My breath is stuck in my throat, wanting to move deeper into my lungs, touch my belly, but something is blocking it. It stays in the shallows, barely entering my chest, making me need to breathe faster, and still feel that I'm not getting enough air.
My mind has a thick fog wafting over the spaces that were clear. Thoughts are racing, like in some fight to be heard, tumbling over one another, yearning to be louder than the others. My body is heavy, shoulders caving inward as my back is slowly being crushed with the growing list of things to do, people to respond to, calls I should make.
Overwhelm is a gripping energy that can easily pull me into an anxiety or depression state. What I mean by this is that when I feel that there's too much that life is asking of me, I either go into stress mode as I try to rise to meet it all, or I silently step back and become still and dark, wanting to sleep all day, or run away.
But is it ever really life asking too much of us?
NO. Life is simply being life.
Right now - all that I feel overwhelmed by now, as I write this - which largely has to do with the growing number of people to respond to and call - is not life throwing it at me. It's me throwing the SHOULDS at myself.
It is the expectation that I am holding that I MUST DO THIS THING (insert any life activity) at THIS TIME in THIS WAY.
I'm good at meeting goals, working to deadlines, being in integrity in people's time and space. I know I have that capacity.
AND, I'm also good at forgetting that not everything is urgent. Especially when it comes to being connected and communicative with people - I try.
I try try try my very best to be responsive, available and there. Though I've lately not been honouring my need to let these replies wait. Why do I feel that need? Because I don't feel the capacity to be as present as I know I wish to be with them.
My two main roles that I lead in my work are based on communication. This is where my Gemini Sun really loves to be lit up. I speak at people for 90mins at a time teaching class, then I talk to people after class. Then after that, I write for my various freelance writing roles. Often then, it's another class or two. I love my jobs, I love my life flow. Communicating, I love it.
And - I'm also an introvert.
I love talking and I love people.
I LOVE ALONE TIME.
This is how introverts energise. There's a capacity that I feel myself reach, that I sometimes don't listen to. So I keep on replying to people instantly. I keep on talking. I keep on sharing. But in those moments my outer voice, and the outer voices of what I'm receiving in dialogue with others, is too loud for me to hear my inner voice that says 'Shae, you need to rest now. Be silent now. You can leave those conversations until later. You can reply to your friends and family later.'
I don't hear her. It's only when the energy rises further and further to overwhelm... when I realise I haven't been breathing fully and I'm more muddled in my mind than I am clear, that I take a step back.
What happens then is that I don't reply to any. It becomes too much to think about. And then I'm not aligned. Instead of consciously choosing from a self-loving thought of 'I can do that when I feel ready', it's more of a stepping away from fear, that thought of 'It's too much.'
When I don't feel the capacity to hold space, and myself, in the way I truly want to be present with others when communicating, that's where I find myself.
Overwhelm for me, leads to getting stuck in non-action.
And that non-action, if not taken consciously, isn't rejuvenating. Non-action as a choice of rest is. Non-action out of fear is still overwhelm.
So how to unstick the stuck?
Since I can recognise in the clarity I currently have as I write this, that it's not life giving too much, it's ME expecting too much of me, and not listening to my inner whispers... I know that the un-sticking needs to come from unraveling of expectations.
I feel there's so many layers to this, but these questions right now are really helping to dispel some unconscious beliefs I didn't even realise I was operating under in my self expectations:
>>>> IS THAT PERSON GOING TO ABANDON ME IF I DON'T WRITE BACK?
>>>> WILL LOVE BE WITHDRAWN IF I DON'T CALL THEM NOW?
>>>> WILL PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT ME IF I'M NOT ALWAYS PRESENT IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS (INCLUDING SOCIAL MEDIA)?
The answer to all is no. Though I think I've been not even asking myself these questions in fear that the answer was yes.
My insecure inner child self who has felt abandonment, love withdrawal and deeply forgotten, creeps in and decides that to feel safe, she should create some expectations on how she should be, in order to keep the love, connection, company.
'Darling Shae, child. You don't need to do that anymore.'
'Sweet one, you are loved. You will never be forgotten and you are always connected to life, the earth, your family, your friends.'
I already feel my breath deepening in my belly. I already feel my tension lightening.
The feminine way is to flow, not fight with thought, ourselves, or life.
The feminine way is to mother, to nourish, to care and to listen to the inner womb-whispers that tell us when we need to enter our caves to rejuvenate.
It's a constant reclaiming of all facets of feminine, when we slip away. Because we will - in moments, it will happen.
Though knowing that this wisdom is always there, and something we just need to CLAIM, is empowering.
Will you claim her, dear one?