It's a funny not so funny story of the time leading up to me launching Mama Nourish. I've mentioned before that I had been in the planning phase for months, my intention was to plan for several months more before launching this idea. To have it perfect before I began, and to run Little Wolff along side it as two separate creative endeavours. I certainly didn't think I needed help finding my purpose. I'd invested so much of myself in Little Wolff that I had not even briefly entertained the idea of letting it go, it was my main focus and Mama Nourish was to be a side project.
Then I got sick. I was not deadly bedridden sick, but the worst aspect for me was that I couldn't hear properly. Things piled up and it got all too much. I rested, and pondered the place of overwhelm I had gotten to. It reminded me of a similar wellness meltdown that I had experienced years ago, in my year of awful. A stack of events beyond my control and a highly stressful job that I wasn't progressing in no matter how much I poured into it, and I had been bottling it all up, resisting the changes I knew I needed to make. I ended up with pneumonia. A thought at that time that kept coming to me was that it hurt to talk, which was true physically because of the pneumonia and emotionally because there was so much painful "stuff" going on. Getting better took both facing that, listening to those coded messages the universe was sending me and accordingly making changes to my life (and a bunch of penicillin shots in the butt which is very much not fun). As I worked through that illness I became aware of how strong the mind body connection could be.
Reflecting on that earlier issue, I thought now about my ears and how it was hard and even painful to hear. Again I was in a position of giving my all and not moving forward. But this time it wasn't the talking that was the problem. It was that I hadn't been listening to the clues pointing to a new purpose. I wasn't hearing the questions and comments that were showing me it was time to stop pushing at that door and to open this new one. That it was time to make the change even if I was not ready yet.
Regardless of how my illness manifested, and what your perspective is on the mind body connection there are three very helpful steps I've learned through these experiences. They can help you work through overwhelm, dealing with issues of resistance and direction and the confusion that can result in burnout. If you put them into regular practice they will help you to find your purpose.
Stop, be still and listen
These words can help you through stagnation, insecurity, fear, stubborn resistance, all those crappy things that stop us from moving forward and blossoming like deep down we know we can.
So next time you're stuck in self doubt, paralysed by indecision, or can't work out why things aren't going your way, I want you to:
Find a calm and safe space, away from noise, your phone and the computer, away from busy work and the things that we use to distract ourselves from a fear of moving forward.
Now I meant it when I said no busy work, no running shopping or to do lists through your head. Just be still. Sit with yourself and feel your breath, be aware of how your body is feeling.
Ask yourself questions about where you're stuck, and see how your body reacts. Does your heart race a little faster, or does it groan at the thought? If it helps you can have a little notebook with you to jot thoughts down as they come to you and work through them. Ask yourself what are those little messages you've been ignoring, and are you ignoring them because you're afraid of making change? Are you afraid that you're not good enough to take that leap? You may need to look at lots of seemingly disconnected events, but if you're still and listen you'll see where they connect.
Let them light the way to change and growth.
What lessons have you learned by listening for the clues to your purpose?
Already Burnt out and need help recovering? Check out next weeks' A-Z of healthy and Happy B is for Balance, Burnout and Breathe.