Jan 1

The Burnout Epidemic: Lifting the Veil on the Compulsive Drive to Achieve and Produce

 

Stressed out

There is a voice inside many high-achieving women (and girls) that demands, “Go! Go! Go!  Do not slow down.  Do not stop.  Do not rest.  There is more to do!”  Just the thought of slowing, even for a moment, is terrifying because the fear threatens, “What if you cannot get going again? What if this time, is the time, it all falls apart? NO! You cannot stop, you cannot rest.  It is too dangerous!”

The echo left behind is sourced from an old, untreated wound that believes it is never enough.  External accomplishments are meant to silence the self-doubt that always seems to be pushing and driving–demanding more, more, more.  Caught up in the whirlwind of intense, chaotic activity there is little time for grounded reflection.  We write off the overwhelming stress and anxiety as a by-product of the “successful” life we are leading.  Pretending we believe things will be different once we close the big deal or land the next promotion.  But, the reprieve never comes.

In moments of despair, we may wonder why all of this accomplishing and achieving can’t seem to eradicate the sinking feeling that something crucial is missing.  It is as if, at the center of a life that reflects our culture’s definition of success, there is a barren, aching emptiness screaming, “This can’t be all there is!”

To touch into this feeling, this knowing for too long, is to walk through the doors of chaos and possibility.  Maureen Murdock gives voice to this soul disconnect and its source in, The Heroine’s Journey:

“Our heroine has learned to perform well, so when she feels a sense of discomfort she tackles the next hurdle: a new degree, a more prestigious position, a geographical move, a sexual liaison, another child.  She soothes her feelings of emptiness by massaging her ego with further acts of ‘heroism’ and achievement… There is a great adrenaline rush associated with the achievement of a goal, and this ‘high’ masks the deep-seated pain associated with not being enough.  She hardly notices the let-down after her goal has been won, she is onto the next one.

This obsessive need to stay busy and productive keeps her from having to experience her growing sense of loss.  But, what is loss?  Surely, she has achieved everything she has set out to do, but it has come at a great sacrifice to her soul.  Her relationship with her inner world is estranged.”

Deep in our bones we each feel the pull to answer the callings of our heart and soul.  The question is: Are we willing to turn toward ourselves? Are we willing to admit that we matter? Can we acknowledge that our needs, wants and desires are worthy?

The world is experiencing great change and women are being called to discover and declare new ways to live and lead.  Do you feel this calling?

If you are ready to live a more fulfilling and vitalizing life, if you are ready to embrace the most powerful parts of yourself, then I welcome you to connect with me at rachel.keener@newvisionproject.com or 828.318.6908. We will do an initial call, free of charge, to see if a single session or personalized program series makes sense for you.

Please keep in mind that the best results are typically created when the reasons for the work are triggered by important periods of change, a need for personal growth or persistent feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration or the perception of being stuck.

In the words of the great Sufi mystic and poet, Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.”

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Posted in Writings
Jan 1

I Am Here…Clutching My Throat

TransformationI am here… clutching my throat
trying to release my truths, trying to breathe…
but, my throat/ my body is silencing me.

With each second that takes me deeper into a voiceless whisper
I fear I have nothing worth expressing.
Or, rather, I fear I will make no sense.
I will not be understood.

And, this deep sacred eruption
that feels like feminine wisdom
having her way with the most vulnerable parts of my being
will be lost forever… to myself and the world.

No mirror to reflect Her magnificence.
Only a reflection of the past.

Stupid, naive girl- making something out of nothing…
looking for that which is not there- sneers the shadow.

Yet it is.  It is here!
These experiences are the MOST REAL.
There… Mystery… Truth

Standing in the fire.
Burning through the illusions.
Waiting in the In Between.

Do you know this place?

I don’t know how I know…
but, I KNOW…
It is in all of us if we choose to BE with it.

The road, the path, the journey…
the cycles, the process…
it is bittersweet.

Truths are not revealed on command.
In fact nothing, however desperate, can be summoned
from the place of unconscious egotistical command.

