Running the Well Dry
Running the well dry is a insidious risk we all face. Demands from work, family, friends, clients and others all take energy, especially if they are in conflict with our inner guide. Fears of failure, worrying about the opinions of others or lack of self-worth and confidence are some of the thoughts which drive this behavior.
Energy depletion is felt physically, mentally and emotionally. Creativity dries up. We feel drained, fatigued, lethargic, anxious and have trouble concentrating. Tears come easily and unannounced. We must learn to take care of ourselves first so we can be of service to others.
Replenishing the well requires difficult choices and discipline. Recognizing the thoughts and beliefs that got us there takes introspection and time. These constructive actions will staunch the outflow and allow us to recharge and return to a life of joy and fulfillment.
- Say no. People and situations will usurp our energy if they’re not aligned with our purpose and values. Let your intuition guide you. You know who the energy drainers are. It’s like balancing a motorcycle. Sometimes you have to put our foot down.
- Get physical exercise. It releases the feel-good endorphins, makes you forget about your troubles, increase self-confidence and reduces anxiety. Lots more info here in this article from the Mayo Clinic.
- Meditate. Sitting and quieting your minds sounds simple. And it is. But it’s not easy. With so much chatter in my head, it’s easy to get distracted. Much has been written about the benefits of meditation. I’m pretty good at starting every day with at least 30 min. of quiet time and know that rushing this time is a sign the well’s running dry.
- Know yourself. Introverts recharge from time alone. Extroverts recharge by being around people, as long as they’re the right people. According to the Myers-Briggs scale, I’m right in the middle so I choose what works best for me at the time.
- Spend time in nature. This is one of the most powerful means of recharging my batteries. There is nowhere that I feel more connected to the Universe and who I am than in a forest, at the ocean or surrounded by mountains.
- Play, laugh, have fun. Even as adults, our inner child wants to have fun and needs to play and have adventures.
- Eat a balanced, wholesome diet. I eat organic, non-processed foods as much as possible. Being vegetarian, I also make sure I’m getting the right nutrients in my diet.
- Surrender. Let go of fear and worry and stop trying to control outcomes that are out of our control. A little fear can be healthy because it alerts us to danger. But there is a power far greater than us at work and resisting it is futile. Following the lead of our inner guide keeps us in harmony with that power.
- Do what you love. Sometimes it becomes necessary to separate from old roles and behaviors because they no longer fit. It was not easy leaving the perceived security of a corporate career but staying was too high a price for my spirit to pay.
- Note what you’re telling yourself. As our self-awareness and self-confidence increases, we purge old thought patterns . Even though this is painful, it is freeing and makes room for something new, wonderful and more fulfilling.
Even when we’re caught up in a cause for something we love, we can come perilously close to running the well dry if we’re giving away more energy than we’re receiving back. The sooner we take action and restore balance, the less the likelihood of this happening and the greater our ability to serve.