Have you ever tried to have a conversation in a crowded room or in a house with toddlers? If you’ve experienced either then you know that sometimes it can be difficult to hear the other person. If the room is loud enough, it may even be difficult to hear yourself think. The same difficulty you face trying to communicate with others when there are distractions around also applies to the conversations we have with ourselves.
Now if you read that last line and now think that I am crazy because I am talking about having a conversation with myself, stick with me for a minute. Every thought that we have is a means of communication between our conscious mind and the still small voice that lives in us. That small voice is what tells us that everything is going to be ok when it seems that our world is falling apart. It is what holds our hand when we face our fears. That is the voice that cheers us on when we shoot for the stars, especially when everyone else tells us to keep our feet planted on the ground. It is also the voice that tells us if all of our needs are being met, if we are lacking in a particular area of our life and when we need rest. So what happens when we can no longer hear that voice and how can we be sure to keep those lines of communication open?
When your internal lines of communication are blocked by all the noise in your life you can lose perspective of your circumstances. You are no longer able to hear or respond to our own needs and begin to live reactively. You react to exhaustion instead of proactively living in alignment. You push through brain fog, pain and sickness instead of giving your body what it needs to thrive. This is what it looks like to be running on fumes. This is what it looks like to be in survival mode. This is how you burn yourself out.
As we journey together this year towards more intentional rest, I cannot stress enough the importance of creating your quiet place. Making room for you to get in tune with yourself and your needs. Your quiet place is that time that you set aside free of distractions. It is not watching tv or listening to music. It can be your time to journal, meditate or pray. It is a time where you can recognize what your body is trying to tell you. Where the whispers of intuitions begin to sound like shouts.
For me that looks like waking up thirty minutes before everyone else. One of the two times each day when my house is completely quiet, It allows me time to meditate and pray, gather my thoughts and mentally prepare for the day. It is the calm before the circus that is our morning routine. That also means taking time in the evening to check in with myself. Checking to see if I met my needs for the day or if there is an area where I was lacking. This isn’t a search for perfectionism but rather holding myself accountable to the commitment that I made to me.
So if you find yourself on the brink of burnout, utterly exhausted or tired of pushing through the brain fog; I encourage you to find your quiet place. Commit to making room for you to be alone with your thoughts, you just may be surprised by what they have to say. Struggling with the quiet, try this journal prompt “ Did I give myself everything I needed to thrive today”. Not only will this help you check in with yourself, but it will also help you to start thinking about how well you are taking care of yourself.
LaKeisha , Chief Wellness Officer