You don’t have to quit your job, but you have to open space for meaning…
When I arrived at the full blown burnout state I was a shadow of myself. I was at my lowest weight ever, I could not sleep, I was depressed and easily frazzled, I lacked focus and worried all the time. I also started having anxiety issues and sugar cravings. To top it all my hormones dived so low that I was told that I wasn’t going to be able to have children (at age 33).
Psychology today had an article that said” Burnout is not simply a result of long hours. The cynicism, depression and lethargy of burnout can occur when a person is not in control of how the job is being carried out. Equally pressing is working toward a goal that doesn’t resonate, or when a person lacks support—in the office or at home. If a person doesn’t tailor responsibilities to match a true calling, or at least take a break once in a while, the person could face a mountain of mental and physical health problems”
Having a sense of purpose is highly important to repair burnout. I was lacking that in my life Big time! The article continuous: “A top motivator is enjoying meaning in the work one does; sometimes meaningfulness can outstrip the wage earned, hours worked, and even the promotions received. Having an impact on others and making the world a better place amplifies the meaning. Other motivators include autonomy as well as a good, hard challenge”
Looking for the meaning in my life took me to many, I repeat, many journeys. I took courses, volunteered for different causes and went down many rabbit holes. However, my anxious tendencies and diminishing self esteem made me use the searching as another factor to feel helpless and tired. My sheer drive was contaminating the search too. I wanted meaning and I wanted it now! I lacked the beginners mindset…I didn’t know how to enjoy this process. Only one thing saved me: Learning how to breathe.
I had found my now teacher about 2 years before I got to the my lowest point. In my life I have never felt what I felt after his breathing & yoga workshop. No yoga teacher ever conveyed the power of breathing the way he did. I wanted more! But with my scattered brain at the time, I forgot about it after a hot minute. I managed to purchase his book and a DVD (yes that’s how long ago that was!) I kept reading the book on and off, and eventually I found myself practicing with his yoga video at least once a week. Again, what I felt at the end of these practices was something I couldn’t access in other classes. I decided that this method was part of what I wanted to learn the day I quit my job…
Fast forwards to today. Almost four years have passed since I became an Inner Axis teacher. I actually had a to wait a full year until my teacher Max finished his last book and started a teacher training. But I was determined. Since then, the power of breath has gotten more publicity. There’s a huge awareness compared to when I began this journey. Just ponder this: I met a teacher that taught at the Pentagon (teaching Inner Axis) at the time I took my training. Yes the Pentagon! This is not about unicorns or rainbows. There is strong science behind this work. I can write more about it but here’s the thing. Until you experience it you will never understand it.
When I practice breath initiated movement I forget everything. All thinking is replaced with the focus I build. This wasn’t instantaneous, but I always felt more lucid, clear even alive than before practiced.
When I practice breathe initiated movement I go pass resistance many, many times. These days I don’t struggle much (although I feel the small nuances on the quality of my breathing when I’m going though some emotional thing), but at the beginning my mind and body would do all kinds of things: I would talk my self into practicing for a shorter time, I’d tell myself I shouldn’t try to challenge myself and breathe deeper because I needed to be “kind” to myself – self care inverted big time!, I would feel my jaw getting tight, my shoulders rising, my eyes popping…I fought it so hard sometimes I sounded like a respirator…whatever it took to keep my emotions stuffed. I would hold my tears at any rate.
Before I practiced regularly I defended all the limitations I built. I wasn’t strong enough, disciplined enough, good enough to do this. By skipping on my breathing work I would agree with those ideas and that made me feel terrible. But I always, always came back.
Transformation and spiritual work is not linear you see? You just have to pick something that CHALLENGES you and KEEP AT IT. In many studies, people with severe physical and nervous challenges improve when exerting effort doing something that is uncomfortable but safe. The problem when you feel burnout is that you can start “overindulging” only doing things you like because you need to decompress. Those that are cozy and feel easy…There is a big place for these activities in recovery from burnout but I often see a problem with comfort foods, alcohol, TV watching, over using social media and gaming not moving enough. These are not healing activities, they may feel good but they aren’t helping. To achieve real growth and healing means you have to retrain your brain to be able to grow and expand beyond comfort. That’s learning to be uncomfortable and not trigger stress while doing so. This is the power of breath work.
I teach a form of breath work that is NOT traditional pranayama. I honor and respect the yogic tradition and many of the techniques I teach come from it. But the old school work is far too challenging for someone healing from burnout. What I teach is the entry door of balancing discomfort and ease. This work will purge the demons from all he emotional baggage you carry in a way that is uncomfortable but not exhausting. Does it require energy? Yes. But the power you are able to harvest after you open the space in your chest for “Inspiration” is what will allow you to insert the activities that will add meaning to your life.
I teach these techniques in person and online in a one on one format and for those in the Orlando area, I guide groups the last Saturday of every month. My next breathe and heal with Maria will be this Saturday at noon At Elevate Yoga Center. If you are in the area come and experience this for yourself. If you want to become a serious practitioner respond to this email to book your private or semi-private course (2 people in similar physical condition).
Why learn this? Once you learn these techniques they are yours forever! I am the living example of the power of this system. I am no longer a shadow but Light. I clear all the emotions from my tissues on a regular basis and that keeps me clear and strong.I no longer attack my body with the chemical cascade of stress hormones that made me sick. Instead, I shower my insides with nutrients, feel good hormones and messages of wellbeing that keep me young and vital. It is my mission to share this with you all. Will you join me?