In all the work I do, I’m trying to strike a balance between understanding what’s happening at a nervous system level, and then recognizing how that’s manifesting at the level of thought- how our physiology is affecting our minds, in other words.
On the one hand, there are predictable patterns of behavior and mindsets that accompany certain nervous system states that are true for everyone across the board, but that experience doesn’t exempt us from the fact that we are still responsible for what thoughts we invest in and what choices we make (even if it really doesn’t feel that way).
If we take burnout, apathy, low mood, a lack of feeling of vitality and aliveness as our thesis for today, we can understand these to be experiences that hold hands with being in a state of collapse, or conservation of energy mode. Here we have the brain making the choice to put the body in this place, based on very functional reasons, and that reason is often that we’ve been living our life with the accelerator flat to the floor, and at some point, we have literally and metaphorically run out of gas.
This is especially true for those of us who might identify with being the “project manager” of their life, family, work, all the things. A position you might have adopted, a position you might have been forced into or perhaps a combination of both. But when we spend too long in project manager mode, we get further and further away from pleasure and enjoyment mode.
We become all about being efficient and on task, and both of those things are about the ticking of the lists and the doing of the things.
If that is you, bets on you either let yourself do the things you want as a treat OR when you have finished all the things… which is not very often, or at all, because there are always more things to add to your other things list.
So, know this: If you aren’t looking after yourself, taking time for yourself, riding, hanging out with your horse, going to that lesson, taking the clinic, whatever. You are just going to have to take it. You are going to have to do it and make it happen for no other reason than because you want to.
You have to take it.
The list is never going to end, the things are never all going to be done.
You have to shift. You have permission to shift away from all the things to that thing you want because that’s the point of life.
You have to shift.