Welcome to my blog page. Pieces to ponder in the development of your emotional wisdom. 

Burn-out or Wake-up?

Ever get that feeling as burn-out beckons that you've been in a similar situation before? And yet, you carry on regardless? It is as if you are so hooked on the struggle and the pressure, that you cannot even contemplate getting off what can feel like a runaway train. Only after we have collapsed in a heap and are deeply frazzled may we think "I should have stopped sooner" however, this may quickly be followed by A "yes, but…" as we try to justify to ourselves (and anyone else who might be in earshot) why we allowed things to get so bad. We may blame others (boss, partner, colleagues) even though we are weavers of our own story, our own reality. Truth is we will have quite possibly realised it is a recurring pattern, and feel a tad embarrassed at the idea. We haven't as yet though had a resolute emotional investment in change where we not only decide to do it differently in the future, but act on it too. We are creatures of habit, and once recovered (or so we think), we soon reclaim our familiar way of doing things. A collusion of habit and ego, that can lead to a collision. 

What we will have failed to recognise is that burnout is a wake-up call from our soul. We may be halted temporarily in our tracks by minor incidents before burn-out hit hard - although these are so fleeting we don't pay sufficient attention. We might fall down steps, have a bump in the car, lose documents, display our anger in the office, or sprain a wrist playing sport etc. But we remain blinkered, glossing over such moments, being anything but mindful. And so, the accidents and incidents become bigger, noisier. They are demanding that we wake-up, notice what we notice, assimilate the learning, do something different. But just like the morning alarm, we can turn off the noise and hide under the duvet to snooze for a while longer. 

Like many of you I am sure, I've had my share of car accidents, illnesses, unplanned life or career changes; the curve ball that comes out of nowhere. Stuff happens. It is what we do as a result of it that makes the difference to our learning and growth. First we have to pay attention to the multi-level information being transmitted in every incident, then we have to decide whether we are willing to listen or not, followed by a desire to do something different as a result. And if you miss it, there will always be another time. As I know so well from personal experience, the learning opportunity will keep coming, again and again….

If you want to crack your own code in what leads you to burn-out. Invest in yourself. Whether writing daily pages (see Julia Cameron's book The Artists Way), meditating, mindfulness or walking - it will help you discover how to take a step back from the brink of burn-out. Another resource are the simple self-help healing system from the 1930s of Bach Flower Remedies to regain your balance and discover self-awareness. There are 38 flowers each corresponding to a particular mood or personality type, for example: Chestnut Bud to learn from experience of repeated patterns; Rock Water for the pressure of perfectionism; Walnut to adjust to changes; Vervain for the obsessive multi-tasking; Oak for struggling on relentlessly. More information in my  e-book Emotional Wisdom with Bach Flower Remedies available soon. 

If you have money to invest in yourself, then work too with a Coach (lists on ICF, EMCC, AC) and if not, put out a request on LinkedIn or elsewhere for a Coach who is building their practice hours and looking for no-fee or low-fee volunteer clients.

And if you do none of these things, that is okay too. We each get the wake-up call in our own time and in our own way. Although wouldn't it be great if we didn't give ourselves such a hard time in getting there?