A few months ago, I made a very intentional decision to stop “working”.
Really this means, I stopped pressuring myself.
I still saw my clients, but I didn’t push myself to try and sign new ones, or to create content, or make a program, or worry about the next thing.
I didn’t make a single to-do list or force myself to sit in front of the computer.
I took care of the bare minimum responsibilities for my business and focused on being fully present with my clients, but that was it.
In this “time off” I expected I would just have to practice sitting with nothingness, with boredom, but I was wrong.
Instead, the void space greeted me with so many things.
The wild discomfort of judgment and shame.
The monolithic amount of resistance to many things - including love.
The space to get to know my system. My body. My natural flow of energy.
The space to notice.
And the opportunity to create something new.
I’m calling it my Re-orientation Period.
To learn how to run my business from an embodied place, guided by true life-force energy instead of ego & hustle.
I’ve known I’ve needed to shift for a long time, and I have been building my capacity to make a decision like this since last year.
That’s something people don’t realize. Big shifts take time. Your system has to be ready to hold what that shift has to offer or you’ll snap right back to your original form.
Work is my addiction.
It is a big part of my sense of self. (Ego)
It is my numbing cream.
I used to bathe in it.
and then get incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated when it inevitably wore off.
I am rehabilitating my system, my mind and my soul.
I’ve been weening myself off of using giant surges of energy that all but knock me unconscious for weeks,
to finding more steadiness.
To find more truth.
To find more power.
Things that only come when you are open. When you are feeling.
It’s natural to run away from the discomfort of feeling.
Everyone does it in one way or another, work is just one of the more acceptable forms of numbing.
But I finally got tired of crashing.
So this is what it’s like to re-orient to something you’ve been addicted to…
I used to hustle in spurts and then crash for a few days - or a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks - and then burn out.. and then get stuck in cycles of depression because I felt so much shame about not doing.
In January, I began preparing for this shift of no work - and when I say “preparing” it was actually completely subconscious.
I had set the intention to be more embodied in my business but I didn’t know that this break was coming.
The preparation was slow. A few days here and there moving slower than the rest.
Learning how to be present to the energy and the crash.
Then in February I felt something in me strongly say “Enough.”
I stopped taking new clients.
I stopped hiring coaches.
I stopped pushing myself.
I still had lots of energy, so instead of focusing it on working harder, I channeled it into my relationships, and into myself.
And after I sat in the void (That was a whole thing for another blog post), I began to feel myself open.
Things got a little freer and easier inside of me.
The criticism, judgment & shame quieted.
I rode waves of feeling deep Love.
And I returned home feeling energized and inspired.
Yesterday, I granted myself a single full work day to see how it would go.
I felt the electric energy again, and I let myself follow it carefully.
And I fell right back into old patterns - but this time it was different.
This time I was completely conscious for the entire ride.
I noticed the buzz in my body as I made my lists. I noticed my thoughts turning rapidly, offering many forms of inspiration. I noticed the energy I had to DO.
I noticed the desire to pressurize my experience.
I noticed my ability to stay at ease.
Then I noticed the fog that settled just below my eyebrows and I noticed my inclination to ignore it.
I noticed the dialogue happening between my mind and my body…
my body was telling me it was done, and my mind said “no I’ll stop right after this last thing.” not wanting to let go of the momentum.
I noticed as I pushed myself too far. I noticed how I went for a walk after my final meeting was done, but couldn’t put my phone down. I noticed the headache. I noticed my excitement turn to sour irritation. I noticed that I found pleasure in my stress. I noticed the desire to read turn into the desire to veg out in front of the TV.
and I watched until 2am.
because I didn’t want to stop pushing.
Today I woke up
in a familiar sadness
and lack of energy.
The beginning of depression.
As I sat there and wondered what happened, I remembered…
I pushed myself too far.
and now I’m noticing the consequences.
Before, I would have beat myself up.
“what is wrong with me? why am I so lazy? oh no, I’m depressed again?”
But now, I know better.
There is nothing wrong with me.
I am not depressed.
I am not lazy.
I am contracted.
I finally got out of bed at 3pm.
and came to my computer to write.
and I’m back to creating more space.
Today I take responsibility for pushing too far.
And I will give my body lead because she knows how to recover, and
I know and trust her.
Now I know and trust the cycle.
I know that my inspiration and energy will return.
Not because I’m forcing it to, but because I am allowing. because I am noticing. because I am listening.
because I’m getting out of the damn way.
and I am kind of excited!
What once would have knocked me into a shame spiral for weeks, now has only impacted me for about 12 hours. And I only spent about 15min judging myself for it.
Because I know how to hold it.
I know the truth of it and the truth of who I am.