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  • Writer's pictureSarah Wheeler

No More Spiritual Burnout

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Ditch The Complex Routine And Take Tiny Enjoyable Actions

What’s Up Readers? I hope this post finds you well however you are navigating this topsy turvy year. 2020 has served us with uncertainty and crisis on a personal and global level and no doubt we have all had moments of saying or thinking OK, Enough now. Stop the world I need a pause. If you have felt that way honour that. If you feel like that RIGHT NOW, Stop whatever you are doing (including reading this post!) and have a breather. Literally sit and catch your breath, have a tea (I’ve been enjoying Lemonbalm for its calming properties) or a walk and come back to this later if you don’t want to continue reading now….but anyhow I intend to keep this post brief because that’s the whole point of what I’m writing about: Tiny moments of nurture which give you genuine JOY and NOURISHMENT and bucking any creeping Spiritual Burnout.

I noticed in a newspaper one weekend a list of actions that we all need to be doing everyday to keep it together during this latest bout of 2020. This weekend I was teaching Reiki Level One and was sure to warn the lovely students about the compulsion toward overwhelming morning routines, in favour of considering a less is more approach. The list was long and focussed on stuff to do every morning to make your day start they way it’s meant to continue for guaranteed results and success. Lists like these are common in the wellness world. I’ve noticed this as a trend in many other lifestyle and also spiritual magazines/blogs which tell us what we should be doing each morning and evening. These lists comprise many of the following all to be done daily: thirty minutes of Yoga (atleast), twenty minutes of meditation followed by saying fifty positivity affirmations to change your life followed by twenty minutes of chanting followed by ten minutes of journaling followed by listing ten gratitudes followed by at HIIT work out followed by drinking hot water infused with lime juice followed by making chia seed porridge and an egg white omelette. Oh and to top it all, you need to get up before 6am to get through this routine before hitting all the other work in front of your computer screen on Zoom all day.

In the evening there is another list: Repeat the morning routine and also cook a wholesome fresh meal from scratch and enjoy quality family time.

The spiritual and wellness industry likes to serve us with lists of stuff to do while promoting the idea that we should not be bound to a To Do list and just do what inspires us. Hypocritical, much? I see these complex routines so early in the morning as the path to spiritual Burnout, NOT enlightenment. There is nothing wrong with doing things to help you navigate your days, and mornings of complex yoga can absolutely help to set your day up very well, so can five minutes of meditation. Ok, yes I am a Yoga Teacher and I do practise every day but not often for an hour each day. Twenty minutes is enough some days and when I’m on my period, my body does not want an hour of dynamic practice. I meditate each day but for between ten and twenty minutes, I empty out my mind by writing for a bit. I give myself some self-healing Reiki every day but I do this while I lie in bed for a few minutes before rising and before sleep. I also love an affirmation, but feeling grateful is more important than telling myself “I am grateful”. These are the things that provide me with genuine joy and nourishment and help me feel resilient to what life serves me.

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Let your precious time be taken up with healthful things that genuinely bring you joy and light you up. You do not have to get up at 5am and start your spiritual tasks to be a good person. You are enough already. Plus you are more likely do pick up an injury if you practice strong yoga too early in the day because our joints have not awoken with lubrication from synovial fluid which is released gradually through walking and GENTLE movement.

It is the tiny, regular actions that build a foundation of resilience and wholeness. Mikao Usui, founder of the Reiki System said it so well “Wholeness Is Balance”. When we crowd ourselves with too much To Do of a morning before getting down to the actual daily work, it can leave us feeling more rattled and overwhelmed with tasks. These morning rituals can go from nourishing us to depleting us as we strive to stick to a routine/list prescribed by other people. Having too much to do each day leaves us fragmented and burned out before even considering the impact of sitting on Zoom day in day out.

If you LOVE getting up at dawn and doing a list of morning rituals, keep doing it if it honestly lights you up. If you do not love it, consider ditching the tyrannical spiritual To Do List and rest for another hour in bed, and consider reworking a complex morning routine into a simplified one. Pick out the bits you actually love, and mix it up from time to time. You do not need lengthy dogmatic list to lift your spirits. You can be nourished by ten minutes meditation as much as half an hour. Use your time for what you love.

Would you like a serious chill out? Why not join me for my Yoga Nidrā class on a Monday night. Not local to Brighton and can't come to class? Try this free and delicious guided deep relaxation meditation from moi.

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