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Day 316: Over Working vs. Balance

In the past week I had a lot on my plate at work, and that was my own fault, as I took on too much, and did not consider the amount of time that I had to my disposal. I pushed myself to do as much as I could, and as the weekend arrived, I felt that my body was exhausted, almost burnt out. I have experienced this before, and this week I have looked at the point more deeply, to see where it comes from, why I do this to myself, and how I can correct it.

Before I begin writing out this point, there are some basic facts that must be established. The physical body is a living organism, with great potential. It is possible to push the body far and beyond above what we believe to be possible. With self-will, we are able to work, push, and move ourselves further than what the mind is able to conceive – YET – there is a limit – and there are also points that must be considered when it comes to HOW we are pushing ourselves forward. Because the body can only take so much, AND, in pushing the body, and ourselves with it, we must give the body time to replenish, recuperate, and the movement must be natural.

What I have discovered is that, when I move myself with breath, which means moving in a steady, consistent pace, with room for breaks, detours, and leisure time, the body is capable of a lot, and then there is really no need for replenishment. However, when moving the body, for an extended period of time, with great focus and intensity, without allowing time for breaks, and detours, this will cause the body to become tired and exhausted. And I have found that this is because how this type of focused, intense movement, that progresses over an extended period of time, is actually based in a energy; most of the time – stress. This has been the case for me.

The interesting thing is that this stress is not experienced as a emotional stress – it is instead a form of physical stress and pressure that is placed on the body. Hence it can be difficult to recognize. For me, I can see that this stress is present when I feel that there is no time for small breaks, and detours from what I am doing, when I have in a way, become possessed with work.  The word possessed is interesting, because that is literally what happens, I am stuck in one state of mind, a fast track direction to somewhere, unclear where. A small, yet significant example, is when I am making my breakfast, and I prepare my sandwiches. I have a couple of spreads to choose from, and I prefer to add some vegetables. However, that takes some extra bit of time, and some days, I will resist taking that time, and doing that little extra for myself. And it is not because there is no time, it is because, I feel like there is no time – in other words – stress. The consequence is that I will limit my breakfast and how I prepare my food, because I do not feel like there is time, because I am already on the fast track, one direction mind set of going to work.

The solution to this point is apparent from what I have shared above. Work, and for that matter, all other forms of activity, MUST be done with balance, in a state of mind that allows for detours, for breaks, for side tracks, for a overview on things – and the reason for this is because the body needs it – we ourselves need it. Our lives cannot consist of but one thing, one focus, one experience that we hone into and become stuck in – we are in our very nature expansive – and this life offers so much room for discovery and exploration. Though, when we get stuck in our fast track mind-set – life disappears, becomes but a scenery in the movie of our life, where we are following a already established plot, that offers no room for our creative, and unconditional expression to come through.

Hence, I will commit myself to incorporate balance into my life, and even though I have a lot to do at work, I will still bring in balance – and I will do that through regularly throughout my day, allow myself to digress, to stand back, to take a couple of deep breaths and center myself in my body, and allow myself to physically stand up, go for a stroll, go to talk with someone, read something different, take a cup of coffee, or similar – the main point being that I actively balance out my day in a way that supports myself and my physical body.

I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to balance my life

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become stuck in what I do – too focused – to intense – and forget that there are other things to life – forget to consider and support my physical body – forget myself

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not give myself time and space to regularly take a break – take a walk – take some breaths – enjoy my physical body and physical reality – to go and discover my life – and not become possessed with what I am doing

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not actively release myself from any state of possession that I go into in relation to work through breathing – relaxing my body – bringing myself back here – giving myself time to be HERE – realizing that I am not rushing to get anywhere important anyway – as all roads leads to Rome – which in this case is death – so – why rush – why run – when I can stop up and smell the flowers instead?

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not actively through my day reconnect with my physical body, talk with my body, interact with my body, listen to what my body has to say, listen to it and see what I can do to support my body

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not actively give myself time to support my human physical body each and every day

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that it is a flag-point, when I start to feel as if I do not have the time to support myself, take a break for a moment.

