If it feels like you're having a rough go right now or you’re overwhelmed and lack-lustre, you might be juggling too many plates. The majority of us spend a HUGE chunk of our waking time in stressful jobs and lives, we have a huge list of external and internal expectations that leave us constantly reaching for the next gold ring and we end up feeling straight-up exhausted.

In our downtime, time that should be a counter point to the work environment and epic To-Do Lists, we end up unloading the stress/gearing up to go back into the stressful environment, submitting to the requests of those around us and accommodating their needs first, feeling maxed out/pretending to not be maxed out. We spend our time maintaining our houses, our bodies, our finances, our children, our spouses, our images and on and on and on.

It's overwhelming just reiterating it - let alone actually LIVING it.

But you are doing a better job than you think you are.

Believe this.

It's when we don't believe it and feel that we need to just work harder that we begin to feel depressed, vastly over extended and beyond frustrated. In our culture we are raised to think that success is when we relax; and that success comes from diligence and excellence. It’s because of this that we're likely to pile on more expectations and goals in order to work our way beyond our perceived failings. It is as if we forget that we’re working our butts off and think if we can just pick up ONE more badge of honor it will all be worth it.

The body sends signals. It sends them so that we might take a moment to assess the system and adjust accordingly. These messages often go un-noticed because we are in such a habit of engaging with negative internal propaganda that it HAS to send increasingly intense signals, just to cut through all the bull-shit that we disguise as motivation.

If we haven’t been listening and we feel exhausted from all of our badge collecting, our health takes a turn for the worse, be it a cold or pre-diabetes. Our bodies are literally sick of you not listening and it has no option but to call it quits. Because we can ignore it no more, we often make a decision that ends with the declaration to make some changes and take on the noble cause of a long and healthy life, a fabulous aim, but lets consider that image and the pieces of that puzzle.

A long and healthy life depends on 2 major pieces. Body AND Mind. After illness or upset in life we often say "TIME FOR A CHANGE! IT'S A NEW DAY!" and we set off to get into shape because it's the biggest and brightest flag we know of, it’s been marketed to us that way. If we rock out at the gym and get into visibly great shape certainly those around us will nod and say "Look. At. YOU! You're looking GOOOOOOD!" and our mission has been successful. Or has it? 

If we go a little deeper than the surface we have to consider that for your Body to put up with our daily grind our Mind must have as well. You see, there is a lot of stuff going on in our minds and we have become very good at packing up the “frivolous” and “impractical” stuff to make more room for the “hard evidence” and “achievement” stuff. Are there big questions that you ask yourself quietly but refuse to honor the answers? Is there something that screams to be prioritized that just never gets onto the To-Dos? Is there something that needs to be given space that hasn't been allowed or something in your life that needs to flourish in the light but instead mutates in the dark creating more pressure from the inside out? 

Every day something comes up and we are given the opportunity to shift our perspective but more often than not we habitualize our response. We disguise a controlling action as a positive goal and relive the cycle, only in a tighter radius. Asking the questions that break those cycles is what creates the cracks in the walls that keep our hidden, pressure building desires locked away.

If asking these questions is frustrating the VERY LEAST we can do is consider removing the word FAILURE from our lexicon and try to repurpose the body's signals. Feeling STRESSED OUT calls for something LOW STRESS. Faltering health and wellness means taking some time to PUT ENERGY IN so that something may GROW. ACHES AND PAINS call for EASE and COMFORT.

There come times when our Bodies and Minds just want to hit the pause button; its all just too much and we need “a break.” It’s times like this that the F-word parades around our head and we feel worse then if we’d never taken the break. And so, when we take these breaks do we utilize the time properly? Is that time spent running errands and taking care of to do lists and other life "shit?" I challenge you to take a break and fill that time with cultivating something that puts energy back into your heart and soul; an activity that has no end or finish line but exists solely for pleasure and joy; create an event that invites you to smile on the inside just for smiling sake and not for accomplishment.

I'm not suggesting that you stop going to the gym, working out, doing yoga or otherwise, obviously not. I'm only encouraging you to consider your relationship to the stress and suggesting that there might be another "body" to develop that will help your physical body respond in a more equipped way.

The common feelings of Depression and Bewilderment aren't necessarily bad things, it's just the bodies natural response to WAY TOO MUCH! If you’re feeling like your caught in a downward slump ask yourself how you could nurture some boundless growth in the fertile earth that is your heart.

That’s it’s job – it’s waiting to be assigned!