of).
Right now, I’m sitting about knee deep in burnout. I’m well aware of the neighborhood that I’m in but it’s only because I’ve experienced the depths of what burnout can look like for me.
So, where’s the lesson? With every story we listen to or read, we anticipate an accompanying lesson. While I’m still learning (as we all usually are on a constant path of learning), the lessons feel raw and truthful and there’s some in there that just aren’t quite done cooking.
Here’s what I do know—we need time off. We need time in. We need time out. We need to love passionately and wildly, work like we’re living our purpose with every breath, and embrace the silence and quiet that leads us back to who we are.
While I’ve got daily practices (weekly practices…emergency-rip-cord practices), I also prescribe to the practice of retreat.
I retreat within a few times of year, whether it’s an exotic destination (because you know how I feel about palm trees) or just simply tuning out the noise around me at home.
Retreat is what helps us to return to us.
To return to who we are and discover who we are meant to be.
I’m on a personal retreat right now and it feels so good (and a little bit scary to unplug).
I’m hosting my next Life + Leadership Retreat in Rincon, Puerto Rico in March. You should come.
Rincon, Puerto Rico – March 7-11, 2019
Your Retreat Experience Includes:
- 5 days/4 nights accommodation at a beachfront luxury estate
- Daily yoga classes
- Sunset catamaran cruise
- Access to Stand-Up Paddle Boards + surf lessons
- All activities listed on the retreat schedule above
- 3 healthy and delicious meals for each full day of the retreat
- Airport transfers by car in Puerto Rico
- Private Facebook community
- Two group coaching calls with Bailey after the retreat