I am witnessing an extraordinary number of women who are feeling burnt out and exhausted by the hustle of life, myself included.
As I contemplate the many factors that are contributing to this I come to rest on the awareness that we as a culture have an OBSESSION with forward momentum.
AND, we add to this ceaseless endeavour the perception that the path needs to be as efficient as possible.
I notice this a lot now that I am living in a new city. I have no idea where I am or where I am going, so I am heavily reliant on Google maps. Which as you well know prides itself on the most direct route.
Have you ever tried rebelling and taking the scenic road?
Talk about confusion!!
Google is set on finding THE fastest route!
It is a testament that our world is programmed to get us from A to B in the most direct and fastest way possible.
Which is great… if we were robots!
But we are not.
We are human.
We are part of nature and if you look out the window you won’t see trees racing to grow to their fullest or waves vying to get to the shore faster than the ones beside them.
Our nature is cyclic.
We eb. We flow.
We wax. We wane.
Life isn't meant to be a series of quick correct decisions in succession or finding one perfect path and staying on it without ever leaving it.
Our conditioned lens of ‘efficiency’ has us constantly striving. Planning. Pre-planning. Anticipating. Pushing. Doing. Improving. Overriding our innate and natural rhythms. Creating the ultimate environment for burnout and exhaustion.
I share this with you today as the energy of Solstice slowly wanes and a new cycle begins.
Now is a potent time to contemplate and question the patterns of ‘efficiency’ and immediacy that are stifling the soft warm cradle of the creative process in your life.
If you have a moment now, pour yourself a cuppa and join me in this exploration.
Or, if you are needing to be efficient. Maybe you can book in some spacious and ‘inefficient you time’ by noting down the dates for my upcoming July Women’s Workshop in Auckland and extra special Soul Deep: 3 Day Women’s Retreat at Mana in November. The details are below.
That said, the essence of this email and the enquiry I have to offer is one that rebels against the larger than life cultural message that we have to be bold and proactive all of the time.
So my question to you is what is it that you long for the most that is not on your to-do list today. AND, with heartfelt intent, are you willing to deprioritise something else in order to make it happen?
You have the power to choose and perhaps this choice can be made with an awareness of what is powering your decision - efficiency or effluence?
I will leave you with that for now, unless you scroll down to dive a little deeper with me.
May the wisdom of seasonal change penetrate the deep knowing within you and open a doorway to that which creates the most ease and flow in your life.
With love and rebellious inefficiency,
The Most Important Thing
I am making a home inside myself. A shelter of kindness where everything is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch of sunlight to stretch out without hurry, where all that has been banished and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.
A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.
I am throwing arms open to the whole of myself—especially the fearful, fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing every seed and weed, every drop of rain, has made the soil richer.
I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism, any lying limitation, every heavy thing.
I am making a home inside myself where grace blooms in grand and glorious abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows all the truest things.
I whisper hallelujah to the friendly sky. Watch now as I burst into blossom.
~ Julia Fehrenbacher
My secret love affair…
In recent months, I have been on a journey. One that has been driven by an endless to-do list of packing, moving, organising and pre-preparing for the gazillion responsibilities that come with relocating. To say it has been a big process is an understatement. It has been the epitome of transfiguration and one that has taken an exceptional amount of cognitive processing. As the dust settles and I rest into my new home in Nelson I feel a weariness in my mind, body and soul. Not surprising. Really.
My nervous system feels like it has been in a state of hypervigilance for way too long, stretching beyond my comfort zone in an attempt to ‘get it done’ so that at some point, I might rest. However, I am not ignorant to the fact that my to-do-list is never ending, so the idea of ‘getting it done’ BEFORE I can rest is actually a state of mind that is self sabotaging my body's need to slow down. *** THIS MIGHT BE A SURPRISING CONFESSION *** But taking time off scares the bejeezus out of me! I have a secret love affair with being busy. Even when I am not doing, I am thinking about the things I need or want to be doing. I keep myself on a hamster wheel, saying I want ease but I have some deeply ingrained conditioning that has me unwilling to set the puzzle down. This is not a new revelation to me. I have been working with my nervous system for over a decade to take off the ‘badge of busyness’ that I have worn so proudly in the past. For the most part, it has been a success. My lifestyle of working my own hours, scheduling my commitments around my menstrual cycles and balancing the scales between social and self care has been a testament to my ‘nervous system’ journey. However, I've spent so much time and energy learning to soothe and regulate my nervous system, to titrate and prepare it for disruption or dysregulation. I've worried more about the safety and security of my state than the strength and resilience that emerges when I stretch beyond my comfort zone and tend to myself while I'm there. This move has highlighted a couple of really invaluable lessons for me
My devotion to understanding and tracking my nervous system has, over time, created an IMMENSE amount of resilience. Which has only really become apparent as I have faced challenges head on and chosen to stay with the discomfort instead of trying to soothe it away.
I can walk that fine line between stretching beyond my comfort zone whist tending to myself… if I stay present to the evolving states and stories of my nervous system.
My obsession with being busy, although evolving is still an ever present current flowing beneath the surface. There is no world in which I could thoroughly deconstruct and rebuild this programming without circling a finger around my life and saying, "What is the motivation here… efficiency or effluence?”
My nervous system feels like a racehorse who's been in the stable or the corral too long. It wants to freaking stretch its legs full-out, and I've been keeping it at a canter. What it wants to stretch toward right now is ease. So I am letting my nervous system out of its pen and stretching toward softness and ease; coining this time of transition and relocation ‘the season of soft business’. I am profoundly questioning all the shoulds in my business brain about busyness, success, money, what and how I offer things, and why. Unless it feels soft, gentle, and easeful, I'm not doing it I'm faced with the choice I always tell my clients about integration: you can follow what your body is pulling you towards and continue to embody the new energy, or you can continue to live in the habits and patterns of the nervous system, and end up back where you began. You must be willing to stretch into a new shape. You have to break down (as in muscle fiber breakdown, not mental health breakdown) to rebuild. And you need to trust that your nervous system can stretch alongside you. So here's to the season of soft business, an experiment that makes me clench a little bit (or a lot) and may end up being the most dysregulating three months of my business BUT I AM ALL IN! And I am sure, in a soft and gentle moment I’ll reach out and let you know how the journey unfolds from here… That said, these are some of the delicious events I am feeling called to move towards with ease and gentleness in the coming months… maybe you can join me for one or two?