04 Nov Are you living in the Red Zone?
Are you living in the Red Zone? (AND what you need to know to get out)
Here’s the gift of my brain tumours.
Seriously, the gift of brain tumours.
I am coming up on my annual scans this week and I’m thinking about my 4 brain tumours.
I will admit that I feel a little scared as I get to find out their status and really hope they are happy and not growing out of discontentment.
The gift in them is that while I feel afraid and I know their potentially dire consequences (my mom died from one of these nasty guys) it keeps me balanced.
When I first found out I had them my coach asked me, “what are your tumours telling you?” I thought that was weird as last I had checked they don’t say anything, but I right away responded, “They’re telling me to rest more”. If I asked them today they’d say, “play more”.
The truth is they’re very wise when I’m not listening closely.
So there you have it, they do have a voice and they are wise and I will listen.
I continually strive for a greater sense of balance and perhaps you do too.
You don’t need a tumour to know when you want to shift things in your life. Maybe you need help in knowing where to look-tool for that at the bottom of the email or watch here to get help finding a greater sense of balance on Love at Lunch this week.
Are You Living in The Red Zone?
I have seen at least half a dozen clients and friends, this week alone, who are living on the edge.
They are running full tilt; working, volunteering, managing households, cooking, coaching and they are moving full speed ahead.
I see this and it scares me.
Work needs them, their kids need them, teams need them…and it’s taking its toll.
Is this what we’re made for?
Running at a sprinting speed over a marathon distance?
I don’t think so.
I’m not throwing stones from a glass house. Please hear me out. I have been there.
I didn’t even know I was there until I got really sick over a decade ago.
I am one of those people who very rarely gets sick.
The point where I hit the wall was when I was homeschooling my kids (I know, whole other blog 😉 and no worries they turned out great despite who their teacher was for years), working part-time, taking the kids to their activities, cooking a nice meal every night and responsible for all the household chores.
If someone had told me to slow down, I wouldn’t have known how to or why I would even consider it. I felt tired, but still very capable to manage it all well.
One day I woke up not feeling well and my heart was racing. Later that day, I was achy and wiped out. This bloomed into a fever that lasted over two weeks, and a heart condition that stuck around for 6 months. I lost 30 pounds and developed chronic pain that lasted for over half a year.
I was tested for leukemia three times and every autoimmune disease around. I had to homeschool my kids from the floor some days.
Eventually, I ended up at a therapist’s office with severe anxiety, thinking that I was never going to get better.
I had reached the end of my rope.
There was nothing left.
When I originally caught that bug, my body disintegrated. It couldn’t keep going at the pace I was going. So, it flattened me.
I was nothing of what I once was, although even then I didn’t take a break from cooking, cleaning, and teaching the kids. I just trudged through. Half dead.
I was wrung out.
I will never live at that pace again-ever. I began to even hate the word busy.
Lately I have been feeling that pace creep up again.
I am and have become allergic to “too busy.” I don’t even use the B word and if I do, I know it’s time to reign things in.
When I see people going at an all-out pace, I want to shake them and then lovingly scoop them onto my lap and open their eyes to see what they’re doing.
Your kids, partners, team, and workplace want you to be alive, not wrung out. They want you to say “no” so you can say “yes” to life.
We all need a buffer so if something happens, we have the resources to weather that storm.
Build a buffer. You deserve that.
I’m not saying we don’t have seasons busier than others, but when that pace is relentless-there will eventually be a consequence; either the disintegration of your health or your relationships, or your mental health…it’s all too expensive.
What will it take for people to see that energy, immunity and health are limited and precious resources?
My heart breaks for the overextended who keep “doing” because they can or someone needs them or they feel alive when they help others or their kids will be disappointed if they don’t get to participate in a couple of sports or, my fave, “if I don’t do it, who will?”
Here’s how to live a great life.
- Scale back.
- Don’t offer help.
- Skip a kid’s game or practice.
- Take a day off work.
- Get takeout.
- Be really brave and take a day off without pay if you need to.
- Please listen to your body.
- Give it rest.
Be accountable to someone else for not taking anything else on.
Assess what’s on your plate and take off a few things.
I don’t care if you have a plate full of what you’re good at and even what brings you joy. Try living at 80 per cent, OK, even 95 per cent capacity, so when life fills up a bit more you still have room and the resources to live life to the fullest.
Life is so precious and so are you.
I want to skid across the finish line with you, happy and healthy (and diaper free-to be clear) at the ripe old crinkly age of 101, having experienced delicious spaciousness and grace that can only be found with the richness of free time and ease.
Ease up just a wee bit and see what joy spots seeps in.
Take some time to journal and reflect on these questions this week.
What’s on your plate?
What are some glaring energy drains that you’d love to let go of?
What permission do you need to ward off the torrent of shoulds?
Where do you want to ease up?
What boundaries do you need to put in place in order to live more fully and less busy?
Get the wheel of life, life balancing tool here- https://leonadevinne.ck.page/008e62cc09. Know a friend that could use this too, please forward to any and all. Less stress makes the world a better place.
Create a life that’s full and meaningful-that’s what you’re here for.
Lots of love a we all navigate the push and pulls in our lives.
I am here with you xoxoxo
Lots of love,
P.S. If you’ve been too busy to grab a copy of my book-here’s your chance. www.findingyourjoyspot.com. While you’re on the web page you can grab some journaling prompts to find more joy spots too 🙂