On the Edge of Exhaustion
When I look around myself, almost everyone I see is resigned to the fact that their life is a slog and that ‘that’s just the way it is’. They have all unquestioningly accepted that you have to be stressed and exhausted before you’re allowed to be successful.
I watch as people on the verge of giving in – and out of sheer desperation – reach for the closest thing to them to try and turn their lives around.
It doesn’t take long for stress and exhaustion to take a hold … and, in fact, take over. Why? Because everyone is busy looking at others and thinking that what others appear to have is the answer to their own problems.
Almost everyone who comes to work with me arrives with a similar theme. They are looking around themselves and seeing everyone else achieving all the things they want: a fabulous life, a flourishing career, the perfect family and an ability to – seemingly effortlessly – manage anything and everything that comes their way.
Somehow, as a society, we’ve accepted that this is our way of life, that we are stuck with it and that there is nothing we can do about it. We’ve become sheep – following blindly along behind the person in front of us, following the same pattern every day and desperately hoping that it will get us where we want to go.
I understand this because I was a master at living this way.
It wasn’t until I pushed myself so far, and for so long, that my body and mind had to either force me to stop or let me kill myself. It wasn’t until I was forced to stop that I could understand what it means to actually live.
I learned so much during my recovery. Let me assure you that there is no one ‘golden nugget’ that is ‘the’ piece of advice that I can impart. However, one of the biggest things I now clearly understand is that we are taught from a very young age to live in a way that is totally disconnected from who we are.
I now know that the way we are taught to live – when we’re told what is right, wrong, good, bad, appropriate and not – teaches us to live a life that is given to us by someone else. We are programmed so that our thoughts are no longer our own, but rather are the thoughts that are acceptable to those around us. What we do, where we go and who we see are the things, places and people that others have told us are the ‘right’ ones for us.
All this does is create a disconnection between our true selves and the person we are trying to be …. the one the world has deemed is acceptable.
We’ve been taught to hand over responsibility for our life to those around us.
Living like this is now the norm, and it is so common that it is almost always one of the first activities I work on with people who end up on my doorstep close to collapsing. It’s like triage, in a way, where the initial focus is on helping people to stop and reconnect with their lives, their path and their health.
Life changes so quickly now, and with the evolution of technology the speed is only going to get faster. Trying to deny this is futile, so our focus needs to be on how to make sure we are fit and healthy within the ever-increasing speed of life – how we can thrive in the environment within which we live.
It is now more important than ever that we take the time to reconnect with ourselves, so that we can make our OWN choices for our OWN lives.
Because of the speed of life, and how quickly we find ourselves out of control, it can be easy to be distracted by what others around us are doing. The reality is this: there is only one person who knows what the best thing for you, in your circumstances is … and that is YOU.
The first step in creating a life that is connected to who YOU are is to understand that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and that you are not stuck living a life that someone else has given you.
Having spent almost two decades helping people navigate the maze of their own lives, I can tell you that everyone is a unique individual and that whilst there might be common themes, I have yet to see any solution that works perfectly for more than one person.
I know it can seem to be a relief to follow what someone else is doing to get what you want, but the truth is that no one knows what YOU need better than YOU do.
My experience has taught me that the quickest and easiest path to reconnecting with yourself is as easy as learning to ask a few simple questions. Simple questions teach you to quieten the noise and find out what it is you really want.
When you know what YOU want, it becomes really easy to step away from overwhelm and to reduce the stress and exhaustion in your life.
Walking away from the edge of exhaustion and stepping into a life that is calm and full of energy is as easy as choosing to find your path back to you.
This article was first published on Sivana East Blog on 15/11/2017