These days I feel like I have unlimited energy. This is a huge 180 compared to where I was 5 years ago, suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and muscle pain. Granted, the change may be purely medical – I discovered I was profoundly Vitamin D deficient and I went to physical therapy. It could also be stress-related: after the separation I felt so much better.
But I feel like it’s much more than that. I attribute the energy increase to following my heart. In other words, I spent most of my life pursuing the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ instead of trying to feed my spirit and soul.
At the time of the separation, I was so entrenched in should/must that I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. The silver lining of a trauma is that it’s like the reset button on your life and you no longer take old assumptions as facts any longer. What ensued was post-traumatic growth as I started to explore my self-conception, this time starting with a blank slate. I experimented, I tried, I questioned, I reflected. Most of all I was curious, open, and non-judgmental about myself and others.
The things that brought me joy or energy, I pursued. Those that didn’t, I released. I followed the energy and joy trail until I discovered what fed my passions. Doing the things that I love to do and that I’m good at makes best use of my strengths, so that I’m working efficiently and at my best. I’m doing what is authentic and natural to me, which is energizing and satisfying rather than depleting and frustrating.
The best part of this process was that I didn’t have to start my life over from scratch. Likely most people can make small changes at work or at home to accommodate their pursuit of energy and interests, at least until a transition plan can be created and enacted.
Having energy is one of the most satisfying aspects of my life now. I am, by nature, a zesty person and not having the physical resources to do what I wanted to do (and I was exercising frequently before, by the way) was frustrating and felt unnatural to me. I credit my ability to do well in the full-time graduate program while working full-time to my energy and passion for what I love to do.
So pay attention to your energy meter during the day. What charges your batteries and what depletes you? How can you do more of the energizing activities? What activities and which people do you need to avoid or limit to keep from draining your battery? What would you aim to do if you had 20% more energy?
Dream it, then do it.