…feels way harder this year for me. Maybe it’s the pandemic. Maybe it’s the mile-long “to-do” list. Maybe it’s every fly-in task that grabs my attention and ends up taking 20 minutes instead of five. What’s a person who loves to create with words supposed to do? Geesh, dear reader, if I had the fool-proof, sure-fire answer to that, I’d be rich. Not financially. Because I don’t think I’d sell it. No, I’d be rich in spirit and steeped in deeper fulfillment. I’d be rich in my soul because I’d be filling up one of my most important energy reserves.
If you are like me, putting off doing what fills you up (painting, baking, writing, gardening, or
rock-polishing) is a conundrum. On one hand you have the inner critic beating you up for not doing the soul-energizing thing. On the other hand, it criticizes you for not slogging through the pidly busy-work tasks like never-ending emails and, I don’t know, laundry.
Why is this important to write about today? Well, I recently took a quiz to rate my level of burnout. I discovered that my attitudinal score was creeping up because I wasn’t mentally stimulated. That seemed so crazy to me since I was in two courses learning all kinds of new things. My coach deep-dived into this with me. “What’s behind this phenomenon?” she asked. My inner wisdom knew the answer immediately, and I blurted out something like, “I am not creating, not writing.”
I love to learn. But one of the classes turned into a grind, especially at the end of it. I didn’t feel inspired by the material. It required me to ingest rather than create. My coach asked me what I would do to turn this around? What was one small action that would help quench my parched mental attitude, even just a little bit? “Write,” I told her. “When and how will I know?” she asked. Dang it! She pulled that classic coach move, asking me for action and accountability. “Before our next meeting, and I’ll send you a link,” I told her.
We meet in four minutes. So, I am going to add a couple of pics to this post, hit publish, and make good on my commitment. The moral of the story? Sometimes we need an outside observer, a coach, a trusted friend, or source of accountability to get curious with us and to ask us to look for our answers.
The deeper lesson for me was more of a reminder:
Do what feeds your soul. Because when you do,
you have a deeper source of energy, a
deeper well from which to draw, create,
and from which to help others.
Oh, and it helps protect you from burnout, too.