I commit myself to care for and consider my human physical body through integrating the word balance into my life

I commit myself to live balance through taking breaks and regularly allowing myself to digress – do something differently – and move in a pace that is supportive for myself and my body


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Day 313: When Work Becomes A Lifestyle

In certain professions and career paths there exist this norm, an accepted and even idealized trait, that you should work a lot – that it is good to work a lot – that you will expand and bloom if you work a lot. It is a interesting way of looking at life and there are many examples of this in modern TV-series. Let us look at the series Suits for example. Here we have two guys, pulling long hours each day, working, hanging out with their colleagues, and on their free-time, which is sparse, they either plan what they are going to do at work later, or worry about things that have or that might go wrong at work.

I have myself managed to end up in one of these career paths where there is a majority that view work as an ideal and it has only been recently that I have started to question this way of life, and in that asking myself – why is it that I see working a lot as something to strive for? And looking deeper at this point, I have seen that it is not so much about the work in itself, instead what moves and drives me to put in long hours is a mix of fears, desires, and also, some genuine expressions of MOVEMENT and EXPANSION. There is in-fact a genuine urge to improve, to go further, to enhance,  and to reach perfection. However, there is one important point that is missed in all of this, and I assume it is something that has become programmed into us from birth, it is that I do not see that in ALL parts of my life there are opportunities to push for perfection.

Hence, why is it that I only choose to push and will myself to go further at my work and not for example, with the same fervency and passion, in my own inner process of self-change? Or in my daily living chores, such as cooking, cleaning, washing, doing my hair, cleaning myself, etc? What I have seen is that this drive does not exist the same way, because in my personal life, there is no reward, there is no MONEY at the end of the line, there is no boss approving my work, no colleague telling me that I am doing good, there is no STIMULUS that moves me to push myself. This is obviously a extensive limitation, and a misalignment that causes me to put in too much time at work, creating a unbalance between my personal life of leisure and responsibility, and my professional life of survival in the world system.

What I have seen that I want to create in my life in order to correct this point is a balance between my leisure life and my professional life – and also – to remind myself each day that my private leisure life is also VERY important  – because it is here that I am able to pursue interests and push points that are not at this stage accepted as a part of the working system. Such as for example, giving time and effort to the DIP courses that I am walking, or pushing myself to write more for myself, do more blogs, and when the time is there, do vlogs – and also to give myself time to investigate the current functioning of the system.

What I want to share with this blog is the importance of remembering ourselves, that it is not about what we do in the system, who remembers us, how much money we earn, or what legacy we leave behind – at the end of the day it is about WHO WE ARE – and that point of self-creation is not limited to working. In-fact, for us to expand, to become multifaceted, skilled and learned in all parts of living, we have to give ourselves time to do other things but working.

And due to this point opening up, I have begun to observe myself more intently those days when I remain at the office long after working hours – and I have seen that my experience in those moments is slightly charged and elevated, it has become an addiction to work past the clock, and even though I have handled all the responsibilities that are required, I still sit there and continue – because I do not feel like stopping. It is thus in these moments that I have begun to apply the correction of taking a deep breath, slowing down, and asking myself: ‘Do I really need to sit here and work past the clock today?’ – and then if I answer that question with a self-honest NO – I pack up my things and leave for the day.

And related to this, I wish to share something that I read: It was an article about an old man who was nearing his retirement, and he look at the new generations, and said it looked like we were all running a 100 meter race, running as fast as we could to create as much as possible. He said that actually, life, and work, is like a marathon, and to reach the end you have to retain a balance in your life. If you use up all your energy in the first kilometers, you are going to be too tired to finish. And that is insightful and it also the solution to career, to work, and actually, to most points in life – walk with moderation – balance – and see that if but one thing becomes our complete life – then we are going to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We need to have variety in our lives in order to be functional and effective. And here is then the irony, that the more balance we have, the more effective and productive we will be when we do sit down to work – because then we have a clear and rested mind and a rejuvenated and replenished body.