How to Prevent Burn-Out? Hit “Pause”

Career, Life path, Life's Work, The Self

Once you stop to breathe and unload – all the creative solutions and all the help that you need arise to the surface like magic.

solitudeI have a tendency to burn myself out, and I believe anybody who cares enough about something has a tendency to lose herself/himself in it. I have such a huge propensity towards burning out that I have been clinically depressed once because of it.

I’ve learned about self-care since then, but time and time again, I still struggle with remembering and/or finding new approaches on how not to go there again. Lately I found myself more stressed out than usual, not yet to the brink of burn-out but, my self-awareness has enabled me to spot the early signs. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know how to keep myself from going into that familiar downward spiral.

Until I made the decision to hit “Pause”. Until I decided to take a full day’s rest.

I took a nap. I spent my time on play and creativity, meaning, doing things that free my mind and nourish my spirit. I set the intention to put my to-dos backstage. I knew they could wait. I knew my well-being mattered more.

That one day of rest did serve me and the people I care about. My 2-week old cough subsided. I spent quality time with my family (including my pets of course!) again. I finally got to enjoy my alone time again. I felt satisfied. My weekend has been full and energizing.

I was also in a better mood when I got back to work. I didn’t feel the usual tendency to push myself to do more and cramp as many things as possible in one day. Instead, I intentionally identified my priorities. I structured my tasks in a way that won’t end up depleting my energy and creativity.

There are many articles and books dedicated on how to avoid and how to recover from burn-out due to work and any other demanding aspect of life. But based on my personal experiences, none of those would make a difference if we don’t take the action that matters the most – that is, to hit “Pause” to breathe, to unload, to intentionally meet our own needs, to honor our own pace. Again, creative solutions and all the help that we need arise to the surface once we do. I hope that you find the strength and courage to hit “Pause”, too. ❤

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A Moment in Eternity

Faith, Life path, The Self

dive

Life only matters because of death. 

One has to go through death first to be with eternity. 

We only savor what we have because we can lose it; because we know how it’s like to live without it.

*

We should ponder over death more often. In fact, it should be a part of our daily routine. Not out of anxiety or drama but out of self-awareness and a deep connection with our inner and outer landscapes.

What’s the meaning of our life without the inevitability of death? Why would it matter that we are here if we’ve always been here and always will be? If there are no risks to the chances we take? If there are no costs to loving all that we do?

Will fleeting moments remain special? Would it still matter if we choose to show up or not, if we give our best?

 

Own Your Space

Life path, Life's Work, Manifestation, The Self

diveYou’ve been given a space in this world – no matter how small it may seem to be. You’ve been given the ability to express yourself, to contribute and live to the fullness of who you are.

Own that space. Seize the chances you’re given.

Be shameless. Be here. Fully. Unapologetic and free. Create and deliver.

You matter because you are here.

 

 

Pace Yourself

Authenticity, Life path, The Self

standingIf you’re too fast too soon there’s a high chance that you’ll get tired fast, too, and that you won’t be able to maintain a pace that can last you a long while.

On the other hand, if you warm yourself up first, get your focus right and allow yourself to reach your natural optimal pace, you become more equipped to stay in the game longer  – and even get better as you go. As the journey progresses, you may even surpass a lot of those who started at top speed, those who were initially ahead of you.

As the saying goes, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” You’re here for the long haul. You’re here to evolve.

It’s not just about how fast you go, at the end of the day it’s about the quality of the journey you create. Is it pleasant to you for the most part or does it feel more like torture? Are you enjoying the sights and sounds? The insights you get? The ways you’re growing? The company of the people you share experiences with?

Do you have the soul-space to be fully present in each moment and savor the last drop of it or do you keep on wishing it’s over?

How do you think the people around you perceive you and your journey? Do you think they feel inspired just by looking at how you go through it and by who you are becoming because of it? Or do you end up discouraging them before they even begin embarking on their own?

These questions are as important as the ones we ask ourselves everytime we’re plotting our course and defining our goals.

Our intentions frame the choices we make, and the choices we make end up creating the kind of life we live.

Get clear with your intentions. Set your own pace. Build yourself to last – and have a good time!

 

Allow and Connect

People & Relationships, The Self

cat

How do you forge a relationship with an animal?

You ground yourself.
You stay present,

with full acceptance of who you are
and what is.

