Lately I've had a case of the "I don't w-a-n-n-a'-s". I haven't felt like putting on nice clothing, I have felt lazy about exerting my brain to think, create and write (hence, a delayed blog!) and I haven't wanted to apologize to my boyfriend, even when it was my fault. I'm not sure what to call this - laziness, apathy, disinterest or just a phase. Recently I was speaking to my coach about a recent vacation I took with my boyfriend to meet each others family. A BIG trip to say the least. Shortly after telling my coach about my vacation, I launched into my agenda for that day's call. After hearing me out, he paused as he always does.... then asked, "and, how are you?" It was at this moment that I realized I'd given myself NO time to even acknowledge how I was doing or process the experience I'd just had. I had returned from my vacation and launched right into the busy-ness of my life. I hadn't taken the time to digest my feelings and the significance of the trip I'd just taken. There were many components to this trip ..... seeing my uncle and cousin who are both struggling through chemo fighting their individual cancer battles, seeing the rest of my family who I only see once a year, bringing a new man home to meet everyone.... for the FIRST TIME EVER and meeting my boyfriend's family for the first time. Given that all this was still swirling around inside of me, all I could say in response to his question was that I felt numb. I had several thoughts and emotions about the experience I'd just had and I was putting them aside to do what I thought I 'should' be doing - working. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my work and feel fortunate to be able to do something that energizes me regularly however, I know today that work must come secondary to personal care or I am of no use to my clients.
Even with this awareness, I noticed I felt a strong attachement to pushng forward and adhering to my agenda that I'd brought to the call with my coach. I recognized that the thought of letting go of work temporarily stirred up fear for me. I feared that if I did not stay engaged with my work and my continual push to grow and learn, I would lose 'it' ...... my mojo, gusto, interest and flow of clients. After expressing this to my coach and exploring the feelings behind this I came to realize that in fact I could not focus on my work in a productive, creative way until I dealt with what was in front of me - a combination of sadness, confusion and exhaustion. I had to trust that I would return to a place (hopefully sooner than later) of desire and clarity regarding my work. So, given that my energy was stuck I decided to take a leap of faith and focus on rest, exercise and connection both with myself and close, trusted friends. I also used (and still use, obviously) writing as a tool to move through the stuckness - very helpful! What I realized is that this was (and I know there will be many more) a time that I needed to focus on refueling my tank. I cannot (nor can you) give away what you do not have. Similarly a car cannot drive without gas in the tank.
What I know is that some days I am ON ... other days, my tank is lower and I need a little more r&r ... it's normal, it's human and it's OK. If you're having one of 'those' days or weeks ..... try something a little different. Rather than forcing yourself to 'push through', give yourself permission to 'refuel'. I'd bet you money you'll be glad you did and much more productive because of it in the long run!
Here's to more naps, massages, personal days and 'time-outs'!
P.S. And, in case your wondering, the self-care is paying off - I'm more productive, more focused and more energized as a result.