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.

Detours to Dreams

4 days after my “Martin Luther King” moment, a detour happens.

My doctor gently confronts me with the fact that my tiredness – ongoing and insatiable, insomnia driven, driven regardless of the amount of hours I do and don’t sleep isn’t something that I have imagined. My adrenal glands have no more give. This has led to other complications but effectively they are a little tired. Oh. I didn’t expect that and yet I knew.

It explains why despite the harder I try, the more I feel like I am not getting anywhere, why my tendency to cry easily has turned into something I am struggling to control and manage. It explains why my body is struggling more and more to get joy out of the physical – where I love being up the mountain and yet the very idea of pushing hard to get there fills me with anxiety and concern that energy wise I am not sure I can get there.

Part of me is very angry that this happens now – just when discussions and dreams are getting real.
Part of me is very relieved that I finally know why I feel like this way and that it isn’t my imagination.
Part of me also is learning that actually, maybe this is a good time to stop and reflect on what is needed for the next season.

See the dream I have is a pretty consuming dream that can’t happen while my life is full of everything else that it is full of at the moment.

I am not always very good at releasing things that I enjoy doing when they seem consistent.
I know that I have made choices and lived a full life in the last 10 years – with gratitude for much that has been achieved, and often silent acknowledgment of the background stress in the process of getting to the grateful.

I don’t think that God caused my tiredness and this detour. I do think that this detour may be a grace season from God though.

This detour is a gift. It’s forcing the slowdown, settle down and check in about what does the day need to look like. I wish that I could say this happened more naturally for me than what it does.

It’s encouraging rather than forcing me to reflect on what does the next decade need to hold.

I have never had to reflect on personally and professionally in the same way that I do now entering my 40’s. There is permission to say I choose not to do things the way I did in my 30’s. There is permission granted to live and love just as intentionally but with a different focus.

I am still struggling to envision what this could look like.
I am still thinking that the dream is going to be an add-on to what is.
If I am very honest, it can’t be.

It means a new season and I don’t know what that looks like yet.