Overwhelm: I used to think it meant I hadn’t done enough. Which meant that someone might not love me enough or think enough of me or consider me a do-er of the first degree. That stressed me out to no end. I spent years in a heightened state of awareness. And that awareness constantly told me how off the mark I was. How so not perfect I was.

Overwhelm: Now I know it is none of those things.

Overwhelm: Now I know it is more like a trick played on me. By my own self. It is a way I keep me safe. Mired down. Stuck in so-so, which in turn supposedly keeps me safe but in reality is as dangerous as can be. I know that for a fact, because I lived there for many years, in the wrong relationships, working with the wrong clients, putting time and energy into soul-sucking people and activities that, surprise!, made me feel more overwhelmed.

Yes, that voice inside knows all about that “one thing at a time” thing. It knows that is a fine way to go, so it lobbies for the opposite – for all-or-nothing – which of course is not sustainable and leads to…more overwhelm.

Yes the trickster I call Mean Voice (courtesy of your Ego) is a persistent one indeed. He/she/it has lots of “goodies” in that bag of tricks. And never a day off, it seems. It’s been with you forever and it feels it knows you better than anyone else. It doesn’t like the rumblings of your soul because those are new and unknown to it and potentially incredibly explosive.

So it sends in the overwhelm. Expressly shipped in just for you! Because overwhelm leads to paralysis and over-analysis which lead to stuck-ness which often keep the status-quo in charge which seems to be something that the Mean Voice likes a whole lot. It sucks for so many reasons, perhaps most of all because it keeps some damn fine people in overwhelm for years and perhaps for entire lives.

And when in overwhelm of that kind, little to nothing gets created or completed or imagined.

But here is the big secret in this scenario: You are stronger than all of it.

You, too, can be persistent. And consistent. And realistic. You can have your own bag of tricks. Heck, you already have a tricky-as-hell bag of tricks. Your “tricks” will remind you and inspire you and empower you. They will help you breathe and get centered when it is time to slow down and remember. They will give you energy and stamina when it is full speed ahead. They will remind you of the support you have, the tools you have, the gifts you already possess and of why you are here in this life, in this world at this time.

Your own bag of tricks will give you insight and wisdom to remember that, while sometimes awful, that inner voice is trying to keep you safe, that it is ultimately trying to protect you. That, in its weird way, it loves you. And you can keep it around and love it back (which is a good thing, because either way, it isn’t going anywhere). With some finesse, you can actually make it part of your bag of tricks, Yes, part of it.

You may be, right now, feeling overwhelmed thinking about how much overwhelm has taken from you. I, too, have felt that way. But it doesn’t work like that. Overwhelm is a great teacher and, if you allow it, a great fuel for those things you have yet to dream up and share with the world. It’s even a great fuel for getting you to the grocery store or the gas station today. 

So…let it work for you. WIth you. In your bag of tricks and not against it. Let your overwhelm drive you and teach you.

How, you ask? Well, this requires a new way of looking at things. A new and consistent business as usual. Maybe a come-to-Jesus talk with someone who tells it to you like it really is. (Yea, those are fun, Reeeeal fun.) A letting go. A whole lot of letting go. And then more letting go.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.