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Susan Jeffers, in her book, “End the Struggle and Dance with Life,” talks at length about being a workaholic.  I figured that if I was addicted to work, I’d have more money right now or achieved more.  But in pondering it I think that most of us, whether we are willing to carry the sign of addict or not, have issues around work.

My particular addiction entails always needing to be busy.  Not necessarily in income-producing activities, but that’s important, too.  Susan calls it a poverty fear.  I don’t know, but I do tend to feel guilty if I’m not doing something.  Even when I try to take a day “off,” I’m doing household chores or long put off personal projects.

If you find yourself in a cycle around work where you’d prefer not to be, Susan has some intriguing question to ask yourself: “What am I trying to mask?  What am I trying to avoid?  What am I frightened to look at in myself?”

When we over work it may be because we’re afraid of the quiet.  Are your thoughts trying to tell you something that you’re not listening to?  Work is a perfect way to mask that.  If you’re too busy, you can’t take the time to get quiet and listen – much less act on what your thoughts are hoping you will do.

If I try I can hear a slave driver in my head saying I must keep busy.  Other voices might push you since you have others to support.  Or because you want to live a better lifestyle.  Maybe it’s telling you to go back to school and get your degree or learn how to play the clarinet.  It could be telling you to slow down and have some fun or just rest.  You’re likely to find that something isn’t getting proper attention in some part of your life.  It’s very easy to fill that with work (or whatever).  Under all that chatter and busy-ness is  an imbalance at the heart of it.  Something’s missing.

It may be difficult, but it is wise to find the time to get quiet and listen to what you’re saying to yourself.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s just you in there.  You may find that it’s not true at all. That you’d really rather work than learn to play the clarinet. That was something you wanted to do years ago.  It’s all up to you.  But if you find you’re working too hard or stressing too much because you haven’t given enough time to your creative side or that you need to rest more, this is very valuable information.

Susan gives us more questions to ask at this point: “How can I make myself feel good enough?  How can I begin creating more balance and trust?  How can I fill the emptiness?

I love how, once you figure out what’s going on, there are always these practical solutions. Identify the problem and then find ways to solve it. See what is and do what works.

So, you have this imbalance.  Some things are not getting the time and attention they are calling for. So what are you going to do about it?  How do you choose to deal with this situation?  What can you do to make things right?  If you will allow yourself time to think about this, the answers are right there, in your head. Calling out to you.


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