I used to stare out the window wondering why am I sitting at a desk, in front of a computer (for far more hours than I know to be good for me), doing something which really doesn’t matter in the world, doesn’t feed or grow me, when I have so much I really want to be doing, seeing and experiencing? I love being active, creative, dancing, working with people, exploring, being outdoors and in nature and yet I’d spend so many hours in a stuffy office doing none of that, hardly moving, except for my typing and getting up to make myself tea every few hours. My body would ache, my energy would be low, and once I’d finished my day, I’d just have to forget about going to yoga or my dance class, all I wanted to do was eat and lie down. Working way to many hours for intense periods was expected, eventually I’d burn out or just get sick and generally I’d feel unhappy most all of the time – yet for so long I just thought this was normal. Isn’t that what work life is about?
Have you ever felt like this? that the work you are doing is pointless, meaningless and requires less than your capabilities and potential? So what do you do if your work is not aligned to what you are passionate about or does not fill you up and nourish you?
It took me several years to get out of the cycle I was in. I had several attempts to break the pattern but it was far easier to stay in it and put up with it than to break out of it. It kept pulling me back, each time worse than before.
It was my yoga teacher who shared the following poem with me, that helped me to see where I was and to guide me out of my hole.
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters (Portia Nelson)
I wouldn’t want anyone to take as long as I did to get out of my hole. I wish I’d had a coach at the time to help me see my patterns, but coaching wasn’t common place at the time, instead I stuck this poem on my fridge door and kept reminding myself until slowly, together with this poem, I self-coached myself to walk down another street.