Beyond the Limits: A Personal Odyssey from Overdrive to Balance

I am getting my branding redesigned – very exciting! Packing to go to a weekend workshop tomorrow. Finally cleaning up my storage areas after having moved to my current location 2 and a half years ago. Clearing out my gardens so that I can begin to plant. And, of course, doing the regular daily things that make up my personal and work day.

All wonderful. All exciting. All, to my mind, necessary. I could blame it on an early Spring… and it’s true that we all feel a hopefulness every Spring that gets us going. But that wouldn’t be all, because I habitually juggle many things at once.

I habitually tend to overstuff my days and weeks. In fact, there’s a translated saying from the Tao that goes something like: Better to stop short than fill to the brim. Part of my morning mantra includes this saying, to remind me to at least back off a little. And I do.
If you find yourself always on the go, is it exhausting or exhilarating? Or perhaps exhilarating until it’s exhausting?

It used to be both for me. Back then, I’d feel a surge of exciting energy at the beginning of my day, and then at about the two-thirds mark, I’d begin to lag, almost always ending up falling into bed and passing out from exhaustion. That would happen daily until my body demanded a break, when I would be able to do nothing except rest. Then the cycle would begin again.

That seemed fine until I got older and I physically wasn’t able to cycle through going all day any longer: I was getting sick more often and for longer periods, I began to suffer from a few debilitating and chronic conditions, I’d make more mistakes. I began to forget things. That last one really scared me … so did the others, but that one most of all.

It became clear that I needed to figure out what I could do differently. When I asked professionals and friends, what I was advised was pretty much always the same: Slow down! Relax! Retire! Meditate and do yoga (both of which I do, regularly). But what I heard with this kind of advice, albeit well meant, was really telling me that there was something wrong with how I lived. That there was something wrong with me.

I didn’t believe it, so I took a good look at what might be causing me to overstuff my days in a way that was ultimately hurting me. What I discovered was this: my expectations of both my limits and those of others. I’d be overly optimistic over the time something took; I’d pay too much attention to one aspect and not the others. I also ignored my body’s messages when I became tired. And, because I am who I am, I did a lot of things I really didn’t want to do, but felt obliged to include, mostly for the sake of others’ needs and not my own.

In other words, I felt a responsibility that went way beyond what was realistic. It wasn’t until I began to seriously explore this that I was able to regain lost energy, and feel good at day’s end instead of exhausted.

In the process, I discovered something else about me and those like me that is major: there is nothing wrong with who I am.

And if you’re like me, there’s nothing wrong with who you are, either!

If you want more on this topic, you may want to watch my video: How to Love What You Do Without Burning Out.

Quote of the Week

It’s okay to love something a little too much, as long as it’s real to you.”

– Gerard Way


The expectation effect: how our beliefs create our reality


I hope you enjoyed this article. When you’re ready to take the next step on your life journey, book a free 20 min consultation with me.