You allow this creature, always free in spirit
to come to you.

To calm down,
to merge with your presence

with no expectations of the outcome
or the length of your time together.

How do you forge a relationship with another human?

You go back to the top.

Repeat.

Not just a Cup of Coffee, but a Cup of Love

Faith, Manifestation, The Self

cupMy brother and I had a mini coffee party for ourselves the other day. We tried out the new espresso machine our uncle gave us. No one else in the family is into coffee so we can have it all to ourselves. It’s so funny and lovely, we’re like two little kids excited to unwrap our Christmas presents.

We were careful the entire time – we even watched a YouTube video to make sure we’re using the machine properly. I felt as though I was traveling the world as I read the details of the capsules that went with it. My brother searched our cupboard for the perfect cups to use.

I picked one of the top three strongest flavors as expected, since I like my coffee that way, while my brother opted for one of the lightest. We were curious how each would smell and taste like. We waited in full savory anticipation for each cup to be filled – and literally went near the cup to inhale the aroma as the coffee poured out.

It was just pure joy as we tasted each flavor. I even closed my eyes to focus on the experience. My first remark was,

“I feel like this coffee loves me.”

Love can be indescribable and fleeting to many of us, but when we experience it, when we’re enveloped in its atmosphere, we just know it. The amazing thing about feeling loved is that we don’t only feel loved by a particular person or, in this instance, thing, but we also feel loved by Creation in its entirety.

We feel embraced, seen, felt, nourished thoroughly without any spot left without its warmth. We feel born again and eternal. We suddenly get it why we’re where we are. We feel redeemed and yet feel as if we’re never tainted with flaws to begin with. We feel boundless, completely immense in the present moment. In fact, time collapses into one point. Nothing was, nothing will be – it’s just all in the “is”.

As I inhaled the aroma and sipped my coffee, I felt how the Universe conspired all events to bring that cup of love to me.

The Universe offers us its unbounded love in all sorts of ways on a daily basis. When we take the time to focus on each moment and follow each experience up to its natural conclusion, I think we will never run out of situations to feel loved.

Redefining Success

Authenticity, The Self

dancingSince I am entering a new era in my life, I’ve decided it would not only be helpful but also necessary to redefine what success means to me now.

Doing so would enable me more to find value and fulfillment in my journey as I proceed. It would also empower me to check on myself regularly and evaluate whether I am living from moment to moment in a manner that is authentic to me, then apply the changes I find necessary.

After what I’ve gone through these past few months, one thing keeps coming to the surface – the value of relationships. Relationships are what truly matter; relationship with ourselves, with other humans, with nature, with everything around us including the ones we can’t perceive. We’re happier when we share ourselves and our world with others, interacting with each other is also vital in growing our self-awareness and in traveling the path of our unique expansion.

As I enter this period of my life, I define success based on the quality of my relationships. It’s not based on anything external but only on things that I can influence. I would like to make sure that I am able to bring the following in each interaction I would have from hereon – Authenticity, Respect and Presence.

Being authentic requires me to get clear with my energy, my motivations, my intentions, my values, my biases, things I’m unsure of and the fullness of who I am even before I interact with someone else. This enables me to choose the aspects of me that I would like to share or that is relevant to be revealed in each interaction. Being authentic requires me to be accountable with how I handle my emotions and thoughts and use them to establish trust and camaraderie with who I am interacting with.

It is imperative for me to be respectful of myself and of others no matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter how the interaction is going, what it is about and the intentions invested in. This means that I recognize the validity of opinions and emotions expressed and exchanged. It requires me to know and uphold my own boundaries and do the same for the ones I am interacting with. Each interaction is based on the fact that we are all created equal and are born free.

Once I’m able to get clear with what’s important, it follows that I expect myself to be fully present in each interaction I choose to participate in. I need to listen fully with all of my senses and take note of not only what’s being said but more importantly, what is not. This is where I must maximize my super power – empathy. Empathy will enable me to acquire all the information I need in each interaction. This ability will consequently empower me to make changes in thoughts, emotions and behavior suitable to pivot each into a pleasant and fruitful one.

For a new definition of success to have any bearing, I must stick to the essentials and avoid adding elements that would only make it complicated to follow through. The outcome of each interaction will always be beyond my sole control, therefore, it doesn’t make sense to list anything related to outcomes to expand my new definition. This also helps me to be unconditional in my evaluations.

