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Running Your Car (and Yourself) Into the Ground

“I’m going to drive this car into the ground.” It’s a common saying, and one I’m not sure I can get on board with any longer. Here’s a little bit more about why I feel that way… First of all, let’s hope we’re not thinking of ourselves or people around us in these terms. To me, I don’t see any sort of happy or healthy ending here. Second, what happens at the moment the car "reaches the ground?” You are then stuck with nothing to drive and a day (or several days) figuring out how to rearrange your life and working through an even bigger challenge. If we view ourselves this way, it’s no wonder our batteries are always flashing red and we’re left scrambling for the power cord. Sometimes, we can’t get to a power cord soon enough and the device simply quits. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get there in my own life. So, what are some things we can do?

  • Pay attention: As much as possible, stay connected to your body and your breath. Notice any signs of exhaustion, depletion, your mood dropping. You may observe things things if you’re not getting enough rest or not taking enough mental breaks from the challenging things in your life.

  • Find a daily practice (however short) that grounds you. This could include exercise, journaling, meditating, walking outside, staring at a tree, watching the birds or any other number of things that bring you a moment of peace and joy.

  • Ask for help. Seriously. Please just do it. You’ll be surprised at the kindness and generosity out there you’ll be met with. Maybe someone can’t fix your problems, and they may be able to help in ways you didn’t even realize you needed.

I invite you today to think about one way you can ease the pressure on yourself so you don’t end up like the poor car at the mechanic waiting to learn of its future. I also invite you to think of someone in your life that you might have something to offer. Even if it doesn’t meet a direct need, it will certainly remind that person they are not alone. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember we are not mechanical things or batteries that can quickly be recharged. I have so much more to say about this, but I’ve committed to keep these newsletters short, so I’ll share more in the next newsletter!

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