Rummaging through things in the attic, you come across an unmarked box. Opening it, the scent of baby shampoo lifts into the air. You are transported to a simpler time when motherhood was manageable.
Or was it? Tears fill your eyes and anxiety your stomach. It’s a familiar sense of helplessness – motherhood.
In a few short weeks your baby will head off to school and become a human in the world outside of your own. Not being able to control what happens to that human has left you feeling overwhelmed about the future and sometimes stuck in the past.
Lately these thoughts have been coming more and more frequently. You know that change is part of life, and that the amount of suffering to be experienced is within your control.
But what is there to do when you are stuck in an endless mind loop cycling between things that were and things that may someday be?
The last few years forced humans in the world to slow down. Maybe you were prevented from working long hours because you couldn’t go into the office. Maybe back then you spent more time with your children or out in nature because you were present and available in your surroundings. Your mind was not clouded with an endless to do list, or the need to prove yourself to your boss. There was no keeping up with the Joneses because you were isolated from them.
As the world started opening up, your schedule and your to do list became the boss of you again. You got back in the habit of taking calls during the commute to the office. Lunch was less about a walk around the block and more about catching up on emails while you ate at your desk. And the kids…you knew you would find them mindlessly eating in front of the tv if you missed dinner for the second time this week. With painful awareness, in that moment did you realize your body, mind, and spirit were on the verge of burnout? Again.
What is there to do when you hit the point of overwhelm? When you know you can’t take one more ounce of pressure, but worrying about keeping it all together keeps you up at night?
It’s the ego that creeps up on you to say that something is wrong or needs to be fixed. Whether we are stuck or burnt out, we might find ourselves out of alignment with the present moment. We might find ourselves either resisting the reality of our situation or clinging to some hope for the future.
“Be less desirous of an easy life,” said Padmasambhava to his student. No one said life would be easy.
Rather than being held hostage by your mind, surrender to get out of the loop of thinking, get back into your body, and get unstuck with these three steps:
Step 1- In your mind, notice where there is resistance or longing. Understand that in the moment your ego is telling you what your limitations are.
Step 2- Move from your head into your body. In the present moment, feel where resistance and/ or longing manifests. What does it feel like in your body to be burnt out or stuck?
Step 3- Nourish your mind/ body/ spirit. Although this can look different for each person, some ideas might be:
- Grounding yourself in the earth by putting your bare toes in the dirt or water
- Moving your body
- Drinking water
- Practicing breath work while you feel your feelings
The truth is, the discomfort you feel in the present when your mind wants to pull you into the past or future, is perfectly normal. Although your ego may tell you it is, pain is not a problem.
The key to getting unstuck or recovering from burnout is to allow all of it to happen without grabbing for or resisting the changes that are inevitable.
How do I become more in tune with the Love that I embody?
Please contact Rachel Gordon if you have questions about Buddhist psychology and integrative, holistic techniques to address mental health issues and promote total body wellness. If you live in the Denver/ Castle Rock area and would like to learn more about what Rachel has to offer through Humble Warrior Therapy, please call (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule.
Tags: Anxiety, Buddhist Psychology, Holistic Health, Living in the Moment, Mindfulness