Burn Baby Burn
Burnout is nature’s way of telling you,
you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed;
you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.
False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.
Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man
Well, I’ve done it.
Didn’t see it coming. Didn’t even realize I was there until a friend, after listening to my apathy, suggested it. And when she did… a light bulb went off and along with that, a huge feeling of relief.
At first, I thought I was having mid-life crisis!
I know I know… you’re thinking, “Robbie, c’mon… you’re 59 years old, how in the world could you be having a mid-life crisis?” BUT… I really could be!
I am extremely immature in some ways and late in coming to the ‘adult’ party… (no, don’t let your mind go ‘there’!)
Back to burn out.
This summer I got to visit with friends, family and travel to Chicago, New York and Michigan.
I loved every minute of it… the connection, the celebration of friends and a wedding, the being in new places.
Before and in between traveling, I hustled to get the 3rdbook of my trilogy, “Las Cruces” ready for publication. Afterwards, I prepared for the opening of a salon that is displaying my resin work.
I won’t mention the litany of other things I was doing in addition to the above, because it doesn’t really matter.
What really matters is that, without knowing it, I steered myself straight into a place of over-commitment and overwhelm with an overload of information intake.
I thought I was depressed, wondered if I was having some kind of break-down.
I swear, if I saw one more email inviting me to perform ‘higher’ or to grow my Instagram or Facebook followers, eat more healthy, or inviting me to 42 workshops for SEO, LinkedIn, Woo Commerce, Buffer, book publishing, invitations to submit my photographic work – you get the gist.
But just in case you don’t…. I also received spiritual emails from Abraham, Pema Chodron, Enlightened Messages, Mantra messages…It got to the point where even if I saw an invite from Eckert Tolle, I was like ‘Fuck you Eckhart!” I should have known then, that something was terrifically awry… I LOVE Eckhart!
Seriously, I was about rendered useless… spent, depleted, plain old exhausted. Somehow, I was still able to keep creating resin work, but that’s about it…and it wasn’t a lot.
I went from being an obnoxiously over positive Pollyanna to Eeyore! Whaaaat?
For the last month or so, I rested. I vegged. I lazed around. I said no to socializing when I didn’t feel like it. I said yes to solitude. I contemplated. I panicked. I freaked out. I surrendered. I cried. I complained. I ate. I ate. I ate. (Yes, I know I repeated that.) I imbibed, I obsessively watched TV…I checked out and shut down.
I had to… it was for my survival. (too dramatic?)
The good news? The slate is now clean and I get to add to it more consciously, more wisely fill that space, while creating a place to breathe, enjoy, be light and laugh… to just be…quiet and peaceful.
It’s so easy to jump on the latest gravy train offering stupendous results because who doesn’t want that??? Stupendous results! But what I continue to learn is I can trust MY path…. My train and the journey to take me where I want to go… without sacrificing the joy of the ride.
No doubt, I will soon engage more fully in the promoting aspect for my trilogy of books and resin work. And still, all the while, in the back of my mind, there will be a space where I am thinking about my photography work, philanthropic work, ladies of the valley…oh and how I can land one of my songs in a movie… that one is always burning in my mind…but I will not be distracted by these thoughts (Unless a major movie company contacts me to use one of my songs!)
My goal is to stay on this course of growing a couple of projects at a time… not more than that.
And… I have vowed to stay put until after the New Year (barring any emergencies in NY).
I hope if you are like me, and occasionally ignore the cries of your inner being saying “slow down” or even “stop” that you might heed the call and listen to your mind, body and soul and take care…take a step back so you don’t burn out.
Here’s to a new spacious slate and baby steps…
Be strong, be brave, be you!
PS: As I was finishing this email the final book for my trilogy was delivered to my door. I am happy to announce that Las Cruces and all 3 books ( Endurance and Cracked) are now available. Click HERE.