3 Things Paradise Taught Me About Overwhelm
I'm over here in Koh Lanta, Thailand, counting my coconuts - listing out the things I'm grateful for.
It's kind of like rocking back and forth, but for millenials.
So we've been here a few days now, and I'm FINALLY beginning to settle into island life.
All sounds pretty idyllic, right?
Well, I've had three pretty significant shifts that I want to share with you that have nothing to do paradise, and all to do with what's inside...
This is your solar plexus calling.
1. Paradise is paradise, and you are still you.
I was drawn to the island for it's gorgeous beaches, laidback vibe, and tropical paradiseness. I thought it would be PERFECT.
And it is - gorgeous, chilled, relaxed, perfect.
But here's the thing.
No matter HOW gorgeous a place is, when I land in a new place, I get a bit overwhelmed, a bit agitated, a bit stressed - it takes me a while to settle.
While this is going on - I think the world is ending, I am broken, it's all gone to shit.
But after it passes, I remember this pretty much happens every time.
Paradise is paradise - and it's OK to take time to adjust to it.
2. Remember whose dream you are living
I am at one of the most relaxing places on earth, and I was surprised at how stressed I felt:
- I nipped along to a co-working space to try and hunker down for a day, but it just didn't grab me - I lost my motivational mojo and couldn't figure out where it had gone.
- I went out for dinner to enjoy the sunset at a popular local spot. I left feeling more frazzled and disappointed than when I'd arrived.
- I've examined pamphlet after pamphlet about kayaking tours, speedboat excursions and diving trips. I felt uninspired, lost and at sea (literally).
Q: What's wrong with me?
A: These are someone else's ideals of how to spend time here.
What the fork?
When I remember how I love to spend my time - road trips, midnight swims, BBQ on a secluded beach, away from the crowds - writing, reading, journalling, finding the best tucked away off the beaten track coffee spots, spending time with my tribe and my loved ones, instead of following generic crowds - that zest, that energy, that flow - it all came back with a vengeance.
Be great at being you.
Follow your heart, your passions, your dreams.
No one else's.
3. The difference between Self Care, and taking yourself out of the game
These past few days, as I gazed longingly at the beach, considering the many, many things I could do for "fun" - I was getting seriously torn between work and play. The overwhelm was kicking in, and I felt the need for multiple naps a day.
But sometimes the Universe has something up it's sleeve for you - a test, a lesson, something you need to really get.
So instead of taking myself out of the game, I knew I had to push through this desire to retreat.
Don't get me wrong - it didn't look like retreat. I could hear myself telling myself that I needed more rest, I needed a break, I deserved time off right when things are ramping up.
Honestly, I am MASTERFUL at persuading myself to check out.
Once I could see this "voice of reason" was little more than ego disguised as a friend - I knew I had to get out of the comfort zone and in to the fire. I knew I needed to lean in.
Suddenly, all the boons became available.
I got to have the massage on the beach at sunset, and all the coconuts I could possibly desire.
I got to have self care AND infinite energy to do my Work.
I got to have one of the best months in my business EVER.
So next time the voice in your head tries to persuade you to "take it easy", or "check out", or have that "lie in" - ask yourself honestly whether it is genuine self care you need, or is it time to go to the next level and time to break through those barriers?
Don't take yourself out of the game.
I am all for self care. But right now, I am taking a stand for showing up.
Your dreams are calling you now.
Empowerment doesn't respond to the Snooze button.
Freedom doesn't take holidays - it is the life you don't need a holiday from.