Exhaustion: A Blessing in Disguise

This past week I experienced an epiphany that has eluded me for some time. It’s fascinating to me how we go down these paths with the best of intentions and just keep pressing forward, rarely asking if the doors opening are what we are meant to move through or just another item to add to the whirlwind.

The reason I was forced into this epiphany is multi-layered but worth describing. About two weeks ago I started feeling run down. My times slowed on my training. I found myself squeezing in projects late at night, early in the morning, and half days on the weekends. I cut out screen time. I deleted social media apps on my phone to increase my available time. I ran my life as efficiently and effectively as I’ve been able to conceive. Finally, I arrived at the blessing of exhaustion.

Exhaustion: A Blessing in Disguise

Thankfully, I was able to get into the doctor to get a blood panel to rule out something crazy. I felt like I was prioritizing all the right things, and then while listening to Greg McKeown’s “Effortless,” he asked the question: “What if there are too many big rocks?” I brought this question to my life coach and mentor JoDee Ahmann to map out how best to tackle all of these incredible opportunities on my horizon. During that coaching session a nugget of truth revealed itself to me:

I am becoming great at being an inch thick in disciplines and yet at the same time have reduced my availability for true depth for processing and critical engagement and thinking.

Basically in my excess exuberance to learn, grow, and impact as many people as possible over the next season of my life I unintentionally filled my cup with too many large rocks. Now, I am at a crossroads to re-evaluate. I took a look at my plan for the rest of the year, and it’s all so clear how fool-hearted the course ahead of me was that I had actively set in motion. Over the weekend I had the space and time to take a clear look at what my core values are and to start the steps in taking a focused approach:

Engage in being effective, going deep, and eliminating the roads that aren’t in line with where I’m heading in order to create space for quality intentional time with people.

In the upcoming months I have a number of conversations ahead of me where I’ll need to redirect my energy, turn down a large number of good opportunities to pursue the outstanding ones. I’ll move forward intentionally with my awareness of my better measuring stick in mind:

  • What maximizes my time with family and friends?
  • What opens up the highest potential with adventures and life journeys?
  • Where are the openings for nonlinear wins where a little effort and instruction creates a pattern of growth and blessing?

It’s now my time to make those adjustments. I have just started this process and am so grateful for the exhaustion of these past weeks which served as the catalyst to come face to face with a new, better way before causing longer-term damage.

In life it’s often the heartache and struggle that, if we allow ourselves to accept and grow from, can create unimaginable blessings on the other side. This has been a reminder to have humility to admit when we need to stop, redirect, and embrace the lessons that life gives us.