Is this your typical day?
6am wake up and guzzle coffee
8am ARGH metro! Late again!
9-6 desk-jockey, guzzle more coffee through meetings, scarf down lunch at your desk
7p rush to yoga class
9p check emails & watch even more upsetting news coverage
I'll be honest my day isn't that different.
I run for the bus. It's raining. Clients are texting me to reschedule. More emails come in begging my attention. I might be late to start class! One more client canceling!!! "Inhale deeply. Exhale fully," as I rush in.
I am a yoga teacher. And although I feel great pride and purpose from the work I do, it is still a job and like any job it comes with stress, uncertainty and occasional burnout.
Before I became a teacher, yoga was a really effective band-aid for the stress of the work week. I’d follow my teacher through sun salutations and other strength-building, mind-calming sequences and feel peaceful and content for the evening. But over time as my self-awareness expanded, yoga taught me that in order to truly feel like I was thriving, I would need to do more.
Over time yoga wasn't enough. And I was experiencing burnout.
Burnout means you have lost all spark required to burn fuel and produce energy. But analogy aside, it means I barely have what it takes to get through the day. I am trudging through appointments with the bare minimum to get through. The smallest drop of spilled milk sends me over the edge. And I am definitely not moving forward on any projects creative, necessary or otherwise.
Burnout has another very illusive quality to it; it makes me believe that there is something deeply wrong with my life that requires even more of my attention and energy to fix. In other words, every time I experience burnout I deeply believe that I need to rebrand my business, fix a laundry-list of personal problems and then probably move to another city and start all over.
If only I had the energy.
So I can achieve all of this. But there’s no time for that. So I work harder, seek help, try to fix all these insurmountable problems. I try to find a “better work/life balance” by finding subs for my classes and taking more time for myself. This MUST be the thing I need in order to get everything back in order!
Then I stupidly realize, once again, that there’s nothing wrong. That I’m just experiencing burnout. And all I really need, is a break.
As kids, we did it all the time. It was called summer.
But adults (and infamously those who live in Washington) take on a great deal of responsibility. We follow the local, national and global news hour by hour between meetings and running the kids from one thing to the next. We engage and interact daily with everything around us and beyond. We’re constantly plugged in, responding, reacting and making decisions about what we think, what we should do and how we can help.
It’s admirable and interesting to be so caring, but my goodness it is exhausting.
So I decided to write this message because I don’t think it matters what you do or where you live. If you want energy to make progress, move forward and let things go, you have to get away and take a break.
I just returned from three weeks in the Pacific Northwest camping, hiking, biking, making new friends, visiting new towns, gazing at mountains, rivers, shores, elk, moss and rocks. And once again I have proven myself right. I was burnt out. Now that I'm back, I can see again what my life’s intention is (for the moment), how to get there and the best part is, I’ve got the renewed energy to do it.
And all the little milk spills I was so fixated on fixing before I left, they’re gone.
And that is why I said to Circle Yoga "I want to do a yoga retreat in Costa Rica."
Because I want you to feel what it's like to truly be away and to come back renewed.
Hey, you deserve a break.
Our upcoming fall retreat to Costa Rica is a chance to truly disconnect, see and do new things and let go of what’s been holding you back. (Plus it’s a whole lot of fun.)
Read about our retreat to Costa Rica, this Fall 2016.