The beginning of another new year has arrived; my Instagram feed has been filled with beautiful quotes on embracing wellness, exploring self-care, and owning who I am, as I am, right now. I’ve been inspired to be unapologetically me and that’s brought a new sense of excitement to achieving the goals I set for myself this year.
This morning, as I was working with my business partner Kecia on pieces for our upcoming, new passion project, we talked about what a new year brings in to your life. I realized thata new year or a “new time” in your life can often be filled with many positive things, but those positives can sometimes be hidden behind the physical, emotional and mental clutter(which are most often negative) that are currently present in our lives (thus they obscure the positives).
That means there’s no space for them to show at all because we can’t see them because we’re too distracted by our clutter and/or we don’t have space for them because our clutter has filled every open spot we have. In not having space, there is no way to embrace positive things or show the joy of “new” anything. Most often, you can’t embrace new or positive, because you don’t see it;you’re weary from the noise in your life that blocks your ability to see beyond your immediate circumstances. I keep trying to find a term for this in order to identify it. I asked myself:
“So what –– and why –– was that?”
After thinking about it for a moment, the right questions came to me:
“What if you can’t find joy in a new year because you’re soul tired?”
Soul tired was a term I started to use to describe when I felt my light had burned out and that my spirit was exhausted. I had started using it when Kecia was coaching me through changes I was making in our business (we made a lot of those this year), as well as my life. I felt as if I was in a continual state of rapid evolution, my mind was awake (ahh, to become conscious) and the many things I thought I had wanted, didn’t satisfy me anymore, and were in fact, hollow. I remember telling her:
Soul tired, in my opinion, is something that happens when you lose your way. It happens when you become so “off course” in your life(personal, professional –– usually both); your spirit is being pulled in too many directions. Overcommitment is often the culprit of the soul becoming tired and fatigued. Think about it, you’re walking through your daily life pretending everything is okay when, on the inside, your heart is screaming at you to pay attention to what pains it. Your spirit is hurting because it’s not being nourished.
I’ve come to learn thatstuffing your needs, wants and desires isn’t good for you; they slowly begin to pile on top of one another, and before you know it, your life starts to fall apart–– even if you feel you’re holding it together (oh the lies our EGO loves to tell us!).
You put on a mask, and as your soul withers on the inside, you look like you have it on the outside. Finally, all the things you’re carrying become too heavy and you falter. You may want to burn your house down and hopefully, rise like a Phoenix from the ash. Some of you may be that brazen, some of you may have to be more careful. Many of us have people who depend and count on us for their livelihoods, so you most likely can’t burn the house down.
Maybe you simplysettle for quietly crawling into bed and possibly crying a little. And you stay there for a while (days maybe) until you can pull yourself up, wash your face and move forward.
“Have the courage to turn away from everything that doesn’t feed your soul” - Unknown
The last time I was there, curled into that very fetal position, I got up again as I always do; this time, I began to look for ways to discover how I had gotten to this point, and how to get I could get myself out of being “tired.”
The thing is, when your soul is tired, it’s a sign that you’re living out of alignment with your true purpose in life. Obviously, discovering and finding something as big and grand as your purpose requires prolonged assessment and it’s a path that can take years to successfully walk and find the end. There are ways to help your soul feel less heavy along the way, and help yourself along the path of discovery. Here’s what I do:
- First, admit that I am soul tired.
- Second, I take a day off and spend it with myself.
- Third, I take a journal and write down everything that is weighing on my soul (my heart, my head, everything).
- Fourth, once I’ve written that list, I read it and look for ways to bring a rebalance to life as it is right now. I ask myself:
- Are there ways I can simplify?
- Can I remove certain commitments?
- What on this list holds priority? What on this list should have no priority?
- Are some places in my life I can simply say “NO.”
- Fifth, from that list, I then look at how many items are related to people.
- Are there relationships that are draining me?
- If so, is there a way to work my way out of them?
- Sixth, I then look at my environment. While I’m a very neat and organized person, sometimes my space can be cluttered. I clean out drawers, do the dishes and even deep clean the house, simply to get the energy flowing. Our environment has a huge impact on us, so I always make sure mine is pristine.
- Seventh, I prioritize me. Whatever I need to do to make time for myself, I do it. It’s always been hard to put myself first, but in the past year, I’ve seen the positive impact doing this has had on relationships.
Just like abroken heart needs time to mend after loss, the soul also needs time to rest, recuperate and heal.Even though you can’t see your soul, you must remember it is every bit as important as the physical body it resides in.
So what can do you for yourself, right now, to help your soul feel more at rest?
Image: iStock Photo/Alvarez