L E T T E R – Working With Fear Part 3; Overwhelm – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R – Working With Fear Part 3; Overwhelm

If you haven’t read the first and second part of this Letter series, you can check Part 1 and Part 2.

It was raised at our Gathering that fear and overwhelm seem to go hand in hand. We agreed. We spoke about options to deal with overwhelm but didn’t go into too much detail, because of time. I normally operate well within the parameters of overwhelm. But I then personally ran like a freight train into such huge overwhelm this week, it’s been comical. Well, funny in those small slivers where I am trying not to melt down.

I am actually writing this right now after wiping away the tears from my eyes as I just sobbed at my own computer. It’s nothing major, no one has anything terminal. But reminding myself, intellectualising that this isn’t the end of the world as I know it, does nothing to stem the emotions. When I am in the midst of experiencing the most mysterious tech issue ever, that means I cannot access nor update our new website which is supposed to go live next week telling oneself to ‘relax’ is futile. It’s a tech thing, I won’t bore you with but essentially, we have worked for six months to launch something so close to my heart with The Broad Place, so beautifully aligned with our intentions and values BUT this tech thing has brought all this tightly deadlined work to a grinding halt. The amount of work that has gone into this project to date, has been utterly overwhelming, with a million challenges, hiccups, speed bumps, and now the workload. And now, being so close to seeing six months of work come into fruition and not being able to continue, it just got too much.

Because this is the thing with overwhelm, any small dwelling fear we had, shadowy, lurking, all of a sudden breaks like a dam. Suddenly it’s not just workload, the ego gets out its cymbals and starts a brass band yelling in my head.­ It’s not working because it’s shit, because you’re shit, because everyone will hate it. You have wasted all this time, everyone’s time, all your investment financially, on something that will NEVER work.

Which is clearly unhelpful and in moments of clarity I know not true. But the ego just loves overwhelm! It thrives in this space. I think it’s helpful to sometimes just have a massive cry, throw your hands up or literally throw yourself on the floor. Because from there we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and work more clearly through it all. Trying to suffocate it down, pretend we are okay, just breaks the dam harder when it does burst.

I could write pages of small tactical things to do when overwhelmed. However what I really want to share is, you’re not alone, we all experience it, and it’s a shitty time in that moment.

So start with the necessary,­ let the emotions flow so they can pass. Do what’s possible,­ put your ego back in its place. It cannot run the show. But any attempt to suppress it means it just yells harder. Have your moment, and then move on. Do the impossible,­ go slowly with the greatest compassion for yourself you can ever experience. Turn the whole thing into an exercise in grace and love.

That’s going to be my strategy for the rest of the day and week anyway!

Sent with love,

Jac x

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