I am burned out. Burnt to a crisp. How did this happen? I recall my early-August blog post where I decided to re-invent fall--embracing it rather than hunkering-down-for-the-long-haul. Part of the re-envisioning process, though, involved regular check-ins. For example, how are things going? Can I continue at this pace? Are there things I need to cut back on? Are there other things I need to make time for? Am I living my life based on what I treasure most?
Somehow, I forgot about the check-in process. Instead, I completely got hooked by my ego (read: negative-voice that constantly tells me to do more). And I lost sight of the big picture. Each time this happens, I'm amazed by the new ways that ego can sneak into my life (part of being an academic means being adept at creating intricate, intellectual ways to make myself think I'm being good to myself when I'm actually suffering quite a lot).
The good news is that I realize it. Yeah! I write this blog post, because perhaps some of you are in the same boat (e.g., lost sight of the big picture, not living life based on what you value most). This is a juicy time to dig in (yes, it takes hard work) and reassess. Reconnect with the authentic voice inside; reconnect with mind, body, and spirit.
Part of this reconnection starts with taking an honest look at things, just the way they are. Well, honestly, I'm burned out, not feeling like "myself," cranky (I know I hide it very well, but I feel cranky inside), and unable to truly access happiness. Now the hard work begins: How can I get off this particular treadmill of suffering and get back on a pathway connected to my authentic self (that self who easily accesses happiness, compassion, and generosity)? My answers to this question might be different from yours. The important thing is for the questions and answers to be truthful and authentic. For me, I want to pause more, breathe more, leave some (many?) things undone, be vulnerable, and slowly let go of this very tight (fake) control I hold over the entire universe (last statement purposely ridiculous, because that's how out-of-whack I feel).
I invite any of you who are struggling in a similar way to create your own roadmap back to "yourself." The first step is always the recognition (and we should celebrate even this seemingly small step). The next steps are difficult, as they ask us to change sometimes deeply ingrained habits. But this is the cycle of life. And I'm happy to be part of it (even when it's sometimes weird, scary, or difficult).
So I invite y'all (and I invite myself) to pause and reconnect. Over and over again.