Balancing Being and Doing

"Getting in balance is not so much about adopting new strategies to change your behaviors, as it is about realigning yourself in all of your thoughts to create a balance between what you desire and how you conduct your life on a daily basis."  

― Wayne Dyer 

As the year comes to an end, it's a great time to reflect, review, and then acknowledge and celebrate what we achieved, the learnings, and who we've become. Sometimes, we're so caught up in what we haven't achieved we forget and underestimate how far we've come. We completely miss the joy of the journey and embodying all our wins. Both big and small. 

The intention behind this blog post is to invite you to consider the importance of balancing doing work and being a human. I'll be sharing a personal case study and why I'm so passionate about holistic well-being for healthy high performance and sustainable productivity. 

There'll be some over-sharing, so here goes...

Balancing the thin line between being passionate about personal development and feeling like a broken project that constantly needs fixing is something I've been learning since the pandemic. The lockdowns forced many of us to stop, pause, and sit with all the feelings that came up. And my oh my! It's scary to face all the unprocessed, ignored, and numbed-out stuff that can come up when we're not busy, distracted by the noise of "doing life". When we sit in silence with ourselves and face our big, painful emotions.  The discomfort is temporary, but the healing is worth it. That's emotional self-care.

And while I believe in high performance, I've since learned being an overachiever who is always on the go and neglecting self-care and well-being can be a trauma response. A learned survival mechanism that no longer serves me today. Add the element of being a Black woman living in Germany and always maneuvering White spaces that often require us BIPoC to work twice as hard to "prove" ourselves - SO exhausting. 

But blaming others and self-pity is not the solution. 

I opted for a sense of agency, curiosity, and self-compassion because we have a God-given free will, and we can create choices.

"Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you." – Susan Kennedy

Faced with the root cause of my hustle-and-grind, over-functioning tendencies, and taking responsibility for my part in the equation, the painful truth became apparent. And, with it, the intentional choice to embark on the healing journey of doing the tender, scary inner work of metabolizing layers of unprocessed trauma. Trusting my Creator with the restoration of my soul, and renewing my mind to the truth of unconditional love. See, the thing about trauma is it makes us believe lies about ourselves, others, the world, and even God. 

I also sought help from various professionals, spiritual and secular, each using different modalities, and the work paid off. I am so grateful for the 3-year collaboration journey. While I have by no means arrived, I'm happy to have definitely left that unsustainable toxic productivity space and continue to process and release other dysfunctional ways. Emotional healing is a journey, not a destination, I'm a work in process, gently unlearning and rewiring.

When CPTSD becomes post-traumatic growth, it's a beautiful thing - wounds can become wisdom! These days, it's self-care to pause and pace myself instead of constantly pushing through - subconsciously driven by internal limiting beliefs and external conditioning. 

OK, enough oversharing... :-)

Because we're human beings, not human doings, self-care, and well-being are not a luxury about external pampering; it is a necessity akin to self-preservation for healthy high performance. Having ambition is a good thing, and so is matching capacity. It also helps to remember that, as human beings, we have intrinsic value that is not earned. So, these days, I'm learning to embody the truth that my identity is not determined by my portfolio and productivity. My worth is not determined by other people's recognition, so there's nothing to prove. Instead, work that is inspired by purpose and values feels better and is sustainable with vision as the foundation for inspiring goals. 

In case you also struggle with workaholism and feel guilty when you rest, I hope this personal share helps you see balance is possible. And as we wrap up 2024 with yearly performance reviews, may we remember we're human beings first, not human doings. Thanks for being here today!

Recommended Resource: Year-End Review

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