Are you feeling exhausted, hollow, cynical, trapped, angry or just not there? Working harder but getting less done? Ill too often or for too long? Or do you know someone who feels like this?
Dina talks about Burnout
Your soul is whispering and you are not listening
These are some of the classic signs of burnout. They also hold out the promise of a whole new life
Burnout happens at work or at home when the meaning goes out of what you are doing but you have too much invested to stop and take notice. When you were wholehearted, you could do, achieve, give everything and there was energy to spare. In fact, people probably thought of you as the goose that lays the golden eggs.
The trouble was that you thought the golden eggs were more important than the goose.
So when your heart went out of it, either because the situation changed or you changed, you did it anyway. It was as if your soul was whispering and you weren’t listening.
Burnout takes you by the scruff of your neck and says: Stop, look and listen.
Are your head and heart at war?
If you soldier on anyway, you are like a car with the accelerator on but also the brake on, not stopping for fuel. Not a good omen for a car. And as Abraham Lincoln famously said (apparently quoting Jesus in the Gospels) “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.
By driving yourself forward, with your head and heart at war, you risk losing your health, your happiness, your relationships, even your life. It is like being willing to kill the precious goose to get at those golden eggs. As we know, it doesn’t work. Worse than that, you will be in very serious trouble.
A turning point waiting to happen that doesn’t can turn into a time bomb.
But if you listen to the message and take action, you can turn yourself around.
Burnout certainly carries a serious health warning with it. Unfortunately, as the symptoms may vary from what looks like depression, or addiction, or stress, or panic attack, to a wide range of illnesses, most of the time the symptoms are treated and the underlying cause remains to cause further trouble.
And too often, in fact, the sufferer goes to say “Doctor, doctor, make me better so I can go back to the situation that I burnt out in, or get enough energy to find another one that looks a bit better.”
My prescription is quite different.
It is about radical healing, not sending you back to the status quo before you got ill, but helping you find your way forward to the new way of life that was secretly calling out to you. It is about finding that joy that went out of your life, and that you obviously couldn’t do without because it made you ill when you tried to bury it under the should’s and couldn’t possibly’s of life.
In other words, it is about facilitating a turning point and a new beginning. It may well be the turning point you missed back there.
This prescription reads rather differently than the usual one. It has headings like this:
- Wait. Give up hope. Keep the faith.
- Give your soul a good home.
- Build up your living truthfully muscle.
- Open up to a soul community
- When the way opens, don’t leave your joy behind.
Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice in Wonderland would say? But it is the way not only to recovering from burnout , but also to preparing for any turning point. It is what makes it safe and secure to be free and joyful.
It is about valuing the real you rather than what you have told yourself is important, taking care of your body, emotions, mind and spirit so that the vehicle is ready for anything, telling yourself the truth, getting support from people on the same wave length, being vigilant about what you do and where you go to make sure they are in line with your vision.
Not so strange after all?
Sooner is better than later, but later is better than not at all
It is better if you can do all this without burning out, because it can take so long to recover from the physical and emotional repercussions of burnout. But sometimes we don’t have a choice.
Wherever you are now in your life, if the meaning has gone out or has turned sour, and your heart has stopped singing, don’t just get depressed or ill or addicted or angry.
These are all ways of compromising with a bad status quo.
This is no time to compromise. Go for a turning point and find the joy of a new beginning. It is never too late to have a life that resonates with the real you.
Find out more about burnout in The Joy of Burnout