The Benefits of Exhaustion

livingroom couchI’m writing this post from my new “office” – the couch in my living room that I’ve been spending most of my time on for the past month. (My body decided that it was time for some enforced rest, which I’ve been giving it – albeit reluctantly and begrudgingly at times.)

I’ve postponed all of my Skype sessions for the time being, cut way back on my work hours, and have focused solely on relaxing, de-stressing, and simply allowing myself to BE.

I’ve always believed that there is a gift in every situation – no matter how painful it feels when we’re in it. And usually, I can go back to each experience and find the nuggets and learn and grow. But this time – with the help of a great book that I’m reading – I’m finding the nuggets while I’m still in the midst of what could be viewed as a not-so-great experience, which is pretty exciting.

It’s my hope that in sharing some of my nuggets, you’ll be able to look at your own present-moment life experiences and find some nuggets, too!

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We started a book club this month in the Soulful Life Sanctuary, and the first book that we selected is The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing by Abraham-Hicks. (You can learn more about it here.)

To be completely honest, I have never read any of their books before. I have come across them in the past and felt a strong aversion to them, actually, because of the channeling aspect. (Esther channels an energy/source called Abraham and shares the messages/teachings through her writing.) For my skeptical mind, they seemed too “out there.” However, during my own awakening over the past few years, I have gone from not believing in anything to witnessing such beautiful miracles that I want to remain open to see what else is possible.

I also know that oftentimes when I feel such a strong aversion to something, it’s something to pay attention to. So when this book was chosen by the sanctuary members, I took it as a sign that it was time for me to dive in and see what it was all about.

I’m so glad I stayed open because it’s absolutely amazing. I haven’t even finished it yet, and I’ve already filled up pages and pages of my journal with notes and passages that I want to remember.

This book is about surrendering to what is – allowing ourselves to stop going against the current in our life and give ourselves permission to stop resisting whatever is happening and accept it. Because it’s in the resistance that we feel pain and attract more of that into our life. When we accept whatever is happening and find the positive aspects of it, we raise our vibration and align with the universal flow and our own divine nature.

Like I mentioned above, my first couple of weeks on the couch weren’t fun at all. I was in full resistance mode. I was thinking about everything that I couldn’t do – all of the negative aspects that this exhaustion was bringing into my life. I was feeling betrayed by my body and just wanted it to heal already – I had things to do!

And then, I began to shift (thanks in large part to this book) and also to endless chats with my husband, who is such a wise, loving soul. I began to shift from negative to positive. I believe that we live in a loving universe, and so that means that whatever I’m going through is for my highest good. And when I stopped resisting and started allowing, things began to flow much more easily.

One of the exercises in the book is to take a situation that you’re struggling with and write down all of the positive aspects of it. I did this a few nights ago with my struggle with feeling so exhausted.

I was amazed at how I wrote a full page of benefits in just a few minutes! It was like my soul was so happy that I had shifted my focus, and it was super excited to help me see all of the ways that this experience was helping me.

I saw that without this level of exhaustion, I wouldn’t have made the time to take care of myself. I always wrote about it and taught about it and told myself that it was something I should also do, but I never actually did it – at least not to the extent that my body and soul needed. Being this exhausted has helped me make self care my number-one priority, which felt really uncomfortable at first but feels really great now.

After spending the last 10 years working 80+ hours/week, I have now set boundaries around my time and am working no more than 25 hours/week and stepping away from all work completely after dinner each night. I have talked about doing this for years and never found the discipline to follow through – until now. Definitely a huge benefit to this exhaustion! It feels so good to slow everything down – to relax and have space in my day. To listen to my body and stop when I’m tired. And to work from the couch is pretty sweet, too. (Definitely an added bonus of working from home.) I’ve spent so many years being a horrible boss to myself, and I’m glad that I’m starting to treat myself how I would like to be treated.

I am also seeing that this exhaustion is helping me open my heart more to faith and to trusting the universe. I was so determined to create financial security, and I just assumed that I had to work around the clock to make it happen. I’ve found that the opposite is actually true. The more I take care of myself, the more the abundance seems to flow. And that’s such great evidence for me to continue trusting that it’s okay to relax – and that struggling isn’t a requirement for success (in any area of life).

Having this downtime has allowed me to get to know myself again. I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t taken the time to check in and really see how I’m doing – how I’m feeling. It’s been great to have this time and space to do this. It’s also given me much more quality time with Dan. We’ve worked together for 10 years, so we spend a lot of our time together. But this quality time is different. We’re not so braindead, and we can enjoy each other so much more.

These are just a few of the benefits that this current experiencing is bringing to me. It’s so exciting to see that in writing them down, I could feel myself immediately start to shift. Yes, I’m still tired. Yes, I’m still on the couch. No, I don’t know how long I’ll be here. But here’s what’s happened: I’m allowing myself to be wherever I am. I’m no longer resisting what is. And because of this, I am enjoying my life a whole lot more.

And that’s what it’s all about, right? I mean, I could go back to the way things were and work a million hours a week again and be super productive and super disciplined, but if I’m not treating myself with love and if I’m not happy, what’s the point? I would much rather be on the couch – taking it easy, slowing down, and learning how to treat myself with kindness and love – trusting that life will continue to flow beautifully because I’m allowing myself to step into the universal flow rather than continuing to resist it.

How about you? Would you want to try this experiment in your own life? Would you want to choose one situation that you’re currently struggling with and list all of the benefits that are coming from it? Would you be open to shifting from resisting it to allowing it?

If you’re feeling bad now, then you truly have nothing to lose! I think it’s definitely worth a try. If you do try it, please come back and share how it went in the comments. I would love to hear how you’re shifting!



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