Do you work hard?
If you’re like most of my Kinesiology clients, you’re probably a high achiever, successful, motivated and you know how to make things happen. It can be a double edged sword, these positive traits. They can also lead to you working too hard. To getting validation and self-worth from achieving. To being unable to switch off.
In November 2015, I did a group distance Reiki healing for everyone on my mailing list who wanted to receive it. The focus was CLARITY. A lot of information came through and I received dozens of messages afterwards from people who had strongly resonated with the healing (you can still receive it, just sign up to my mailing list here to get the notes, and you’ll receive the next one I send out on 1st January too).
When I got to the Sacral chakra, a caution came through.
The message was:
“Please don’t simply use the increased clarity and energy you will feel after this healing to work harder and DO more. This is NOT the purpose. This is not why you’re here.
Use the energy to re-fuel. Play. Enjoy your life. All of it.
Stop working so hard.
We don’t know how to make it clearer that working so hard is not serving you, your family, your community or your world.
Some of you will skim this message/warning but we ask you to do your own enquiry and reflection around this and what it specifically means for you and what the implications are.
We know for many of you this message will sound foreign or even confusing.
The message is actually very simple.
Re-read it until you DO understand.
It is important.
Can you relate to a desire to Fit More In, Do More and Be More Productive? I could! And so could many people on my mailing list.
Many of us see working hard as a positive thing. But is it? In and of itself? Where does it sit for you as a priority in relation to other things, like: impact, efficiency, potency, balance, harmony, enjoyment, wellbeing, health, joy, connection, relationships, relaxation?
How do you feel about the idea of working less? If the idea brings up feelings of fear, confusion, anxiety, guilt or other strong emotions, take a moment now to think about what that might be.
Why do we work so hard?
Here are some of the reasons that have come up for my Kinesiology clients over the years:
- Fear related to money stress
- It’s a way to deal with anxiety
- You think that hard work is solving a problem (more likely, it is distracting you from the real problem)
- You might receive validation from others in the form of praise or recognition
- It’s habitual
- It can feel purposeful (you feel like we must be heading somewhere)
- It doesn’t occur to you there is a different way
- It numbs and distracts you from other issues
- It’s a good excuse to avoid situations you don’t want to deal with
- You perceive you have no choice
- It’s an addictive pattern
- You’ve become obsessed with financial security (ie you work hard because you can never have enough savings, or you’re focused on your next essential lifestyle upgrade, or living beyond your means)
Can you relate to any of these?
What are you really seeking? We are often trying to meet deeper needs when we work hard, and perceive that working hard is helping to meet that need.
Clue: it’s probably not.
If you’re working too hard, start thinking about what underlying need you’re trying to meet. Then, dig deep to understand how you can better meet that need.
For example, we all have a need for safety. We might work hard in an attempt to meet that need, instead of being very honest about why we do not currently feel safe and addressing THAT.
We might have a need to feel secure, including financially secure. We might perceive that hard work will help ensure this need is met. Maybe. Or it might create health problems, or money leaks in the form of mindless or “reward” spending, or fuel an addiction to “more” as the answer to inner discontent. How can we instead cultivate an inner sense of security?
We might have a need to feel good enough, or valuable, or worthy. Working hard becomes a means to try and meet that need. What if you could unhook your self-worth from doing and achieving?
What might you do instead of filling up all your time with work? Many of my clients have lost touch with what brings them pleasure and have forgotten how to nourish and nurture themselves.
You might start by consciously carving out some time focused purely on relaxation and enjoyment. If you need to, schedule it.
Here are some ideas:
- Plan an adventure that involves packing food and exploring in nature – by yourself or with a partner or friend
- Read at the park (phone free)
- Journal. You might ask yourself questions and answer them, express your hopes and dreams, or work through some challenging emotions
- Remember some of the activities you enjoyed as a child. It might be a form of art or craft, colouring, making things, exploring, riding horses, reading, sport, jigsaws, games, dance, table tennis, going to a playground, baking, building sandcastles or riding your bike. Do some of these things – with a child, with friends, or by yourself
- Spend a few hours baking or making raw treats or snacks – things you will really love having on hand for the week/s ahead
- Re-connect to your creativity
- Try something new – aerial yoga, belly dancing, “no lights / no lycra” dance (google it!)
- Consciously cultivate and deepen your close relationships
- Connect to more of your feminine energy
- What can add to this list?
If you literally do not have at least an hour or two you can devote to yourself and doing something simply for your own fun, relaxation or pleasure, recognise this is actually a problem.
Find the cause.
Is it boundaries? Unsustainable work-load? Saying yes to too many things? Not valuing your own needs? Chronic anxiety? Toxic work culture? People-pleasing? Valuing your business more than your life? Too much financial pressure?
Address the cause.