Is this what burnout looks like to you? It is certainly how I have felt before…
This is actually a monk seal resting (they hunt at night) on the beach in Kauai, Hawaii. If I were to be burned out again, Kauai would be a nice place for it.
Have you ever been burned out? I have succumbed to complete exhaustion, frustration and disappointment when things were not working out or not headed in a direction that seemed worthwhile. It was like reaching for and chasing the carrot, sometimes for years, but never being able to catch it. After struggling very hard to find it but not being able to, I just wanted to give up.
Getting close to the carrot a few times in my life felt nearly fantastic. At one point I had a plan, or at least a dream, of ‘retiring’ at age 40. It would free me. It didn’t work out that way.
I reset the goal to age 50. That plan got completely torpedoed out of the water. I continued to struggle and strive for the one thing that would bring me peace and contentment, the elusive carrot, just out of hand’s grasp.
A dive into hopelessness shoved me right into burnout’s reality. I couldn’t function and felt like things would never get better, but always knew if I just hung on, I could pull myself back up out of its grip. I did.
After searching, reading and contemplating nature, I now realize there is no carrot. It is an illusion. We only have Now. Contentment only comes when we find a passion about what we are doing in the moment. Once we make a habit of it, we feel much more alive and involved.
I’m now looking happily toward the magic number of age 62 when I hope to ‘retire’ from my current job, but also living in the Now much more than I used to. My life is not always exactly how I want it to be, but no more thoughts of disillusionment exist in my mind. I now feel blessed that I am healthy and able to work and grateful for the opportunities it brings me daily.
It is with pure pleasure that I commute. My focus is on the traffic, surely, but also am thrilled in noticing nature open her gifts in the now, every day twice a day during my workweek.
Oh, my Now still has dreams and wants, no doubt. It is simple. It takes planning and is completely reachable. One step at a time gets me there. There is not really there, it is here. I enjoy the journey just as much as, if not more than, the destination. The carrot is no longer in my thought process. It doesn’t exist anymore.
I do have a wish list of things I want to do in life. I want to visit my family more often and share enjoyable activities. I want to become enchanted by synchronous fireflies in the Smokey Mountains and write about it. I want to hear sandhill cranes as they migrate through the Platte River and write about it.
I want to be mesmerized by the Northern Lights and write about it. I want be in the middle of the monarch butterfly migration and write about it. I want to drink in the beauty of fields of tulips in bloom and write about it.
I want to feel the earth tremor from the large animal migrations in Africa and write about it. I want to SCUBA in far off tropical places and come away with photos and stories of creatures and scenery and write about it. I want to become a better photographer and add my photos to my stories.
As for right now, this very instant, I am grateful for the sunrise, my morning tea, a good night’s sleep, the hilarious song of the mockingbird and the sound of rain falling. I never run out of things to be grateful for. Now is my ticket to freedom to engage with people through conversation and activities that encourage sharing of ideas and insight into looking at my world in new ways.
Since writing Burnout many years ago, I have come to understand fully that what we focus on, we create. I am responsible for creating my own burnout through my thoughts. I now have the power to create my own magic through my thoughts. Life is fantastic right Now, this very instant.
My blog is all about delving into the backstory of my poems. There is always a history behind the words that helps bring them to life. When You Look Up: Selection of Poems Vol. 1 will be published soon. In my free time I have written and rewritten my poems, covering a span of several years. Some of the poems are deep, some a little dark and some just for fun.
Writing is a process which sometimes easily morphs into a perfect complete piece and other times it just doesn’t seem to fit. I end up putting a poem aside for weeks, tweaking a few words here and there and repeating the process, many, many times.
Much like lather, rinse, repeat, poetry doesn’t feel right until the soul becomes squeaky clean again. A poem culminates in a great sense of satisfaction when the words flow perfectly through the pen, onto the page and off the tongue.
Like all things in our universe, words are energy. They contain a certain vibration. I became fascinated with energy and electrons and waves. In the 60s I read about Marie Curie and radioactivity. Since that time, I have learned from many wise writers.
Wayne Dyer shared with me how to, “Stop being offended.” Louise Hay informed me in her book, “You Can Heal Your Life.” I have learned from Robert Maurer how to take, “One Small Step.” I have learned from Byron Katie how to do, “The Work” of self-inquiry.
Mike Dooley showed me that, “Thoughts Become Things.” I have learned from Diane Zimberoff how to, “Break Free From the Victim Trap.” These are just a few of the most important messages in my life, all received through the written word. Words are energy.
In the 70s I read Carlos Castaneda and a book about crystal energy. In the 80s I learned how to meditate with Transcendental Meditation. In the 90s my world turned sideways. I learned that my choices would hold a potential for consequences beyond my limited understanding and reasoning.
Now I know if it were not for everything I have learned and done in my life, I would not be right here now, writing this. I would not be a published author. I do not wish to change a thing about my past. I’m happy to have traveled it and come away smiling.
In 2001 I learned that my country was no longer the safety net I had believed it was. Like most other Americans, I reeled in anguish for the lost souls in New York City.
In 2009 I attended an I Can Do It seminar in Tampa, Florida. Robert Holden took the stage. During his talk, he looked right at me when he said, “Your heart did not break. It was your ego.” My mouth dropped as the realization of truth took hold of me. I soon began to notice my writing journals taking a turn in a new direction: one of contentment and joy. I placed quotes on my mirror reminding me that I could do it.
In 2013 I became an Infinite Possibilities Trainer. I intended for many years, perhaps most of my life when I think back now, on becoming a writer. Now I am and I want to share what I have learned with others.
Poetry is ultimately for the reader, not the writer. Like art, many differing interpretations take place when you allow your mind the time necessary to read slowly, your body room to breathe in the words and your soul to ponder them deliberately. Reading poetry is like a slow dance: it must not be hurried, but instead savored through a certain rhythm that matches the beat of the music within the words.
Each blog post will cover the essence in each of my poems, in sequential order.
I enjoy sharing insights and ideas either on this public blog or in private email.