So, I stay with this heaviness in my chest
this lump in my throat…
this constriction of confusion.

I work with my dreams.
I write in my journal.
I sit with my experience.
And, I get closer to the pain.

I allow the darkness in…so that I may once again know the light.
Different.  Expanded.

I allow the darkness in…so that I may know the expressions of my soul.

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Posted in Writings
Jan 1

Learning to Dance with the Feminine

TransformationI AM… learning to dance with the feminine.

She is graceful.  I am awkward.
She is soft and strong, big and swirling.

I am trying.
I am stumbling.

She is patient, kind, loving.
Her hand is outstretched.
Her smile is inviting.
Her eyes are drawing me in.

I can trust my humanity in her presence.
It’s ok to fall.  It’s ok to fly.
I don’t look stupid or lost to her.

She sees all of me… even the parts I cannot yet see of myself.
She believes in me as I am.
So, I believe in me as I am.

For a time, I surrender and I am free.

I want to get it right.
Why is something so simple so hard?

Angst begins to form.
The cloud of irritation arrives.
I am no longer free.

She coaxes me to relax… to be lighter on my feet.
It is, of course, the precision that is tripping me up.

I want to let go.
So, I breathe.
I flow from where I am.
The uncomfortable self-consciousness shifts to an expansive feeling of love and acceptance. Peace.

I find the flow.  For a time, I am.

The process is the point.
The destination will always be unknown.
Slip into the moment, the flow and let the natural life unfold.

This is the dance with the feminine.

You don’t have to work so hard she whispers.
All you seek is here.
Come and dance.

Bring all your imperfections and all your heart’s desires.
Together, we will light up the world… from the inside out.

© 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Writings
Dec 12

Giving Voice to my Inner Wild Woman

images

This work is a reflection and expression of the grief, anger and pain that was injected the moment our world learned of the tragic massacre in Newtown, CT, as well as Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, Women Who Run With the Wolves
 
May we remember and honor the lives lost, and may we hold those left behind in love’s healing light. 

 

Events like this cause us all to cry, what is wrong with the world?

The wild woman in me
knowing she has reason to share
screams with agony to be unleashed.

Pacing, weeping, shrieking
from the depths of my soul
she cries out, now?

Now, will you unleash your truths?

Will you stand in your passion and compassion?
Will you unite with your sisters?
Will you demand to be heard once and for all?

Will you rise up and
give voice to an intelligence
rooted in such truth
it transcends the fallacies of lone logic?

As the giver of life will you now stand,
unapologetically, in defense of it?

Or, will you cave to your fears?

The fear of being misunderstood…
disliked… offensive… or, wrong.

Will you be docile with your words,
leaving room for everyone else to be right?
All the while diluting the potency of your message.

Will you allow your fear of being
too aggressive… too emotional…too naïve…
too angry… too political… too much…
to stifle what needs to be said?

Because, I beg of you she cries, time is short.

Humanity is dying for your rage and anger
channeled into compassionate action.

Do you hear her calling?

The pain, the tears, the anger, the sadness, the grief…
the ever-pervasive love…that’s her.
Pleading with your every cell to stand up and
give voice to your deepest truths.

Sisters and mothers of the world,
we are the givers of life…
we are the protectors of life…
we carry the torch of the feminine.

And, the feminine has been pushed aside for too long.

No more.

There comes a time when enough is enough.
This unrelenting stream of sadness screams the time is now.

Basta!
No more.
No more tolerating the intolerable.

So, I call to you too.
I beg of you…Give voice to your inner wild woman!

Speak…Write…Cry…Sing…Guide…
Sculpt…Paint…Dance…Sit…Pray…

But, for the love of life, give voice…
to your deepest truths!

The time is now for the feminine to rise.
Raging not in revenge, but in defense of all life on earth.

And, while our voices may shake
as we give voice to our inner wild woman
know her truth cannot be ignored.

Because our voices… rising together
from the great strength of love…
Is the only thing that will change the world.

© 2012, All Rights Reserved.

 

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