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Work-Life Priorities Burnout & Reinvigorating Growth

July 5, 2023

A time to express is difficult to come by of late. 

A greater responsibility than children occupies my psyche often and much of the day; work. I think about Paul Millerd’s reevaluation of the prioritization that most of us inadvertently subscribe to; centering our lives AROUND work. 

It would look something like, work at the centre, then relationships, then play, then health. 

A closer inspection invites the ideal reorientation to health, then relationships, WITH play, then work.

I feel a slight psychomotor agitation in my body as I reflect on that reality; at least mine. 

I had dreams, I still do, of helping others out of this. But I, myself, am found here. People, even my loved ones, get glimpses of me in between work. Im not blind to the other possibilities, but this one leads. It isn’t necessarily out that’s required, either though. It’s a shift in relating. 

I think back to my sense of self that was bursting at the seams until 2 years ago. I was fortunate to have come into contact with a community of individuals that prioritized depth of connection in addition to processing the most cumbersome and buried layers of what few humans in history had the opportunity to reexamine, reevaluate, and rekindle; our personal foundations. It was a cumulative experience over a year that demanded a lot of time, and I made time for that. I HAD time for that. I had worked complimentary to the life experience that I wanted to have. Creativity was alive. I understand it is incredibly privileged and that does not go unnoticed at any point. 

As I felt that life experience, I was noticing how it revitalized me in times of work, too. My health thrived, my relationships flourished, play was abundant, and work wasn’t feeling like work. I had an immense amount of intrapersonal reserves that invited presence, gratitude, committed effort, and most importantly, grace. My colleagues felt it, I felt it, the patients felt it, I’m sure the walls felt and saw it. 

I had no resentment. I was utterly immersed in my life.

The book needed to be written then. Ah, what a testament that would have been. There were manuscripts envisioned, writings started, and collaborations ongoing. I felt an inevitability of sharing this, whatever it was I was experiencing, with the world. Such is the nature of a human in flow, who wants to share it WITH others. Not as a ‘see me’, but as a ‘lets’. It felt inclusive. I saw the faces of my colleagues, and I felt I could support their reinvigoration, too. Not that they needed it, but I would hear stories and see expressions that inferred displeasure, dissatisfaction, and coping. I would look back at myself; a close examination; I didn’t feel I was coping at all

Regular journaling. 

Regular nurturing human connection. 

Regular rest.

Regular processing of charged experiences that would come up in life. 

In addition, I was feeling ahead on my finances. 

I was seeing my family. 

I was playing.

I was exploring.

I was feeling like I’d cracked a code of flow. 

As I write this, I notice the amount of writing in the past tense. 

Because in short, what has ensued, is a slow descent into the challenges of declined alignment. A compendium of insights, perspectives, and desires for life that I know are available, but that strangely feel, at least right now, less available. I feel less available to the majesty of life. I feel the need to recuperate, reinvigorate, to pivot. I feel disenchanted with the majesty and mystery and astonishment that life offers. It frequently shows up at work, often initiated through the blunted facial expressions of my colleagues, disgruntled patients, or, and most challengingly, in the eyes of my fiancé whose body language and demeanor says ‘he’s tired or charged or withdrawn or ‘… In short, unavailable to be present and unavailable to deeply connect’. An exhausted, apathetic human becomes an indifferent observer to their own life. Qualities of powerlessness, and hopelessness may surface.  

Im at the symphony and no instruments are playing. This is temporary, but it can also be progressive. The callousing is a mark of unprocessed aspects of me, with fatigued parts meeting demands that I currently place in addition to a reduction of meeting the needs of what makes a human experience graceful wholeness. There is a choice.

And so, I contemplate. A deep breath. 

Does any of this ring with you? A time when you felt life flourishing and your commitment to work did not infringe on the life that you want to live? If you’ve read this far, know that I am a man in contemplation. Grateful for the experience of life, for intact faculties. For the capacity to experience the spectrum of my human experience. I smile at uncertainty, the thought of her, the thought of them, the thought of possibility, the thought of feeling, the feeling of thought, the feeling of senseful living. Cacophonic expression emerges in sporadic moments.

As my dear friend Melanie Barrett reminded me on a call ‘Allow life to breathe you in’. I’ve been holding it.

There is a sweet spot for us all. I have personally felt it.

And so, back to the game of trust. Play? Are you?

If you are open to it, leave your thoughts below.

Then, take a moment to pause, put the tech aside; reflect, contemplate, digest & integrate.


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