Burn-In

Tips to avoid burn-out and melt-downs by staying fully fueled within.

Reflecting back on my many moments of ‘overwhelm’, I realize how unnecessary they were — pushing against myself, making things immeasurably more difficult as I fought with the mentality that if it was easy or simple that it wasn’t right.

We’ve all been there. Life can be over stimulating. Overwhelming. Down-right scary…

Time and time again, when I’ve allowed my fears to rule me—I ‘will never get this done on time’ — I would get off on an over-tired and viciously victorious feeling when I miraculously pulled it off an hour before the deadline. But then, I’d be left exhausted, drained and unhappy. When I’m in that frame of mind, I will still look back on it and wish I’d done more. It’s done and I still can’t let it go.

To quote a wise former boss, “How can we keep you at whelmed? What do you need?”

I’ve adapted a new way of being, one where the answer is always simple, it just takes practice. (And the rewards are so energizing!)

Photograph of the Author, Jennie Souiade. Image provided by the author and photographed by Ray & Kelly, 2013. ©

Here’s how I do it:

I breathe.

With a moment of focused breath, I find clarity. I can see through the mist of my fears clouding my path and focus on my objective. All of the unnecessary floats away so that I can see. To borrow, paraphrase and twist a beautiful metaphor from Matthieu Ricard’s Ted Talk on Happiness: fear is like a thundercloud — it looks threatening from afar but when you’re in it, it’s really just mist. No biggie.

When I breathe, it’s a moment for me. Sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I don’t. But I try to expel the energy that I don’t need when I do it . Sometimes I take on energies, emotions or ideas that aren’t mine to begin with — those have to go first.

Who am I? How do I feel?

I focus.

Fear exists as a distraction. It may feel easier to rest with you fears but I can assure you that it is not comfortable and does not feel magnificent. (And, I want to feel magnificent!) So, I make conscious choices to reign fears in and see them for what they are — opportunities to surmount myself with growth and learning.

Learning how to operate above fear takes some practice and some persistent guidance. Experiencing death staring you squarely in the face changes you. For me, it was really quite peaceful. I felt like my soul saw my body with the same regard as I look at my baby — with unconditional love, tenderness and infinite patience.

What do I want to do?

I decide.

I still have things to do, people to meet and a world to improve! I can’t do any of that if I’m distracted, doing too many things at once or trying to do everything myself, especially all at once.

I’m learning to reserve one of my candle’s wicks for myself, burning within. I’m learning to listen to my instincts with my intuition and letting my intellect guide but not control me.

How will I do it? Okay, let’s go…

I step up.

With an alternate perspective, I can see that fear is really just a game — and it can actually be a lot of fun! Fear pops up with challenges and I have to put them in their place so that I may get to the next level. I have to step up!

That sinking feeling I used to get is one of exhilaration now, filling me up with bravery and courage. I am not fearless, certainly not. Fear exists to teach me and I appreciate it as a valuable tool, teaching important life lessons at every turn. However, with every fear I dispel, I prove to myself that I can, that I will and that I am. With this intention, challenges empower me to do more, faster, better. When I get out of my own way, it’s so easy.

Wow. Did I really just do it? Could it really be that simple? Okay, moving on…?

I love.

The kind of love that I feel now is pure love — for all of me, for all people and all experiences, for life. This love nurtures me and helps me to breathe, focus, decide and step up. This love is light, fun and lively. This love is easy.

Love helps me continue expanding. I have to remember to release my tendency to compare myself with enough. This love is not an egoistic love where I compare myself to others, pretending that I’m somehow better or worse. That kind of love is boring to me now. Instead, I unconditionally, tenderly and patiently love myself, knowing that I am exactly as I am, no comparison.

I have to love myself fully to be able to continue at this pace. Without fears holding me back, life is fast, full and fulfilling!

I’m listening! What’s next?

I flow.

When I am operating in flow, life becomes blissfully fun. Life burns within me with a fierce (benevolent) passion, fueled by fun!

My candle burns brightly at both ends — one of my wicks burns outward and one of them is inward.

When I am full of my own light, I have more light to give. When I am focused, I can offer more focus. When I decide within, my actions are clearer… I can cut-to-the-chase and get-to-the-point. Instead of circling around in fears or uncertainties, wasting precious time and energy, I circle my energies through myself — the more I give, the more I get, the more I get the more I give. The delicate balance of flowing in and out becomes easier and easier with breath, focus, decisions, courage and love.

In flow, I can step up to any obstacle and live a full life — with a full tank, of course! Life feels easier and faster in flow— like fun magnetizes more fun to come, just because it can.

I am ready and energized for anything that comes my way. What’s next?

I share.

I wish you flow, love, courage, decisions, focus and breath… and infinite energy. I hope you find your balance and enjoy practicing it. Be kind to yourself and take the time to remember you’re alive. I do. Something small that helps me sometimes is to let the little things fill me up with joy until I get used to the feeling. It’s okay to take baby steps. Just breathe.


Thank you. ❤