Danielle starts of by saying “At some point you’re going to think to yourself, I don’t want to work this hard” and I can feel myself physically reacting to her words. Every cell in my being said “YES!”
And as Danielle pointed out, I worried, that it means that I will have to settle for less. That my dreams will have to be smaller, that I will have less money, I won’t create anything worthy, that I will have less recognition, you name it. If I don’t want to work hard, it means that I don’t deserve as much.
It reminds me of passage from The Call, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, where she tells of being very ill on a vision quest. As she tried to continue on the vision quest despite the illness, she had a dream where she was told that what she was looking for cannot be bought by ordeal. She was then told to “try easier”. Oriah thinks to herself “I don’t know how to do easy and I don’t trust people who do”
I too feel that I need to earn my place though ordeal. That I can’t trust “easy”. That I won’t be worthy of whatever it is that I seek to have if I don’t suffer.
But I was really tired, so I finally gave in to the deep need in me to not work so hard. I quit a challenging and fun job with great colleagues, which was taking up a lot of hours, and, that I recognised deep down, was not my calling. And I decided to work with my dad, which satisfied my need to spend more time with family.
Work is definitely less hectic and I work shorter hours. I also suddenly have lots of time because of a huge reduction in commuting time (I’ve also realised that I don’t really want to spend so much time driving so many miles everyday).
So, has the sky fallen in? Has everything gone to hell? Am I suffering for not suffering?
Surprisingly no. I am definitely working less, but I am also accomplishing more of the things on my important-but-not-urgent list. Probably because there aren’t that many urgent-but-not-important things clamouring for my attention.
I am meditating more, exercising more. I am working on my garden, and am not just rewarded with just blooms, but an awareness of the beauty that surrounds me – everyday I see something new – a bee, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers and myriad birdlife that call my garden home. I am reading more. I am spending time with my family – conversations with my dad, time with my sisters. And these are the things that fulfill me. Suddenly there is a lot more ease and grace – and I am still accomplishing – maybe not big and earth shaking work, but the things that are important to me.
If you think that my current life sounds a bit too idyllic, this also worked during one of the most stressful periods of my life – Module 3 of Idea Rawkstarrs. I was working full time, taking classes in the evening, and the ideas just weren’t coming. I was barely sleeping, because to me more work = more ideas. Except that there weren’t more ideas. I finally broke down. 3 days before the deadline, with no idea in sight, I finally reluctantly allowed myself to rest and not work. And….the ideas start flowing.
For me, I do not allow myself to rest because I don’t dare take the risk that I would be able to accomplish more after resting. Especially with a deadline looming. Also my mind equates rest to laziness, but that’s another story.
However, rest really is a risk worth taking as it helps us accomplish more. So if you too have thought “I don’t want to work so hard anymore”, maybe it’s time to listen to your need, and have faith that you will still be able to accomplish everything that you want.
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