I got something very vulnerable to tell you…
I’ve been struggling with insomnia since I got pregnant over four years ago.
While you’ll often find me smiling and giggling, I have a hard-charging personality that loves to push because stepping outside of my comfort zone is exhilarating!
I find the pushing, grinding, and testing my physical and mental limits fun because I have an opportunity to explore the depths and limits of who I am –discovering strengths and powers I didn’t know I had.
However, I have been pushing myself too hard, for too long.
For example, in my 20s I worked 60-80 hours/week as a university teacher and athletic trainer at the University of Wisconsin -Oshkosh. On top of my regular work week, I volunteered for ski patrol, trained as a search and rescuer, and competed in triathlons.
Now as a 40 year old mother of a toddler, I wrote a book while running a business, processing childhood trauma, and grieving for too many young mothers, fathers, and clients who left this world too soon.
Sadly, my fitness has significantly decreased because I simply don’t have the energy to do it all.
I’m wearing out.
I’m feeling depleted and rundown.
And I’m tired of being conditioned that to BE more means you DO more.
And I don’t think I’m alone.
That’s why I want to create a powerful new paradigm in human performance where we
…Balance winning with well-being.
…Exert effort with enjoyment and ease.
…Demonstrate flexibility rather than force.
Because I believe that grace is more powerful than grinding.
I believe that stopping and slowing down allows us the space to let go of the things holding us back.
I believe that rest is the root of living a life we want.
I believe if we take rest seriously, we are more healthy, well, and wise.
However, I have not been practicing what I believe.
And that’s okay –it happens to the best of us.
At the core, I want to better understand how to be the eye of the hurricane.
I want to be still and calm amidst the challenges we all face in our daily lives –in athletics, academics, work, wellness, and parenting.
But, I’m at a pivotal point where I want to, I need to, stop, slow down, and discover simple, yet profound practices that support mental, emotional, and physical health.
Because I’m burning out.
I absolutely love what I do. But, I’m doing too much.
If you live in busy mode for too long it keeps the sympathetic nervous system active –the part of our autonomic nervous system that manages fight-or-flight.
According to Karen Brody (2017) author of Daring to Rest, this puts stress on our entire nervous system.
Anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
To reduce this stress, we must take time to activate the opposite part of our autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest) –for balance.
For a quick fix, I teach athletes to exhale longer than they inhale because that activates the parasympathetic nervous system. But, when you’ve been in overdrive for too long this breathing technique is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.
It’s time for me to address the gaping wound, be brutally honest with myself, and be well-rested so that I can operate from my full power.
I also think that in the world of sports with hard-charging athletes and coaches, this is a worthy conversation to initiate.
If we want to sustain achieving amazing feats of greatness, then we need to balance that with rest.
If we live in a culture that is obsessed with performance and productivity, then we need to balance that with rest.
If we live in a world that is over-heating –including ourselves, then we need to balance that with rest.
Rest is giving yourself non-active time to allow your mind and body the opportunity to restore and rejuvenate.
Rest means you are doing NOTHING!
Rest means quietly watching a sunset, sitting in a chair observing the beauty around you, or taking a bath…with bubbles!
Rest means taking a time-out.
Rest means allowing your body to relax and your thoughts to slow down.
I hear so many people, including myself, that are tired of feeling frazzled and fatigued because doing it all is bullshit.
Well, I’m courageously stepping away from my business and taking a break from working every day.
This is hard for me! It’s easier to push than pause. It’s easier to be strong than to be still.
But, I’m being pulled to pause and be still.
And I want to honor that visceral instinct in the bottom of my gut.
I want to find a powerful place that leads me to feeling rested, energized, and empowered...to do what is important to me…to make a meaningful impact…to feel unstoppable again...and to share my findings with you!
Because stopping makes us start again better and stronger the next time.
If this at all resonates with you, please send me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic…even if you think I’m acting like a baby and need to suck-it-up, buttercup.
Until next time…I dare you to rest.