How I Survived Burn Out

I'm back. I'm here. I've always been here. But I've also been teaching in four different places and it spread me super duper thin. I'm reducing my teaching schedule in 2018 and I'm sorelieved! 2017 forced me to grow up so much, both in my personal and professional life. Today I discuss the professional...

Phase 1. The Spark: You feel super accomplished.

Here's what happened to me since January: I started teaching at one place. Then... somebody offered me a gig at a second place. Then... somebody needed me at another place... and another place. And I kept saying yes. I kept saying yes even when it meant I taught six days a week. I also said yes to subbing positions. I was prideful. I was proud of myself for getting so many classes so fast. When it feels torturous, I tell myself that it's experience and *that* became the currency I was chasing. I felt super accomplished for grabbing hold of so much experience.

Phase 2. Up in Smoke: You hate yourself and your life.

Pretty soon having such a full teaching schedule was not as wonderful as it felt at the first.

Lifestyle: For me, it meant a lot of driving and squeezing in time to eat at odd places. And it became harder and harder to sustain my relationship. I was dating a guy from Portland, and the relationship imploded. Working six days a week just made it too difficult for us. But I must note, I wasn't in the healthiest mind space either. More on that now...

Emotions: I had two places I taught where the crowd was overwhelming and unpredictable (a middle school and community class). And at the other two locations, I was newer and sometimes nobody showed up. I'd excitedly plan a sequence, and I'd drive all the way just tohave nobody in class. So between overwhelmed and disappointed, it was an emotional roller coaster just to show up. Not to mention... I had to hold space for so many people in so many different places, in a week, in 2017. I barely had time to process my own emotions, and began to struggle with depression again. 

So the dream job starts feeling like a chore. I get up and drive and I get there not feeling anything except exhausted and unsettled. The beautiful spark turned into a heat that was burning me and all my hopes alive.

Phase 3. Warmth: You manage it all.

But hey, I'm resilient. I take responsibility for the sh*thole I dug for myself by saying yes too many times. I own up to it and do what I can to chill out. I make time for my own body and mind. I work out with a personal trainer once a week. I remove my excuses and go to yoga class as a student. When I have free time, I read or watch Netflix without guilty. On Saturday evenings and Sundays, I spend time with family or see friends in Seattle. I learn to not say "YES" to every sub position, I allow myself to cool down.

And whatever I'm walking into that day, whether a full class or nobody, I thank the Universe for the opportunity. I acknowledge that I'm doing my best and I try to live in the moment. Because as crazy as I am, I know one day I will look upon these days as the good ol' days -- the days when I was naive, and the days when I over-committed and got burnt.

Phase 4. Inner Flame: You integrate and reevaluate.

This post is one of my first steps of phase 4.

To be clear, I have no regrets about my decisions this year. Everything I've experienced has given me a better idea of what I want to teach and who I want to teach. It just happens to NOT be everything I'm doing now. Who knew more didn't mean better? I've got this month to get through and then I am going to make changes for a more fulfilling life and career path in 2018. I hate how much I've gotten away from my online work because of all my live teaching. I think it's time I take the experience and share with you in the form of free content and courses.

I was talking to my mentor the other day and she said something interesting. She pointed out how the popularity of hot and flow yoga says a lot about our culture. Part of yoga is about cultivating the inner flame, or tapas. But many of us are more interested in allowing the external heat to touch us rather than going inwards... even when it could be harmful. That's definitely a lesson I'm learning right now. Rather than burn out from saying yesyesyes, I think I'd rather listen to my inner flame and let that guide me to my next step.

Thank you for reading! How are the holidays treating you? How do you avoid or survive burn out? For updates and access to my resource library, get on my email list.