When you are so intense, complex, exuberant, and curious, learning your next instrument or your next language or examining your latest discovery, how do you assess your level of capacity, interests, and enthusiams so you know when you’ve moved out of pure passion into overdrive, over commitment, or overwhelm? How do you know when you are doing too much for others, volunteering on too many Boards, solving problems your colleagues don’t want you to solve, saying yes when you mean no, or burning out from years of hypervigilance and the desperate need to prove your worth?
How do you know when your rainforest mind needs to rest? What does rest look like for you? What about relaxation? How do you relax? Might rest and relaxation look different for you because you have a rainforest mind? Is there such a thing as balance in your life? What might it look like?
Now there’s a conundrum. Right?
As usual, with you, it’s complicated. There are no easy answers. But I have some thoughts. I always have thoughts.
Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote about how others (and you) might view your passions:
“You think a lot. Some would say that you overthink. You feel deeply. Some would say you over-feel. You love learning. Some would say you over-research and over-read. You have very high standards and expectations. Some would say you over-analyze. You are concerned about the future of the planet. Some would say you over-worry...But it is your nature to be living at a faster, deeper, wider pace. Your personhood naturally questions, analyses, creates, emotes, and imagines in atypical ways. Your drive to know, to understand, and to influence is vast. It is a difference in capacity. The rainforest has extraordinary capacity…”
So, how do you manage (regulate? recognize? appreciate?) the capacity and the joys of your multitudinous dives into your passions, while also managing (regulating, recognizing, appreciating) how much you participate with others and contribute to their wants and needs? What happens when you step over a line and your passions become obsessions (overdrive, over commitment, overwhelm)? How might you find balance, rest, and relaxation within all of the
pandemonium hullabaloo hubbub.
Here are some ways to find answers. Choose from among the following:
~ Draw a diagram (or make a list) of your different activities and color code them based on fascination, obligation, or obsession. Sort out what you are exploring that gives you energy and what you are doing for others that you dread or that is actually unnecessary. Create a special design/color for the obsessions. These are the activities that exhaust you but you feel pressure to achieve at all costs. Look at your diagram/list and write about any changes you would like to make. If you feel particularly discouraged because your obsession category is large, there might be therapy in your future, so you can figure out the origins of the pressure and how to alleviate it.
~ Write a conversation with the part of you who loves the stimulation of all the things. Give that part a name, describe the part, and build a relationship. What do they want you to know? How might you make the time for exploration and experimentation? Read about multipotentiality and how it is a strength.
~ Write a conversation with the part of you who feels obligated to help others and has trouble saying no to opportunities that are not appealing. Give that part a name, describe the part, build a relationship. What are they wanting? Needing? Is there a way to get their needs met without sacrificing your well-being? Is there a way you can help them practice setting limits? Take one small step at a time so you can see that you are not struck by lightening when you say no.
~ Write a conversation with the part of you who is in overdrive and is pressuring you to achieve at all costs. Give that part a name, describe the part, and build a relationship. What do they want you to know? Ask them where the pressure is coming from. Ask them what they are afraid of if you don’t achieve at the highest levels. There is likely a lot to understand from this part, so take your time. If it is too difficult or painful, get help from a skilled practitioner.
~ Make a list of the ways you rest. What activities are relaxing for you? If resting or relaxing feels unsafe for some reason, write about that. What gets in the way of your choosing to rest?
~ Draw a diagram/picture of what balance looks like in your life. Put in as many details as you like. Your version of balance might look quite different from anyone else’s. How does it feel? Can you imagine achieving it? Make a list or draw pictures of steps you might take to get there.
Your rainforest mind needs to be active and stimulated to get proper nourishment and to flourish. Managing all the things can be both fascinating and overwhelming. Finding balance is a worthy goal. Times of rest and relaxation are necessary. And yet, because you have a rainforest mind, your processes and plans might not fit anyone else but you. Of course, there is lots of
pandemonium, hullabaloo, hubbub (doncha love those words?) in the rainforest.
Ain’t it grand?
To my bloggEEs: Do you resonate with this post? How? Are there particular ways you rest and find balance? If you do any of the exercises, let us know how it goes. And thank you, as always, for being here. It means the world to me. Love always. All ways.
(Note: For more of these journaling suggestions, check out my latest book, Saving Your Rainforest Mind: A Guided Journal for the Curious, Creative, Smart, & Sensitive. And to learn more about all of my books, go here. Thanks!)