What is the difference between burning out, procrastinating, and the nature showing us who is boss? Having contemplated this question a fair bit over the last few months I have come to a conclusion. Not a lot.
All require us to slow down and unpick the reason behind our inaction. And all are essential warning signals that we must take a break, rest, meditate, and find a better way forward. When the time is right and the way forward is clear.
I believe action is essential to life, I am a self-employed Aries after all. I am also a practicing yogi, which has undoubtedly helped balance my natural reflex to push forward into blind burnout. My daily practice of asana and/or meditation means that now when I feel my most confused, exhausted, pregnant, or unsure I can focus and find some peace of mind.
It is not always necessary to push to complete things. Sometimes we are procrastinating, stalling, failing to commit to things we thought we wanted to achieve because after some ground work we realise they are a red herring, a dead end, a distraction.
The easiest way in life is the path of least resistance. So, if we are experiencing resistance, ask where it is really coming from. Are you procrastinating because the weather is too nice? Or because you are overwhelmed by the size of your task? Or because a naysayer has unsettled you?
If any of these ring true, just ask yourself, “what is the one thing I can do today to move me closer to my desired outcome?” If you are prepared to do it, great. If you are not prepared then you may need to look at what is really going on.
My advice would be to take some quiet time out, meditate, ask for the answers that you need. “Something doesn’t feel right, what is the right way for me to move forward right now?” If there is no clear path of least resistance, perhaps wait until there is. BUT. This is not an excuse to do nothing if deep down you do know what you should be doing!
Sometimes we simply need a rest. Burn-out can be seen all around us. There is a trend to be busier than everyone else, tired, more put upon etc etc. Why? All those things suck if you ask me. Why not aspire to have more peace, calm, focus, time and space to relax. Why are we not socially competitive about these things?
If we feel exhausted, why? Where can we make changes? Where can we prioritise and let unimportant things go? Do we need to watch that show that starts at 10pm when we have been tired all day? Must we do so much for others when our own tank is empty? Where can we find time for ourselves to nurture our dreams and goals? And make sure we are gently moving in the right direction in a more loving, albeit perhaps slower, pace.
I think burn out and procrastination contain elements of nature being boss. When things don’t feel right we need to listen. That is our intuition, and it is always right. Learning to work with it, rather than against it can be liberating.
And, there is no shame in changing our plans and goals to ones which are more in line with our values or simply feel a better fit. It doesn’t make us flakey to keep trying until we find what is right for us. It makes us human. Life is easier when we allow it to flow in the direction it wants to take us.
When our body and mind is telling us it needs a break, lets give it that break. Lets step back, practice non-harming. Practice patience. Practice breathing, laying down, taking naps, biscuit dunking. Whatever works for you. If we don’t we run the risk of beginning to resent our work and goals.
There are so many things I have planned to do over the course of my pregnancy. So many things I have put together and struggled to record, create a worksheet for, promote, write about, work on.
Sometimes in life it is simply impossible to be, do, and have everything. Simple. And during these times it is easy to forget that life has a funny way of turning things around and energising us, opening up the right space, contacts, opportunities – what ever it is we feel may be creating the delay in our progression. When the time is right.
As I look around at my body and my garden it is clearer to me than ever that all about the right things happening at the right time.