Don’t Forget to Charge Your Soulphone

Recently a generous friend gifted me a copy of Rob Bell’s audiobook, Handling Your Fire: Passion, Burnout, Routines, and Resilience. I’ve been listening to it on my morning walks, and I’m finding many pearls of wisdom in it. There’s one pearl in particular that I’d like to share with you here. It has to do with honoring the ebb and flow that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Lately, I have heard many of my coaching clients and peers talk about feeling fatigued and lacking energy to do things, even things they usually enjoy. Perhaps you’re feeling this too. In the audiobook, Rob talks about the need for rest and rejuvenation as part of our natural cycle. Of course, this is not a new concept, but he dives a little deeper into the ebb stage by using a Biblical analogy to describe this rhythm. While his description was very helpful, it was also a bit graphic. As I pondered this concept, another metaphor dropped into my mind that is more gentle, but I trust will be just as helpful.

Most of us carry little electronic devices called smartphones that do amazing things to help us throughout the day. At the end of the day, we know we have to plug them into a charger so they are powered up and ready to go the following day. Obviously, you can’t just turn off the phone when the battery gets low or dies and expect it to be functional the next day. It needs to receive energy so it can recharge. We are the same.

Many of us believe we can simply take a day off to sleep or a week’s vacation when we feel depleted and expect to jump back into our busy routine the next day. Yes, sleep and vacations are beautiful things, and I’m a huge fan of both! But like our phones, when we run out of juice, simply shutting down won’t necessarily restore us. We also need to recharge our batteries. Ask yourself, “What feeds my soul?” Is it music? Dancing? Creating art? Writing? Lunch with a friend? Watching a funny movie? Meditation? Swimming? Hiking in nature? What are the activities that light you up? Another important question to ask is, “Do I feel more energized when I’m alone or with others?” Once you identify what lights you up and with whom, give yourself permission to do that or something similar as soon as possible.

This point was so obvious it hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard it. It’s especially important for those who are prone to give and give, yet find it difficult to receive or ask for help. That’s when burnout happens. You cannot give from an empty pitcher. I learned this during my 15 years as a licensed massage therapist. If I wanted to give the best massage to my clients, I had to receive a massage regularly to take care of my own body. This is true of any profession where you provide physical, mental, or emotional support for others. Caregivers of any kind often let their own well-being take a back seat to the needs of those they care for. It can feel selfish to take precious time for yourself, but it’s actually the kindest and most compassionate thing you can do for everyone involved. 

I experienced the truth of this principle last Friday when I attended a kirtan at Unity of Sarasota. Due to the pandemic, it was the first time I’d been to one in over 2 years. For those unfamiliar with the word kirtan, it’s kind of like singing around a campfire with a group of friends and a guitar, but participants chant ancient Sanskrit mantras in a call and response fashion, usually to the sounds of various Eastern instruments. Something about the sound of the words and the harmonium, the typical instrument played by a kirtan leader, zaps my soul. I often feel waves of joyful energy moving through my body throughout the experience. I didn’t realize how much I missed that feeling until I was immersed in it again on Friday. I was so grateful for the opportunity to recharge my soul battery with the energy of these sacred chants!

Whatever that thing is that feeds your soul, I encourage you to do more of it. Once you  replenish your soul battery, you can go back out into the world to share your gifts and talents with vim and vigor. It’s a win/win for everyone!

Two things that feed my soul are Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations. It brings me great joy to help people discover what is keeping them from a happy, healthy, prosperous life. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, please look around my website.

This week, may you give yourself the rest you need and don’t forget to charge your soul phone!

You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-14.IV.6:7

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