In March this year, I decided to embark on a project which I have long held dear to me. One which enables me to follow my own purpose on a larger scale. It’s a project which, for the first three months, saw me riding on a wave of enthusiasm and creative energy. My connection to purpose had transcended anything I had ever known before and I felt fully alive and in the flow.
But by August, this energy and enthusiasm had dissipated to the point where I realised I needed to stop and re-set my course. I started to feel overwhelmed by events both within and outside of my work. It felt like if I didn’t take action, I would soon be on course to burn out. I could feel myself slowly disconnecting from my Higher Self and from Source. I even wondered whether I was experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul’. I think what I was experiencing instead was just ‘life’. The uncomfortable, messy part of being human.
Either way, I could no longer hold the energy for the project at the same time as holding the energy for my clients, my family and myself. For the first time ever, I longed for the shift out of summer into autumn. There were a number of work and non-work factors which I believe led to this. But the one I want to highlight in this article is the one related to my purpose and launching my project.
The traps and honouring our humanness
Perhaps as a result of my years in the corporate retail world, I placed a lot of emphasis on setting a deadline and having a strict plan to work towards in order to stay on track and manifest this project. However, whilst plans and timings are important, I began to feel entrapped by them. I had let them control me. I had succumbed to the self-imposed pressure I used to experience in the corporate world without even being in it.
This wasn’t what I signed up for when I became self-employed. I had lost connection to my true creative power, to the source of the words I was writing, to my inspiration. I had let my masculine energy (all about delivery, control and pushing) dominate my feminine energy (that of flow, surrender and nurturing).
I also fell into what I can now see very clearly as a trap of thinking that because I love the work that I do and am aligned with my purpose, I can just keep on going and going (as though I was somehow superhuman). It can be very deceptive when you are following your purpose. You can easily get swept up in the excitement and the enthusiasm and lose track of time when you’re working on something you are deeply passionate about. There isn’t the same motivation to take a break as when you’re doing a job you have no real connection to.
Also, when you are self-employed and you love what you do, it can require a whole lot more self-discipline to take regular time off than when you work for an employer. I distinctly remember the attitude in the offices I’ve worked in of ‘use it or lose it’ towards taking any remaining holiday days before the end of the financial year. There is no such mechanism when you are your own boss!
On a more personal note, I also know that I have inherited some limiting beliefs around taking holidays which I am yet to fully release. My parents always loved their jobs and had a hugely strong work ethic which I have always admired. As a result, the emphasis they placed on holidays was noticeably different to that of others and I think this permeated into my sub-conscious.
I do believe that when we follow our true purpose, we are fuelled and empowered by the Universe. We tap into the flow of creative energy which can help carry us along. In many ways it becomes a spiritual experience. But I now also recognise (through the experiences I have been presented with) that it is our human side – the physical vessel of our body and our mind, which actually brings these creations into the world. And our physical bodies and our minds need rest, recuperation, space, nurturing, downtime and love in order to carry out our mission.
Calling in my spiritual support team
It is one thing to recognise the symptoms of overwhelm and where they have come from and another thing to actually do something about managing them. I knew I needed extra help and so I called in my spiritual support team for some guidance. And that guidance came in the form of a little wooden robin which was given to me by a lady called Jean who I recently met through a volunteer project (and who has very quickly become part of my support team). Jean had sensed that there was something not quite right with me and that I needed to have this robin.
As I sat with it in the summer house where I am working on my project, the wisdom of the robin came through with a very clear message. “You need to delay the launch of your project.” Although I resisted it at first, I knew it was what I needed to hear. And so, after a couple of days of reflection, I set the wheels in motion to give myself 6 months of extra breathing space. The relief was palpable. I instantly felt like I was coming back into myself.
I also felt emotional, like this was an act of self-love which my body and my soul had been crying out for which I was now choosing to honour. I then booked a week out of my diary and a holiday to Ibiza – a place of great healing energy and restoration for me. And also, something which I now choose to commit to is to have at least one holiday (or time out) booked within the 3 months ahead. Something which many people have been doing for years and I have sometimes been a little judgemental about. So, when I get to the Balearics, I will be enjoying a large slice of humble pie with my sundown cocktail.
The One Big Take Away
The one big take away I would like to leave you with is this. Don’t fall into the same trap as I have. When you start living out your purpose (or perhaps you already are), make sure you still take care of the vessel which will be making your purpose possible. Book time out, give yourself space to manifest, to stay in the flow and to enjoy the journey. And don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself to achieve everything you want to overnight.
Because, purpose or no purpose, if we want to be of service to others, we must first be of service to ourselves.
Thank you, Robin.
Hello, I'm Rebecca
Career Coach for people on a spiritual path
I support mid-career professionals who are ready to make a career change, launch into a more purpose-led career or business or simply enjoy a more fulfilling or balanced working life.
I believe that we all have a purpose here on earth and that life is too short to be stressed, unfulfilled and playing small.