Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the demands and expectations of your everyday life? I have a hard time admitting this, but I have been feeling this way lately. My oldest is graduating from high school. I hadn’t realized how many expectations are placed on the kids as well as the parents at this transitional time. All of the school events for seniors, the ceremony, party and then the big open house for everyone we know. There is so much to do, so much to prepare, not to mention the emotional stress and upheaval of this major rite of passage.
My enjoyment of this time seems to be weighed down by all of the demands and expectations of what parents are supposed to do for their kids, and for friends and family. It was seeming like I had very little choice or say in what I do, and all of my tasks had “have to” added in front of each item. On top of that all of my work tasks and projects, which I normally enjoy, started being squeezed by not having enough time causing them to be just another chore that I have to get done.
I noticed that my daily practices that I have been doing for many years, began to slip by the wayside. My to-do lists continued to grow, crowding out everything else, like the Creeping Charlie in my garden. The things that I did just for me and my own nurturing and fulfillment became a faint memory. As my overwhelm continued to grow along with my to-do list, I felt myself starting to shut down. Not wanting to do anything. No energy. No motivation. If only there was a hole I could just crawl into and hide.
As a result of this shut down, my business began to decrease. Then of course money got tight, causing even more stress and overwhelm. A vicious cycle of stress, overwhelm, shutting down and hiding became my new norm. I looked to comfort foods to help me feel better, only to realize that those foods (sugars, breads, etc.) made me feel worse, sucking my energy, darkening my mood, and making my body hurt. I was completely out of the flow that I had been enjoying for so long. I knew that something had to change, but what could I do?
I decided to shift this pattern by taking one little step. My first little step was to write in my journal. I had been journaling every night prior to this lapse, but now it had been a month since I had written anything. I sat and wrote how I was feeling and asked for help from my angels to get past this. My journaling turned into a meditation, connecting with my soul and my spiritual support. The feeling I received in this space reminded me of returning home after a long and difficult journey. Ahhh, it’s good to me home!
I went to sleep and was filled with lovely, happy dreams. I woke feeling energized and hopeful. From the moment I got out of bed, I had a song in my head that was inspiring and uplifting. I couldn’t wait to start my day, and held the intention of efficiently and easily getting items checked off of my list. I definitely felt a shift in my energy, my attitude, my mood, and my perception.
I could beat myself up for letting this slump get out of control for so long. “How could I have let that happen? I know better than that.” But rather then letting those negative and judgmental statements drag me down, I chose to be grateful for this clear illustration and lesson about the importance of daily spiritual practice. This has shown me definitively how doing one little positive action can profoundly effect everything else in my life. It really does make a difference!
What one small positive step can you take?
Make a point to do something positive for yourself everyday. And during the times we you are stressed and overwhelmed, it is even more important to make the time to do it. You’ll be amazed what a difference it can make in your life! I know it will take more than that one step, but taking one step at a time is forward progress. I can do it and so can you!
Blessings and light to you,