I was driving from Appleton, Wisconsin back home to St. Paul today. It was an emotional drive, and I was very thankful to be the only one in the car as I processed my thoughts. Leaving a job you love for a life change that makes you equally as happy… well that’s a really emotional head space to start rockin’. Perhaps these types of things are best done contemplatively sketching in a journal or talking with a friend over coffee. “What I’m doing/where I’m going” head-talk is consuming, so I certainly wasn’t looking at my gas gauge.
You guessed it. I ran out of gas.
To be fair, I’m one of those drivers that pushes the empty light to the edge. However, I have never actually outrun my gas tank’s capabilities. Until today.
It got me thinking (once I was on the side of the road, of course. The thinking while driving stuff wasn’t proving to be a good way to stay focused): How is this experience a mirror for my life? I’m stranded in the middle of Wisconsin, a car full of my company’s merchandise, one week away from packing all my belongings in my vehicle and moving north of Detroit without assuming or expecting anything of the future. Whether I wanted a “time out” or not, 7 pm on the shoulder of westbound Route 94 became a really good time and place to catch up on things.
We all run out of gas, sometimes. If you are so in your space and your job all the time, your stress clouds the ability to care for the necessary “doldrums” of life. My belief is that those “doldrums” should be celebrated with the same excitement as the one-off highlights that shine in your memories. This is because every action you take is carving out the daily rituals of the person you’re showing up to the world as. If you forget to care about the little things, a toll will be taken on your body and environment.
How do we re-energize? How do we ensure that we take inspired action, even when we’re temporarily exhausted?
1. Don’t Look Back
It may seem easy to flip through the file folders of past events for suggestions on how to proceed, but be cautious. The journey of stepping into your purpose and higher potential often requires trying something new. Recognize that the experiences that led you to this point created a frame of reference, or a perspective through which you view the world. While there’s no way to completely cast your preconceived notions aside, consider that every day you wake up anew. You have the gift of showing up even better, with even more purpose and vigor.
The clock resets. We’re fortunate that we never have to relive the past. But given our capability to hold on to memories, it can be hard to separate past habit from newly forming consciousness. Be patient. Assess each hurdle as you see it. Look at all angles of the problem at hand and use your unique strengths to create a blueprint for success.
Already did it? Do it again. Don’t believe me? Love on yourself even harder.
I am certainly not the first person to say this: You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s a simple truth. If you find yourself out of gas on the side of the road with the destination out-of-sight… you need to refuel. It may look different than the next person. That’s okay. They are not you. But care for every cell of your being. It is what makes you so uniquely you.
Take 5 minutes to breathe deeply. Smile. Tell yourself a dad joke. Like, those real rough puns that are so gritty you can dead pan a hard stare for thirty seconds before snorting and saying, “That was… something”. Move your body. Drink a cold glass of water with a drop of lemon essential oil in it. Pray if that feels good. Sing if that feels good. For the love of all that is nourishing in life, give yourself the gift of devotion! When you prove to yourself that you are worthy of attention and care, you will see that kind of generosity in the outside world. After all, the outer world is a reflection of your inner universe.
3. Break it down now
Whatever is going on, get it down on paper. What is the to-do list? Now ask, what is the most important thing to do with my time right now? After you have that one thing figured out, ask yourself a second question. What am I letting take precedence over the Most Important Thing? If you’re like many 20- to 40-year-olds, distractions could include bingeing TV shows, mindless scrolling on social media outlets, analysis paralysis of student loan payments, general frustration at the cards you were dealt without acknowledging all the things you do have.
Cut that stuff out! It isn’t worth it. Take a small step towards the Most Important Thing until you complete that. Then reevaluate your process. Now what is the Most Important Thing? Now what is standing in the way of achieving that? You get the picture.
4. Do Look Around
In step 1 we made an agreement not to use past experience to create a loop of under-performance or consistent disappointment. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look for support and guidance along the way. To think we can do this alone is counter-intuitive. We are all made of the same stuff, so we’re bound to be a part of the same journey.
Chances are, someone has had a parallel experience to what you’re going through. The perspective they can offer you may enlighten the scene. Or, their advices may be so off the mark that you’re reassured that indeed you already have what you need to move forward. Either way, don’t forget to take cues from the natural world and your sisterhood and brotherhood of Other Living Beings. You can seek downloads from the universe silently with eyes closed, muted through keen observation, verbally through humble and open communication, or perhaps through the healing power of reassurance, physical touch and emotional support.
We are all a part of this wild thing. We may as well use that to our advantage.
5. Never forget why you are who you are
Your specific skill set is unlike any other. It has offered you the opportunity to place your healing mark on this world in the way only you can. Realizing the greatest image of yourself daily will ensure that your purpose and greatest dreams will be realized. Diving into this concept and putting it into action will bring you what you desire. I truly believe that.
I repeat a mantra to myself on my hardest days.
I live my legacy every day.
You live your legacy every day, too. If you wake up with the knowledge that you will provide your very best self to every occasion, that will be enough. It always was and it always will be.
The rest of the story was simple: call AAA, wait two hours, get home three hours after your ETA. No one was hurt, no one was even worse for wear. And I hear you, it is wicked easy to blog about the righteous path to unlimited energy and connection to abundance and manifesting your dreams. Believe you me, this blog post was not written in the car while I was on the side of the highway. I drank ginger ale, watched my phone battery slowly decrease and made some “you’ll never believe this” phone calls. But I also took the necessary actions to get out of the side-of-the-road state and back into a place of happy, if not slightly chagrined, action.
It is easy to consume information without acting on it. I have done it before, and I’ll do it again. Although, when you’re ready to change that… when your bones are aching for it, staying put just won’t make sense anymore. I’m excited for you to reach that moment. Whether it happens today or many moons from now, the release of expectation and the embrace of present moment action will be a beautiful thing. Why not try it on for size now? It might just suit you better than you thought it would.