Full disclosure: I went through a pretty rough time recently.
I was exhausted, overworked, and frustrated. I felt that both my personal and professional efforts weren’t being rewarded in the way that they should be, and instead of stepping back and taking a breather, I pumped more and more energy into things that weren’t working. I became convinced that I needed to work at a pace and in a style that rubbed me the wrong way, and both myself and my family suffered as a result.
As a) a woman, b) a mother, and c) a small business owner, I have a tendency to put way too much on my plate.
I can see so much potential and want so badly to manifest it that I carry on long after my body and my soul say stop. And I know I’m not the only one–I routinely see members of my tarot and spiritual communities suffering from burnout and general exhaustion. Everyone wants to do so well that they work themselves into fatigue, ill-health, or worse.
There seems to be a bit of a conflicting message in the metaphysical/biz communities I frequent–hold space, slow down, and practice self-care, but work harder, stronger, and faster to manifest what you desire.
When I’m really working my thang and doing all of the tarot-ness all the time (which I love, btw), taking time out for self-care is difficult. Usually, I have to sacrifice a blog post or a video or a reading, each of which takes away from the strength and consistency of my business. For those of you glorious tarot and witchy folk reading out there, I’d hazard a guess that it’s also difficult for you to go to work, take care of the kids, cook the foods, exercise, meditate, take ritual baths, run a side-hustle, spend quality time with family and friends, feed a garden, fight racism, go to yoga, clean house, nurture your primary relationship…
We’re told from a very young age that we can have it all, but what if we can’t?
What if we don’t have enough time or resources to do and be all the things we desire? What if it’s simply too much for us to handle? When do we finally accept that our body, soul, and mind have limitations, and that if we don’t respect those limitations, we’ll continue to suffer exhaustion and burnout?
The key here is prioritization–defining what’s most important to you and putting it before those things that aren’t quite as important. If you’re like me and you have A LOT of things that are important to you, this can be pretty difficult. If I had it my way, I’d write blog posts, do tarot readings, meditate, do yoga, and perform ritual every day. Yet, the biggest portion of my day is spent cleaning, cooking, and teaching/playing with my daughter. These are all things that must get done–if I don’t do them, my place becomes inhabitable and my daughter is an absolute wreck from lack of care and attention. The environment this creates makes it nearly impossible for me to get any work done let alone stretch out on my floor and do yoga, so prioritizing these things actually makes it possible for me to do more in the long run.
If you’re having trouble prioritizing, here’s a tarot spread to help you out.
- What must be done in order for me to be healthy and thrive?
- Which pursuit or spiritual practice helps me to be the best version of myself?
- What prevents me from doing what I need to do in order to be happy, healthy, and balanced?
- What goal/pursuit can I release to help me feel more energetic and renewed?
Lately, I’ve taken the proverbial “killing two birds with one stone” method to heart when it comes to cutting-back and chilling out (while still feeling like I’m not selling myself short). This is no new method to me, but I’m finding it much easier to do now that I’m deeply attuned with what’s at stake–my marriage, my sanity, my relationship with my daughter, and my relationship with self. When I take my daughter outside to play, I make sure to take the pictures I’m called to take. I savor the breeze as it plays over my body and connect with spirit. If I’m feeling tight or sluggish (because I couldn’t manage to get a yoga session in) I pick up the pace or I pick her up. When I play pretend with her, I act our common human conflicts and compassion, helping me to connect more deeply with the themes that arise in the readings I give to others. I make sure and speak with the people I meet to see if we have any common threads and to see if they might be interested in a meeting with me. In other words, I try and hold fast to the holistic approach to living by valuing everything I do as part of something bigger. And guess what? It really helps.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Simply put, we’re not going to be the best versions of ourselves all the time. We’ll have a week or two where we simply feel demotivated and we don’t make any strides or progress in a certain direction. We’ll experience death, loss, emotional upset, and frustration that consumes all of our energy and leaves little for little else. There will be times when we question the very nature of existence and so won’t be all about making cheerful or motivational Instagram and Facebook posts.
And this is totally okay.
FOMO shouldn’t prevent you from grieving your Aunt when she passes, nor should it pull you away from addressing important conflicts or realizations. Sometimes, taking a break is the absolute best thing you can do for yourself even if it doesn’t seem like it. Sometimes, you need a period of deep and uninterrupted processing before you can rebound to where you were. Give yourself permission to take this time when you need it, and know that doing so is a natural part of being human.
You don’t have to be perfect–all you have to be is you. And if that means taking a break to heal, rest, or recalculate, do it. You deserve it.
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