Traveling and vacationing has a tendency to throw us off our routines; the stickler and
planner I am usually find a way to maintain my cadence when I travel. However, on my
last trip I abandoned my own rituals and traditions and instead allowed my Wise Mind
(intuition) to guide me.
I enjoyed and struggled somewhat with the concept of going with the flow, taking each
day as it comes with a “no work” schedule; I had the opportunity to breathe; I gave
myself permission to simply be. Sounds amazing right? Yet for me it was not that
simple and easy. The high-achiever, perfectionist, kept nagging me, to remind me of
a never-ending to-do list, so I did something I knew would calm me, even if just for a few
moments. Then it hit me, the light bulb went off, I was experiencing burn out,
anxiousness, and exhaustion.
The road to burnout, anxiety and exhaustion
Ever since I moved to Las Vegas I have just been going hard, actually even before then,
I have been at it for 22 years! Yes I have had holidays but my travels consisted of being
on the move, fun, adventure, like the time I visited 3 countries in 9 days! I was breathing
but didn’t take time to take a breath. I have been, going, pushing, fighting with little or
no time to just be. Yes I would sit in meditation a few minutes everyday, the sum total of
that and an average of 4 hrs 25 mins sleep for years upon years does not balance the
grueling mental, physical and emotional ride I have been on.
I suspect you might be very much like me or know someone who is; constantly in
pursuit of attaining, achieving it [it = excellence, success, goals]. There is nothing wrong
in pursuing goals and growth. HOWEVER there comes a time when you simply have to
breathe. Even machines have an expiration date (we do too we just don’t know when)
and if we don’t take time we risk becoming zombie- like simply a body, no spirit no soul,
existing not living.
Many of us can go for months, years, even decades, long past burn out, exhaustion,
when we are empty we still keep on going without realizing the cost. Sometimes we catch a glimpse and promise ourselves to slow down, sleep in, enjoy the flowers but
never do. Then there are others who see devastation from going so hard and choose to
turn a blind eye and keep going.
And while we are victorious in keeping the job, advancing in our careers, raising
children, making a home, and building a business while contributing to make our
communities and societies better, doing it all or any combination of these things and
more, in the end the victory is pyrrhic; the cost too great for the victory itself, the toll on
you the victor is tantamount to defeat. The cost includes but not limited to:
✦ poor health (mental, physical and emotional)
✦ broken relationships
✦ unhealed wounds and trauma
✦ missed experiences
✦ lack of rest
✦ poor quality of life
✦ truly breathing
My experience has affirmed the significance of the need to just breathe. Here are 3 ways
in which we can create room for deeper breaths.
It all begins with a decision, make a choice. As Tony Robbins posits, decisions equals
“A decision is when you cut off any other possibility and you commit to something with everything you’ve got, and you take action”
– Tony Robbins
Is it saying no a little more often to things and people that take up your time? Maybe
going into solitude on a hike, a walk. Actually taking a break, a vacation for more than a
few hours. Whatever the case may be, first step is to decide.
Manage your time more effectively
By utilizing time management tools and effectively managing your time not only will you
accomplish your goals, continue to achieve and excel but you will do so without it being a pyrrhic victory. Embrace time management technology, get an accountability system, even hire
The definition of mindfulness that resonates with me one by Jon Kabat-Zinn which is; the ability
to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions—in the present
moment—without judging or criticizing yourself or your experience. This allows opportunities
as we go through our day to just breathe. Not only that, mindful breathing can reduce burnout,
cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety.
I encourage you to take time to breathe. I have already made the decision, join me in managing your time more effectively and using mindfulness.
The breath is the life force, breathing gives us life, just breathe.
Until next time, whatever you do, make a difference in you own way!
Coach Ayana O