How often do you get overwhelmed? For me, it can happen quite often. In my training as a Simplicity Family Life Coach, I was able to make a lot of sense of why I get triggered and how to reduce this emotional state for myself. Kim John Payne, the author of Simplicity Parenting (SP), talks about how kids experience daily stressors and how each of these stressors accumulates to equal to the impact of a traumatic event. Now, I am not a child, but I do know that children are getting hit daily with too much stuff that is taking away from their childhood, and as an adult, I feel this attack on my own joy. Do you?
Too many emails, advertisements about this and that thing, what you should or need to have a fantastic life. Facebook or Instagram pics of people having the time of their lives and living blissfully, and you're not. Bigger homes, cars, phones, and more and more to do, activities to rush to, events to participate. The list can go on. Add parenting, whether you are one to a child, maybe multiple little ones, or fur babies, you now have the responsibility of caring for someone other than yourself.
What happens when you get overwhelmed or stressed from all this stuff flooding into your life?
Do you get irritable, angry, resentful, quiet, withdrawn, or act out any old patterns or addictions?
What does it look like, when you move out of your best self and into your stressed version of who you are, or what we call in SP ‘Soul Fever'?
The interesting thing about many of us today, in the high pressured, masculine world, is that we often just push through this state. Today we are doing as much as we can, getting mad at ourselves when we can't do it all or do it correctly, and making harsh judgments about oneself and others. It can be a vicious cycle that depletes your energy, joy, health, and passion. Ugghh..why do we live like this?
You are not alone in doing this, many of us were never taught how to slow down.
We live in a world where the masculine qualities like doing, thinking, giving, being in your head, structure, control, rational and linear are all valued. So we push through those stressors because it makes sense from this perspective. Keep moving forward, right?
These qualities are of value. This energy helps us to have a structure in our life and a container for us to be more in our flow. As a Mom, I need to be ON this way so that I can manage everything that comes with being a parent, running a house and also my outside work (my biz, my passion).
Part of the problem is we have lost sight of the value of the feminine qualities that can be profoundly healing to all of us.
Men and woman each have either masculine or feminine at their core, but we can take on the energy of each. This energy has nothing to do with sexual preference and all to do with the way we express ourselves. This energy fuels the things we do and think the way we do. Again, the masculine traits look more like doing, thinking, giving, being in your head, structure, control, rational and linear. The feminine traits are being, receiving, being in the heart, formless, flow and intuitive.
Finding the balance between the two is key to living more balanced.
So how do you create that balance?
Start with honoring your needs. Are you finding yourself more in the masculine and therefore the need to slow down, to rest, to be in flow rather than in productivity? If this is the case, take time to breathe and feel into your heart and listen to what it is saying.
We can all have this need whether a man or woman. Being in the feminine energy allows us to be more receptive, creative in our thinking and add warmth to our relationships. Try moving your body more. Spend time outside. Clear out the clutter in your homes, your workspace, your emails. Filter out the adult world more.
I believe that our lifestyles do not honor our needs to rest and slow down. The feeling of overwhelm hits both men and woman as more and more expectations arise. Parenting just fuels those expectations and that burned out feeling.
Sleep. Sleep is so vital to restoring ourselves, and it is a need we ALL have. Alison Armstrong, a researcher in all things men and woman and the creator of Understanding Men and The Queen's Code, talks about how men restore their testosterone while sleeping or resting so that they can go back out and hunt. Women, she says, regain their energy by "puttering" around. So when a man is lying on the couch channel surfing, he is just recharging, and when a woman is aimlessly strolling, shopping or moving around the home, she too is rebooting.
When you consider balancing the feminine and masculine energy, you can explore ideas of how to fuel each energy and what is needed for you to maintain balance, joy, happiness, and ease.
What ways do you create that balance for yourself? How do you manage the flood of information, stuff, and expectations that come into your day, week, and life?
He who is contended is rich.--Lao Tzu
As humans, we seem to complicate things, and sometimes it is super simple. Slow down, honor your needs, and you will be full. Remember, less can be more.