Dealing with overwhelm
Recently, I’ve been hearing women talk about overwhelm in their lives. This happens to be something I know a thing or two about…
Not so long ago my life was spinning out of control, my mind was churning, resentment was building and my body was exhausted - all of the time. There was no time for me. No time for rest. It was an endless, mindless treadmill of more, should, must; leading to complete overwhelm. I had totally disconnected from myself and from the source. I was existing to DO. There was no space to BE.
I existed for the needs of others. I was a workaholic, a people pleaser and a perfectionist. Perpetual overwork was an act of self-harm. For me, it came from a need to be needed, loved, approved of and accepted. It was a trauma response, an adaptive behaviour I adopted for my survival. I didn’t know how to stop but I knew it was killing me.
Slowly through therapy, self-inquiry and creative spiritual practice in the form of intuitive art-making and journaling I started to connect the dots and do the work I needed to do to heal myself. I learned to heal what was hurting me, to parent myself and to be there for myself. I started to give myself the love, acceptance and approval I was killing myself for by overworking and loving others too much.
I learned to stop, to breathe and to notice what I was doing and tune into why. I started to ask myself questions. Why did I say yes? How do I feel when I think about doing what I’m about to do? Does it feel heavy or is it light and energising? Which things am I doing because they light me up and which things am I doing because I feel it's my duty and I don't have a choice?
What would happen if I started to make different choices? What would it take to allow me to make different choices? How would I need to view myself and feel about myself before I allowed myself to choose what I do based on my needs and desires? What void in myself am I trying to fill by doing too much? Whose work am I doing? Is it really my work or am I taking responsibility for other people's happiness and lives?
I practised letting go, releasing little by little and repeatedly coming back to myself. I reacquainted myself with who I was and what I needed and loved. I started to give myself a break, to ease up and practice self-compassion. I started to do for myself what I had been doing for everyone else. I began to turn the focus inward, to recalibrate and reconnect.
I saved myself but I didn’t do this work in isolation (I tried - believe me I tried!!). Having support from therapists, mentors and fellow soul-sisters was vital to me in healing from the shame and trauma that was keeping me stuck in these destructive patterns of behaviour.
Do you struggle and feel overwhelmed?
If my story resonates with you and if there is something in your life that you are ready to heal and transform, I would be honoured to support you in your journey. I now offer one to one creative soul mentoring sessions to support women to do their own healing work leading to deep transformation in their lives.
I love working one to one and would be honoured to witness and hold space for you. My Rise Up Soul Sister sessions are tailored and are a mix of talking, self-inquiry and opening to your innate infinite intuitive wisdom through facilitated intuitive art-making. I offer in-person and online sessions. For more information, have a look at my website or contact me here.
From my creative heart to yours,