Professional healers and transformational teachers are commonly thought to have mastered “self-care” as a priority and skill; surprisingly, this is not always the case. Conditions like Compassion Fatigue can easily overwhelm people who serve others. Whether you are a teacher, coach, healer, or anyone in a ‘helping’ profession, you are going to want to give people your best and go the extra mile to aid them in healing and fulfilling their values and visions. But sometimes, in our attempt at whole-hearted giving, we can go overboard and drain our own energy.
Of course it’s always important to build healthy habits into our lives, such as exercise, relaxation, reflection time, meditation--fun! You may even have access to many resources for self-care that you share with others. Today my sole focus will be to share about an underlying habitual mental-emotional structure that causes us to deplete energy, and to offer a simple switch to change it.
The Confining Circle
Circles can be powerful symbols of wholeness. But today we’ll focus upon the enclosing, even confining, quality of a circle as contrasted with something more empowering.
Lots of people have needs of you. And as a transformative healer or teacher with special gifts, you want to fulfill their needs, at least most of the time. But sometime the needs - not just of our clients, but of family, significant other, friends, and coworkers - can enclose us. We can feel confined—even lost— in the circle of the demands placed on us by others. We lose a sense of healthy boundary and just give give give. When experiencing this overload, we often make misguided self-nurturing choices, that further drain our energy, such as overindulgence in unhealthy comfort foods, hours of escapist behavior with the web and streaming entertainment, and so forth.
Whenever we feel consumed or overwhelmed we can be certain we are in a configuration that confines us without enough space and freedom to come up for air. This is the unhealthy circle configuration.
Note: (Part of the thrill of a lover, and the time-tested trust in a romantic partner, is the intimacy of sharing a circle of closeness special to the both of you. But we aren’t necessarily meant to have this with others, most of the time.)