A Wholehearted Solution for Exhaustion

How do you respond to the questions, How are you doing? How are you? or How is work going?

Curious Question MArk
There are many perspectives we could choose as a basis for response, but which ones serve us best? We could talk about how energized we feel, how others are responding to us, whether or not our goals are being met, and more. However, given that we know so little about what will come our way in the next minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, I wonder if the most accurate perspective is one of alignment; whether or not we are in alignment within the present moment.

I’m not trying to play with semantics here – hang in there. Alignment is an issue of posture. It is the stance that enables capacity and capability. Think of what happens when you use bad posture/form picking up a heavy box from the floor. In doing this, your body is out of alignment and the outcome may lead to a trip to the chiropractor for some corrective adjustments!

Brian Tracy, author of The Power of Self-Discipline, suggests that, just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, we perform better when our thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.

Maybe you are feeling like you don’t know exactly how to answer the question How are you doing? Maybe you feel like you are exploring new territory with a pencil-drawn map that someone spilled coffee on. (For me, this is ironic – given that I do a significant amount of strategic development work for others: AKA map-maker!) Maybe you’ve been in a very long journey and have lost that feeling of excitement that you started out with. Maybe you feel like you’re not up to the task. Maybe you’re starting to check out. It could be time for a metaphorical wheel alignment. to get our mental frame straightened out from the bumps in life’s road.

Dreams, desires, expectations, relationships, finances, responsibilities, disappointments – and many more – can often be at odds with each other and bring us to a place of feeling like something is wrong and we’re not sure how well we are doing.

While you are thinking about whether or not you’re aligned, let me add one more idea into the mix: Exhaustion. I like how poet David Whyte (he spells his name wrong) puts it in Midlife and the Great Unknown, when he says that the answer to exhaustion is not rest, but rather wholeheartedness.

Brene Brown, blogger, speaker and author of The Gifts of Imperfection speaks of wholeheartedness, defining it as the “capacity to engage in our lives with authenticity, cultivate courage and compassion, and embrace — not in that self-help-book, motivational-seminar way, but really, deeply, profoundly embrace the imperfections of who we really are.”

So that said…how do you think that you are really doing?