Dear Jeanne,

I am losing my joy. It has become a real concern for me.

I am a mother, wife, household manager, transportation coordinator, and professional coach to others. All of those things take my energy and I don’t feel it is coming back to me. Quite frankly, I feel over-worked and under-appreciated.

I understand that I created this. I just didn’t expect it to take over my energy and leave me feeling so depleted. There are days that I feel in the “crisis zone” and at my breaking point.

I am seeking clarity and guidance and want me back!

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Dear Want Me Back,

You are not alone in this story. So many women share this experience with you in our current culture. We want the model of “having it all” – the house, the marriage, the children, the career – the successful life. The truth is, without fulfillment there is no successful life.

A successful life is fulfilling to the individual.

My first recommendation is to make you the priority. Too often we take on the cape of “superwoman”, not realizing how much we need to put back the energy that we give so freely to others.

When we continuously flow our energy outwardly without replacing that energy, our energy tank becomes dangerously low. When we operate in that way for an extended period of time, we can wind up empty – impacting every relationship that we value.

As I said, you are not alone in your current situation, and recognizing it is the first step in creating something much grander and more fulfilling. You have named how you feel and what is occurring, and now you can choose to do something about it.

I am a huge advocate of self-care, mostly because I was once you. I hit a point where I had to figure out how important that self-care practices were and are to my personal energy and life outcomes. Since then, I do not run out of energy as I intentionally feed my personal energy daily.

Where I once viewed taking this time as “selfish”, I now know how vital it really is to my happiness and fulfillment. I now have a reservoir of energy to feed the important things in my life and sense when that reservoir needs refilling.

Choosing practices like meditation sequences, taking a walk, sitting quietly reading, writing in a journal, enjoying time in the garden, running, working out, scrapbooking, letter writing, beading, or crafting – any of these done consistently (I choose to do many of them daily) will raise your energy and increase your presence in the moment.

Doing it all and having it all is where most idealists naturally reside – perhaps even obsessed with attaining that elusive, perfect world. In my own journey, I finally chose to replace perfection with the lens of excellence. I now strive daily to do things with an excellence mindset, allowing imperfection to exist.

In other words, I eased off the pressure of performing and replaced that with the pleasure of presence. I now strive to maximize my presence in the moment and enjoy the moment for what it has to offer to me, instead of needing everything to be a certain way.

If certain things do not get done around the house, I accept and allow them to be. If I see a pattern in things not being done, I realize that I need to employ a system to get it done. For you, that system can take the form of children regularly helping in the task(s) or hiring someone to do that work.

Your fulfillment will be greater when your personal gifts are activated on a daily basis. Doing it all diminishes the energy reserves that are available to maximize our own gifts. Recognizing what you are really good at and your most important contribution to the various aspects of your life will help you to discern where those systems can most benefit or even replace you.

You are smart, capable, and competent. You will have endless amounts of energy for the important when you learn the value of slowing down and enjoying the moments of life – including the seemingly mundane. Greater fulfillment will occur as you identify and maximize your own gifts and focus on them daily.

As always, do reach out for any clarification on what I have offered here.

Much love,