I don’t know about you, but I usually look forward to the start of a new year.
It’s a time when most people are thinking about and dreaming about making positive changes in their lives.
As a life coach and teacher, I love to help others be empowered to make changes in their lives. There is no better feeling in the world than seeing the inner light bulb come on in an “aha” moment.
But this year so far (a couple of weeks into January) I find myself feeling overwhelmed and fighting the urge to shut down and hibernate.
I’m secretly hoping for a legit snowstorm to bring it all to a temporary halt.
Here is a bit of good news: I have heard predictions that this upcoming year, the prevalent Universal energies are going to be gentler and more supportive than last year.
I see posts from many friends who are choosing their “word” of the year. I have been meaning to do that, but haven’t yet. (LOL!)
I have watched a video about infusing my vision board with elements of feng shui. Very cool, but I have yet to do it.
I have notes for my Vivid Vision plan, which is a guide for my business written AS IF it is three years in the future. But I haven’t done this yet either.
So what gives? Why am I so overwhelmed…or the better question is why am telling myself I am?
Overwhelm is a pattern that feels very familiar to me.
With so many interests and expectations of myself, so many household and family responsibilities, and a business to run it’s a feeling I get often.
As I start to just get curious about it, the secrets are revealed…
The following is a conversation I had with myself using the 5 Whys Method.
This is a way to uncover what’s really behind feelings, below, my feeling of overwhelm. And yes, I DO talk to myself often. It’s incredibly helpful.
- “Why do you feel overwhelmed?”
My TO DO list is so long! I’m still putting Christmas decorations away. The house feels like a pile of unfinished chores and I keep having to stop what I’m doing to check on the puppy. I started Whole 30 on January 2 and there’s a ton of food prep to do so there’s that. I have social media to get caught up on and upcoming events at Ripple Effect to promote. I have to help my mom take down her Christmas tree and take it all back to her basement. My car engine has an oil check light on and I don’t know what that’s about. …you get the picture.
- Why does this make you feel overwhelmed?
I have to do it all myself! I live alone with a 7 mos old puppy and a 10.5-year dog with some additional needs. My brothers live far away so I’m the only one nearby to help Mom. I’m in the business by myself so It’s all me! I am kinda pissed and resentful that I have to carry this all myself.
- Why does this make you angry?
Because it reminds me that up until now I struggle with boundaries. I often let my schedule control me rather than me controlling my schedule. AND My brothers get out of helping my mom simply because they are far away.
- Why do you struggle with boundaries?
I am a giver and fixer. I like being helpful and feeling needed. So I forget to say no or at least pause before I make a commitment and then I get mad at myself. I always overestimate what I can accomplish in a day so the unfinished TODO list is where my attention goes.
- Why is it hard to say NO?
If I say no then people won’t like me. Don’t we all want to be liked? There is an underlying fear of disappointing others and myself that comes up. And underneath that is really the fear of not being good enough. (And I could keep going on to reveal that not feeling good enough, means I’m not lovable, and not being lovable which means I’ll end up alone and then I’ll die).
So what’s underneath my feeling of overwhelm is really my need to feel loved, nurtured, cared for.
Isn’t that interesting?
There are two questions that are key for any of us as we come up against times in our lives that aren’t as smooth and joyful as we would like.
- How do I feel?
- What do I need?
Sitting in quiet reflection with these two powerful questions, I do recognize my anger/resentment/overwhelm and then it becomes clear that I need to ask for some help.
That feels vulnerable and scary, but I know I am OVER the WHELM and will ultimately bring that feeling of connection that I am desiring on a very deep level.