Stop! Stop pretending that where you’re going is more important that where you are. Just stop.
You and I believe that over-work actually works. Living life from survival (“fight-or-flight”) has us reacting to circumstances. Going from one obligation to another. Tension and stress have become such a normal way of being that it’s who we think we are.
It’s time to stop underestimating the power of rest for success.
After years of pushing myself to the limit, I stood at the finish line of an Ironman Canada race in third place in the elite division. I’d just achieved an “impossible” comeback to the gruelling sport of Ironman distance triathlon after a near-fatal car accident. The 2 year recovery process was documented in a film called, A Second Chance: The Janelle Morrison Story.
My fitness level, endurance and strong heart delivered life-healing nutrients to every cell of my body. My mind, after years in sport and athletics had gained the capacity to be unstoppable in the face of adversity.
I stood on the finish line depleted. Of course I was exhausted from the immense effort of the 3.8km swim, 180 km bike, and 42 km run I’d just completed. But the depletion ran deeper. My entire being was depleted from years of working myself so hard to prove to myself and to everyone else that I was worthy.
I never had the experience of being good enough, no matter what result I achieved. I forced myself to do more and more because I believed once I “arrived” then I could be happy and fulfilled. But until I got there, I had to keep my head down, hiding my pain from others and pretending that everything was fine. For me, life was “hard” and something to survive. The payoff for continuing to live that way was that I got to be right about how hard it was.
I was escorted to the medical tent after that epic race in a daze. I thought to myself, “I’ve got a second chance at life and I’m missing it. How am I missing it? What am I missing?”
What’s missing for you and I?
What’s missing is gentleness with ourselves.
What’s missing is space to settle our overworked nervous systems and rest our tired bodies and minds.
What’s missing is the capacity to be with, and listen to ourselves, and to others.
What’s missing is giving ourselves permission to stop surviving life and start living it.
What missing is the awareness that the inner dialogue that goes on relentlessly in our heads, isn’t who we are!