Lessons From My Burnout
Over the past few months my work, career and dreams have been growing from strength to strength. There are so many exciting, wonderful and fulfilling things coming to life in my work that it feels like a dream coming true.
But with every front there is always a back… and when there is a big high there will always be a big low. These are well known Macrobiotic sayings.
Oh yes…. Damn… Balance….. I forgot!
6 weeks ago I started to feel like there was no life left in my body. I felt exhausted, depressed, my body felt heavy, I had no appetite, my periods had become extremely heavy, I was clotting a lot and I was losing enormous amounts of blood each time. I was getting major PMT symptoms (which I never get anymore) and I was catching colds a lot. My sleep had become restless and the muscles in my left cheek went into spasm.
One of the annoying things about being a macrobiotic counselor, is that with every single symptom in myself, I could not hide. I was slowly observing each thing and diagnosing myself and I knew, that I was getting seriously out of balance. And sure enough, eventually everything crashed and I hit a bottom.
For far too long, all my energy was going outward. Giving to my students, giving to my clients, holding more and more people emotionally and energetically then I have ever held before. Plus being a mother to my 3 year old daughter.
Everything had been going out and not much was coming in. And there is really only one way that is going to go…… Burnout!
I went to see my homeopath. She reminded me that this was the first time I’d seen her for myself and not for my daughter in 3 years! Ouch! I then went to see my GP and was diagnosed as anemic. I then had a full consultation with my Macrobiotic Teacher and everything that I had observed in myself was confirmed.
So now I knew where I was, I could start the healing process of where I needed to get back to. Balance in myself.
I’ve always been a strong believer that with every health, emotional and life issue, there is a deeper life lesson to be learnt. This experience has been no different. I will admit that this is not the first time I have found myself in this position. I found myself in exactly the same place 6 years ago. Oh shit!
I knew how to find my way back then but this time it has really woken me up to address the deeper issue.
In Oriental Medicine, Anemia is about so much more then just making sure we get enough Iron in our diet. It is caused by a deeper emotional habit of always giving out to others without making the time and space to replenish. And just like my menstrual cycle was mirroring, it is as if we are literally hemorrhaging energy and life force.
Why do I always want to give out to others and not fully nourish and replenish myself? Do I not believe I deserve it? Aren’t I worthy too of receiving nourishment? Do I think I’m not important too?
These are the questions I am addressing deeply in myself at the moment. And I wanted to write this piece for you to share how even as a teacher and counselor, I still need to work on myself and my health just as much as anyone else.
Here are the steps I’m taking to heal my own health issues and as always with everything about my work, they address my three pillars.
Diet, Body & Emotional Spiritual Healing
Naturally I need to up my Iron levels. I am taking a wonderful natural Iron and Blood Supplement called Hema-Plex, plus I have also started taking some Magnesium Supplements.
I am trying to incorporate sea-vegetables into my diet on a daily basis, along with Miso and more mineral enriched foods.
I also need to eat more relaxing foods to help my stomach relax and allow it to be more effective in receiving more nourishment.
Lots of lightly poached or steamed fruits, light and soft macrobiotic desserts (jelly, strawberry mousse), less cakes, breads and energy balls, which are tight and hardening.
Plenty of leafy greens and lots of vegetable juices and fermented foods and pickles.
My body needs some serious love.
I have returned to a daily, gentle and nurturing yoga practice.
Plenty of deep breathing, stretching and listening to my own body.
Daily meditations to create the inner space within me and trying to incorporate more treatments and healing so that my body can receive more energy.
Shiatsu, lovely uninterrupted bubble baths, napping when I’m tired and self-massage (Predominantly my feet and legs for grounding).
I am also planning on getting some acupuncture.
I am taking Homeopathic medicines from my amazing homeopath and having Cranio Sacral Treatments too.
Emotional & Spiritual
Now this is the more tricky and hard part. This is a very deeply ingrained life lesson in me that I have been working on for decades.
The core message that is driving the show is: “I don’t deserve love too” which I have carried since my childhood. The reasons why aren’t nearly as important as how I continue to shift it. I have shifted it a lot, otherwise I would not be living the beautiful life I live today. But the work continues and my health will always be an honest anchor.
I DO DESERVE LOVE. I AM IMPORTANT TOO.
I do believe that life will keep bringing us situations and experiences to bring up whatever is still unresolved in us. With the intention to help us keep healing and evolving.
This empty feeling from my burnout is what I felt as a child and so I am trying to go deeper into feeling it now, so that I can let go more of any unresolved grief and sadness I am still carrying.
But…..As well as the deeper healing I can also incorporate small manageable things into my weekly life that are making a huge difference. Simple things to bring in more nourishing balance and re-awaken my heart and soul.
- If I am working all night, take off the morning to do something nourishing, like Yoga, go to the cinema, hang out with friends, play.
- Have a treatment every 2 weeks.
- Do more things regularly that are just about fun and play and nothing to do with trying to ‘achieve’ anything – this includes trying to ‘achieve- emotional healing.
- Saying NO more clearly and to anything and EVERYTHING I don’t REALLY want to do. Boundaries.
- Journaling and taking more time to pay attention to myself, my heart and my soul.
So this is it! This is how I use this beautiful, deep and wonderful work in my own life. I hope you have found it useful, helpful or interesting. But more then anything I just wanted to share with you my own heart, to remember we are all the same and in this together.
I am 1 month into my own self-healing and I am starting to feel 90% better. All my PMT symptoms have gone, my bleeding is getting lighter and I feel more positive. But I know this is just the beginning. The deeper emotional pattern will take time, step by step and slowly slowly.
As always Love, compassion, patience and commitment will lead the way.
And above all trust. Trust in myself. Trust in my body. Trust in the process.
Much love to you all.