Remembering the Importance of Rest

Hey everybody!

Sorry it’s  been so long since my last post. I’m living a double life these days between my day job and completing coach training. I was balancing it pretty well until unexpected work events last month swept me up like a flash flood. I received a theoretical promotion (a pep talk followed by more work & responsibility, but no money or title change), and went on a two-week business trip right before Christmas. Plus, I will be going back to New York on Sunday for another two weeks!

My two dogs, champion loungers in action

My two dogs, champion loungers in action

So, I decided to take vacation for this in-between week. I intended to spend it doing a vigorous house cleaning and reorganization, getting everything in tip-top shape for the New Year. You know, get caught up on all those projects around the house that are accumulating. Get my Martha Stewart on.

But instead, when I came home last Friday night I flopped into bed exhausted; and to my surprise, I stayed there all weekend. Sure, I did the bare minimum I needed to to sustain life. But the closets went uncleaned, the walls unscrubbed, the junk piles unchallenged.  Not only did I not do these chores, I couldn’t even find the energy to CARE about them anymore.

Martha Stewart would NOT approve.

I realize now I was so swept up in frenetic activity this last month that I didn’t notice how depleted I was getting. Today, on the third full day i’ve spent resting, I’ve actually started to feel my normal self returning. I feel like doing things again, instead of laying around like a gelatinous mass. Tomorrow i’ll probably even get started on my chore list.

My cat Trooper would make a great sleep coach

My cat Trooper would make a great sleep coach

Luckily (and with perfect timing for me), my coaching mentor Martha Beck recently posted this short quotation from her new book on Facebook. I watched as the post spread from profile to profile like wildfire, & remembered thinking it must have really struck a chord as something we needed to hear. This was of course right before my own exhaustion hit me like a truck from behind:

The next time you’re worn out, don’t tell yourself to pep up. Do what your body and brain want: surrender to the weariness. Breathe into it.

For this new year I hope you will give yourself the same permission: to recognize when you are worn out–physically, emotionally or mentally–and allow yourself the rest that you need.

And happy New Year!

Layla

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Something Uplifting

Greetings, & hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

For this post I had planned some long-winded analytical discussion about giving yourself permission to be where you are. More about that next time.

But as I was trying to write it, something unexpected happened. I came across this wonderful song. I listened to it, then listened again, and again. And around the third time, something happened. I noticed my feet were tapping. My whole body felt as if it were humming happily along.

I surprised myself by realizing I was happy in the Now, totally fine with everything the way it was at that moment. I forgot to be anxious. I forgot to worry. And I didn’t need to take a pill, work any thoughts, dissolve anything, analyze anything! I just had to let myself be lifted up by the JOY.

I have noticed music can make me feel unreasonably, ridiculously good sometimes, in spite of my best efforts. Martha Beck said that poetry and music are unique in being able to engage both the left and right sides of the brain. Maybe that’s why it can  help us into the relaxed Flow state, or happy wordlessness.

I am wishing the same for you, but I’m not going to ruin the feeling by talking about it too much! And btw, I would LOVE to hear about your favorite Happy-in-the-Moment songs in the comments.

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How to Tell When Work is Worth Doing

Hello, and welcome to my coaching blog!
I’ve spent the last 5 or so years in what felt like an endless search for my true calling in life
, work that I would really LOVE, or at least wouldn’t hate quite so much. And along the way I’ve cycled through dozens of ideas at least: Nurse Anesthetist. Physical Therapist. Consultant. Stock trader. Web Developer. Wooden Kayak maker. Coffee Shop Owner. Hairdresser. Professional quilter. Massage therapist. Realtor. Personal Chef. Internet millionare. Artisan cake baker. Seriously.

Along the way I’ve invested an even greater amount of time trying to fit myself into the molds of the jobs I’ve had: first the Coast Guard, then public safety, then the I.T. world. Especially with the last few jobs I started, I realized I could have a very successful & lucrative career if I just applied myself and ‘stuck with it’ this time. And each time, I would dig into it with gusto for a few months, only to find I kept running into the same wall: it just didn’t interest me that much. It felt like so much hard work all the time. Like something you know you’re supposed to enjoy but really don’t.

Objections would arise: there is sooooo much to learn. I would have to invest so much of my personal time in this. I’d have to rebuild my career from the bottom. And after 10 years invested in my current profession, this was incredibly disheartening. To quote my mentor Martha Beck, I have WAY too much time and money invested in this job I hate to quit now. Personally I think once I realized many of these wouldn’t be an easy path to financial independence, my interest faded.

Well, this September I finally got up the courage to enroll in Life Coach Training. And after having a few months to settle into it, i’m ecstatic to say I have FOUND my TRUE calling! This is IT, baby. And I’ve noticed something different from all the other wrong turns on this journey: YES i have so much to learn, and YES in a way i’m starting from scratch, but here’s the difference. I can’t WAIT to start! Can’t WAIT to work on it! It feels juicy & delicious, & I am loving the process.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotations by Barbara Sher: While working as a counselor she noticed that most depressed people don’t need long term therapy so much as they need a reason to get out of BED in the morning. It may have been a LONG long journey for me, but I found my reason. And now that i’m here, I know it was worth every step.

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