Refilling the Well

I confess. I’ve been suffering burnout. Not so much with my writing, although I think it’s probably suffered, but as a yoga teacher, I’ve been burnt out. Life in general has had me burnt out. Spending a couple hours daily sitting with my dad in the nursing facility drains me. Fizzled vacation plans all summer built resentment toward friends and family who did get to escape.

Then last weekend I attended that yoga workshop and surrendered my role as teacher, caregiver and fixer-of-all-wrongs and allowed myself to be the student. Just being the nurturee instead of the nurturer helped refill the well of my spirit.

I managed to get some one-on-one time with my teacher over Mexican food and she cut right through all the crap. I try to hold up the entire world on my very stiff lower back muscles. I need to learn to say “no” without explanation or apology. I need to…well…get in touch with my needs. And fill them.

I came away from the weekend feeling rested. I had new material to share with my yoga students and a renewed enthusiasm with which to share it.

Then Thursday I jumped on an offer to go trail riding. On a horse. I haven’t been trail riding since I sold my horses nearly ten years ago. The sky was blue, the temperature was mild. A perfect early autumn day (okay, technically it may still have been summer, but let’s not quibble) with a Thoroughbred from the racetrack who had never been on a trail before, but who was sensible enough not to do anything stupid to hurt either her or me. All my old skills at training trail horses came back to me. And with my friend Jessi on her kids’ pony along as ideal companions, Gemma and I headed down the trail and through the woods.

I came away from the day feeling giddy. Between the yoga workshop and the trail ride, my well was refilled and I’m ready to face life and all it throws at me. More importantly, I’m ready to face my writing again after a couple of weeks of very little progress.

Most of us, especially the women among us, give, give, give. We take care of kids and elderly parents and husbands (or wives. There are men who suffer this same affliction). We give all of ourselves and think taking time for us is selfish. Okay. Be selfish. How can we continue to give when we’re totally drained? The well does go dry. We need to take time for ourselves to refill it.

My yoga teacher suggested that every thirty minutes we ask ourselves two questions. Right now, what do I feel? And what do I need? Seems that most of the time, men know exactly what they need, but don’t have a clue as to how they feel. Women know what they feel, but don’t have a clue as to what they need. We’re not supposed to have needs.

I need more autumn days on a good horse on a beautiful trail with a good friend for company. That refills my well. Okay, I also need a massage, but I’m still working on that.

What do you need? What refills your well? Figure it out and then go do it.


Kristine said…
I'm glad your horseriding experience proved to be both fun and inspiring.

When I'm feeling burned out, I try to take a mini-escape, whether it be to a bookstore, coffee shop or even a hot bath with a good book that transports my mind to somewhere else.

Great post!!!

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