This time around, as long as I am able to hold my end of the stick according to my values, I will consider each moment a success and my presence as sufficient and valuable. I will rely on my faith that whatever happens as a result of each interaction will lead to the right outcomes, opportunities and new possibilities for expansion for everyone.

This definition feels more authentic and nourishing to me. It also reflects my collaborative nature. 🙂

How to handle Stress? Hold a space for Grace and unconditional Love

Faith, Healing, People & Relationships, The Self

stressWe get cranky when we’re stressed out. We become more needy. We have less patience. We tend to have a distorted view towards the people around us. We’re more likely to think they’re insensitive, uncaring – selfish.  This can crystallize into tiny resentments that have a chance of clumping together as time passes by. This can harden our heart.

It has been pretty stressful individually for me and for my SO these past few months. Since we are geographically apart, we are required to deal with our issues mostly on our own. There are delays in communication not only because of our daily schedule but due to the time difference between us. There were times when I worried that I was not doing enough for him, that maybe he didn’t feel my love and presence. I would have those worries because there have been times when I had those thoughts, too, when I assumed he’s not being “involved enough” with what I was going through. But eventually I’ve realized that nobody else can fight our battles for us. Furthermore, the truth is, he’s always present enough with me through thick and thin.

Today, I woke up stressed, probably because I slept stressed out, too. But today I did something different. Instead of letting myself fall off that downward spiral, I took a pause and listened to myself instead.

That’s when I knew that what we need the most when we’re stressed out is Compassion. We need to be especially compassionate with ourselves and with others in the midst of stress. We don’t need to focus more on solving the issue that’s causing our stress, particularly when the situation is beyond our control. But what we can always do is to be compassionate.

What’s gonna help us and those we care about is to be validated and not judged.

What we need is for someone – and this can be ourselves – to hold a space for us when we can just be enveloped in the warmth of unconditional care.

Sometimes our strong desire to solve an issue only hurts us more, sometimes it only breeds more insecurity and despair.

Sometimes this also only keeps us away from our loved ones. When a person we care about is suffering, and we can’t stand seeing them that way, we tend to jump into conclusions and end things for them or expect them to resolve the matter immediately. This attitude might only make them feel misunderstood and judged. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to simply be there for them during the rough times and get our empathy across.

My SO is actually good at this. He’s internally strong enough to remain present with me as I go through difficulties, without having the desire to control my emotions or my behavior, or to fix the issues himself. He simply comforts me and makes sure that I go back to a lighter perspective. He assures me that things are always working out perfectly, no matter how things may look at the moment.

Personally, I think at the core of all of this is a bigger lesson the Universe wants us to imbibe – that we are graced all the time, in good times and in bad times. That there is, in fact, goodness in all kinds of situation, and we’ll always find it if we choose to – and that we’ll always feel the Divine’s unconditional love if we let it in.

You are Eternity

Poetry, The Self
Lie still.

Stare at the ceiling.

Breathe.



Notice the sounds pulsing

through the walls.



Feel the textures

enmeshed in a cobweb

of scenes, events

mini-multiverses of their own.



You.

are.

untouchable.



Remember this.

This is a slice of eternity.



Absorb it like water.

Let it take

the shape

of your own mind.



Bring eternity

everywhere you go.



Bring eternity

in everything you do.



You are Eternity.



- daena de guzman | 2017

 

The meaning of 1’s for me

Meditation/Visions, The Self

I’ve been seeing 1 like crazy lately: 1, 11, 111, 11:11. While there are textbook meanings out there, the definitions of these repeating numbers would always be personal to us. It could signify a door opening, a breakthrough, a seed planted, an idea, etc. I meditated on this and this is what I got:

The 1’s that I keep on seeing are reminding me to snap out of my time travels to the future and the past and to stay grounded in the present moment. I saw it as a literal snapping of the fingers waking me up from my daydreams and/or worries. The Universe told me:

You have to stay in the present because this is where your power is. Even if you want to (and you can) change the past or the future, you’d still have to make the past or the future your present in order for you to do that. You cannot change from a remote place.There is no remote control for that. You gotta be there yourself. So it just makes sense for you to learn how to stay in the present. This is the only place where creation and redemption can take place.

Have you seen 1’s lately? What do they mean to you?