Photo by Todd Turner on Unsplash
What do hamster wheels, merry-go-rounds and Sisyphus have to do with each other? Simply put, they provoke and exemplify stress and overwhelm.
So many successful, professional women spend their lives on a hamster wheel. It’s a constant push, always focused on getting things done and accomplishing things.
Or their lives are a merry-go-round. With that incessant music – someone else’s music – insinuating its way into our veins, taking over our natural rhythms.
We are like Sisyphus, pushing the rock up, struggling, paying for sins long forgotten. Perhaps just the sin of gender and the need to prove ourselves. The need to try harder.
Enter stress and overwhelm.
Sisyphus dared to fiddle with the plans of the gods. He was punished with a job that will never be done. Is that you?
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
(Opening lines from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese)
Here’s the truth.
You are already good. You can stand tall in that. And you will go on being good: at what you do, at who you are, at what you stand for. Stop wasting your energy trying to prove it. Come out of the desert into the cool green glade of your essence.
What I know is that when we try so hard to be all and do all, when we struggle, all we see is the struggle. All we see is the rock teetering above us and we lose sight of why we’re pushing. And, at the same time, we teach others to let us do the heavy lifting.
When we struggle, we get exhausted and those pieces of ourselves that renew and restore get lost. We don’t have time to do the things that make us a multidimensional human. For me, well, who had time to meditate, journal, play with watercolors. The garden was on the list but at the bottom. If I were to invite a friend out for a walk…wait, what friend? Most of my friends were really acquaintances or work colleagues. Ten-hour work days plus a long commute left no energy to meet new people, volunteer, join an organization that aligned with who I am and who I want to be.
I had let go of who I was and tried to become what the world thought I should be. Is that you?
Here’s another truth.
You can climb the ladder of success without a boulder on the rung above you. You can let loose your creativity in your business, your home, your interactions with the bigger world. And it can be joyful and satisfying and meaningful. It can be a model for the women who are coming up behind you. Because you do not have to sacrifice your whole self to attain this. I am still learning this; unraveling years of habitual, reactive behavior.
You can stay moored in the depths and riches of who you are at your core. You can choose how to spend this precious commodity that is your time. You know there is so much more to you and your life. Are you willing to explore and flow with it?
Yes, you can be anchored and flowing.
Let the world get to know the real you. You don’t have to push. You do not have to walk on your knees. There is nothing to repent.
Wondering how to step off the merry-go-round? Contact me for a complimentary discovery call. I’ve been there and I can help.