Imagine a clutter-free world with clearly defined spaces and zones. Envision a full and interesting life where one is well-rested and enjoying health and the fruits of their labor. Rihanna sang it best, “Work, work, work, work, work, work”; all I do is work, work, work, work, work. Full disclosure, the majority of my wounds are self-inflicted. I always take on more than I can chew because I have a plethora of passions. I promise I have tried to set real boundaries and have had more success than usual, but inevitably, I end up overwhelmed and in a state of self-recrimination. You all have followed my experimental journey. I have tested many different ways of managing my time and ensuring that I accomplish my goals. To be clear, I am not failing. I am getting many things done and excitedly launching my latest endeavor tomorrow. What I am all too successful at achieving is burnout. I cancelled the vacation time I was planning to get more things done. I need a nap. I’m not joking. Once I finish this blog I am going to take a nap. The daily advice from my beloved Pokéman was to find the spiritual water to renourish myself.
This weekend I celebrated with one of my good friends. I refamiliarized myself with the beautiful, uplifting and sometimes haunting hymns as I celebrated Shabbat at they synagogue. We sang the Kaddish for those we mourned. I mumbled along when I did not quite understand and was warmly welcomed by her people. Yet, I did not allow myself to follow immerse myself in the fun and frivolity of a birthday weekend. The constant refrain in the back of my mind was all the things I needed to get done. In fact aside from dreaming of finding a portal where I was able to find the most amazing shoes, I dreamed that I accomplished everything I set out to achieve. It was effortless and I was in a marvellous state of flow. When I am buried, the first thing I do is breathe. The next is to give thanks for challenges because they will help me to grow. I celebrate that I am not doing this alone and have a community to lean on.
Life does not appear to give you a final exam. It’s a series of pop quizzes and chapter refreshers that test what you have learned. Once you pass, you get a slight reprieve, but you must always study because there will be another assessment. One lesson I am learning is to delight in the trials. I am a huge advocate for fun and play and it’s easy to say, but a little more challenging to realize. I admire people who always seem to be able to laugh in spite of their tribulations. This journey is not always fun and games and joy is not always an appropriate response. If the sun shone all the time we would live in a desert. There are no shortcuts to growth and we must spend time in the shadows tilling the soil and removing the rocks. I am trying to be compassionate to my weeds and understand that in different soil they may be prized flowers. I continue to get this lesson over and over again, so obviously I have more to learn. I will nurture my curiosity for the unpleasant things to help them feel heard and valued so that they can move on leaving me to make forward progress.
I value this time I spend reflecting and sharing with you all because it helps me to get ready for a new week. What have I learned as I reflect on this past week. As my friend Yinka Ewuola says, there is no failure only outcomes. Yes, I have faffed around this week. I have spent more time than I would like to admit collecting Entbrats, Riffs, Quibbles, and more signing monsters. I also see the growth because I am learning to understand when I need to push through and when I need to allow inefficacy in my life. The still quiet moments are where powerful confrontations can occur away from people, social media, and all the distractions that tempt me. The trainings are not running away, the recorded webinars are not going to expire. I may if I continue a breakneck pace. Dear reader, I encourage you to take a nap, or walk to enjoy nature, or gaze at the clouds. Ask yourself if the stories you believe are serving you? If you do not have time to question your life, perhaps that’s a subtle hint to explore alternatives. I am going to take a nap and I am confident, that a rested me will be able to replicate my dream last night. I can do all the things without setting myself on fire. Namaste.