Leaning in, Breathing out

Leaning into recovery from burnout so that I can breathe out more – this sounds so poetic and positive and yet some days it’s hard. 

It’s hard when I am determined not to let this dictate my days – and yet my energy goes from feeling fine to needing to collapse into a deep sleep in the space of 3 hours.  Seriously! That is hard to feel grateful for a process in the moment.

It’s hard when despite not wanting to let this dictate my days and decisions I know practically it has to influence some real decisions like how much I work, the timing of planned babies and other such things.

It’s hard when I am used to being able to plan, control and determine what next-  and actually have a plan B (yes, my world is that managed -not sure whether to insert a smiley face or a blushing face here!) for the most part. 

SO leaning in means that I have to lean back and say, it’s okay to breathe out.

Leaning in means I learn to value the breathing out – in the midst of the tears or gratitude or grateful but frustrated tears.

Leaning in means as a friend graciously reminded me again: That this is a season for you to relish being, just being.

Leaning in gives permission to breathe out – leaning in gives permission to say actually I would love to but I can’t

Leaning in gives permission to say thank you I appreciate that without feeling guilt at what I am unable to give back.

Leaning in is the healing and refining process that is deepening in my life.

Leaning in has allowed tangible, concrete and real identification of things that weren’t resolved and breathing out and letting go of the things that I no longer can resolve on my own:  Some days I am tempted to breathe them back in but then the ache in my gut which starts when I do, reminds me to breathe them out.

My doctor told me that I needed to look at stretching, pilates or yoga as a part of the recovery process.  All of these require breathing. 

The Bible speaks of the Spirit breathing life

I am excited most of the time at what is happening. 

It’s the breath of life that is reminding me, of who I am, not what I do. 

It’s the breath of life  that is calling out and redefining what it means to be a peacemaker, compassionate and determined. 

We are in Pentecost in the Christian Calendar.  A season which focuses on the pouring out of the Holy Spirit – what an amazing time to be reminded of the Spirit, Life and leaning in and breathing out.

SAME same but DIFFERENT

Things that are the same same but different are a big part of why I have been forced to slow down and stop sometimes.

This past week I have had lots of time to sit and think and reflect on what is good, what is hard, what is making this soooo very hard.

I know that I am not (mood) depressed – but two of my friends said to me there is a lot of underlying anxiety/ stress. They are wise, and honest and gentle and worth listening to often!

I reflected on what they meant by this and realised that actually there was.

There have been so many changes in the last 18 months, as well as the last 10 years. Many of these amazing changes, worth celebrating, like master’s degrees and mom’s healthy heart, and adventures in Africa and becoming self-employed. Maybe the biggest has been shifting from a 30 something single to a very recently married and very recently 40-something.

We are still in the midst of the unknowns and the pace at which I have been living has made this harder, but actually yes, there is a lot of underlying anxiety at the moment.

The gift this week has been recognising that I have not struggled with accepting more responsibility and the role of being married and a wife, but I have struggled with letting go of what it meant to only be single.

I simply added wife and married onto the existing things.

See I am the same person with the same dreams, passions and convictions but I am having to learn that my life
has changed and that means that the expression of this by default actually needs to change. It means finding clarity and focus and intent differently. It has meant looking at what is working and isn’t working energy wise.

It’s also meant that I have had the opportunity to look at what hasn’t been dealt with personally, or professionally that is fuelling the anxiety.

What are the unknowns and what are the unspoken, unfinished things that need attention?

What do I need to make peace with as possibly never reaching a finish line and what can I process and perhaps find peace in the processing either alone or another?

How can I not be grateful for this gift?

It’s about rest. It’s about peace. It’s about slowing down and it’s about healing. A journey I get to go on with God, myself and with community.

I like that a lot.