I recently went to see the Chiropractor and amongst other things she noticed that I was very blocked in my upper back and shoulders. As I physically released all the energy stored there, I was drawn to have a look at this as a metaphor for how I support others (on my shoulders). I like to think that I have developed boundaries over the years in terms of what I do for others. What I noticed however, is that I continue to hold energy for others in small ways. I worked as a Manager in foodservice for over 27 years. I excelled by putting others first and in the process I struggled to get my own needs met.
Little by little, a little becomes a lot ~ Tanzanian Proverb
While I feel like I have found much balance in that area, I was surprised to realize that I was still playing this out in smaller ways. Added up though this leads to lots of energy going outward. An example of this shows up in the Mens Circle that I created in Squamish. Our location often changes as we will meet outside around a fire our inside if the weather is not nice. This means our location needs to be communicated each week. Some Men are on Facebook and others are not. So of course, I took on the responsibility of texting those not on Facebook and also letting those who are on FB know where we would meet. Now on its own it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal and actually only takes about 5 minutes to take action. The thing is though that there is also an energetic piece to this. I realized that I was energetically holding this piece for all the Men. The solution was to put this back to the Men. If they were going to attend, they could take the time to find the location where we would be meeting. So my action is now a simple post on a website that all have access to and it takes me about 30 seconds. The big piece is that I am no longer holding the energy of feeling responsible for these Men. I also took some time to notice if I was doing this in other areas of my life. I quickly discovered a few more things I was doing for others that needed to shift. In the end not only did I reclaim my time but more importantly my energy which I can now give to myself.
Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind ~ Dodinsky
3 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Time and Energy
The invitation. Take some time to reflect on who and what you give your energy to. These 3 steps are a guideline to help you uncover where your energy may be going.
Take inventory ~ Press pause and take some time to notice all that you do for others. Pay particular attention to those things that are making you “responsible” for something or someone.
Explore a Boundary ~ A boundary helps you to discern what you want in your life and what you don’t want in your life. So this step is about deciding whether these are things that you would like to say “No” to or whether you would like to make adjustments so that you can continue to say “Yes”. All with a focus of reclaiming your time and your energy.
Take Action ~ What will you do? What action steps will you take to reclaim your time and energy. Taking inventory may have uncovered many areas that need attention. No need to address all of them immediately. Perhaps just the top 2 or 3 to begin with. Once you feel the power of having your energy back you will naturally move on to the others.
As you take the time to engage this process be gentle with yourself. Your desire to be of service to others is a beautiful thing. And, it is even more beautiful when you are able to find balance and take care of your own needs at the same time.