‘I don’t have the energy for this – wouldn’t you rather skip ahead and take a long Savasana?’ says the droning voice inside my head as I struggle through my Sun Salutations.
It takes away my focus and all sense of fun. This can’t go on. Fatigue and I are breaking up.
The word tired is being eliminated from my vocabulary in an effort to eliminate tiredness from my life. The same goes with exhausted, worn out and shattered. I’m adopting a zero tolerance strategy towards unnecessary sleepiness. I’m on a one-woman mission to seek and destroy malaise.
Sleepiness As a State of Mind
It’s a state of mind. And I can’t help but wonder how much more potential could be released if tiredness had no place and energy wasn’t wasted on whinging about the fact we feel energetically compromised. I can’t help feeling that tiredness is an attitude; our attitude a choice.
When I burned out and had Chronic Fatigue a few years ago, it was because I was chronically stressed and not paying enough attention to my health. I remember feeling sorry for myself, which only lead to more lethargy. Then I realised that my well-being was no one's responsibility but my own. If I was to get well, I had to take action. I had to work on strengthening my mind and my body so I could better cope with what life had to throw at me, throw out the stuff that was no longer serving me and connect with and claim the stuff that would.
Tiredness is so depleting and dull, a mask for laziness and apathy often muddled in boredom and bound by despondence. If we’re tired, it’s probably a sign we need to change something – that we’re in some way stretched and/or lacking stimulation.
Side Stepping Obstacles
Patanjali discusses laziness, dullness and procrastination among the obstacles on the path of yoga, anticipated as those things we will encounter and need to overcome.
So I decided to watch my attitude to the tiredness I feel in yoga with renewed objectivity. I try switching my internal dialogue to a more positive channel and witness the tiredness as simple sensation. Practice continues, I commit to it and my energy lifts, what I get out is double what I put in. Even if I don’t feel as though I have the energy, I set the intention to give all of myself to my practice and be open to what is given in return.
Commit and Don’t Compromise
It has taught me to be dedicated to whatever I do both on and off the mat – dedicated to giving it my best shot, without compromise and without letting fatigue or feeling fed up come between me and living my best life.
That doesn’t mean that I’m always pushing myself or forcing situations, in fact it’s quite the opposite – there is a gentle surrendering that occurs when you work with what you’ve got with a positive attitude and mind set. It’s the difference between ‘can do’ and ‘cannot.’ My teacher used to say that that there is no trying in life, only doing. And doing and failing is better than never having done at all.
It doesn’t mean I never sleep or rest, it just means I approach everything with a quiet curiosity and commitment that tempts understanding and insight. Sometimes we have to commit and invest part of ourselves in something in order to get something out. Otherwise we’re just sitting on the fence, occupying where feels safe.
Here are five ways you can go from feeling tired to turbo charged:
- Change the label; replace the word tired with something else, something more descriptive and understand what’s driving those feelings.
- Recognise that this too shall pass and that if you get caught up in how drained you are the ahead of you will only feel harder.
- Identify if something needs to change.
- See the silver lining – what positive things can come out of how you’re feeling and the situation/task you face?
- Consider if you came at what you face with renewed energy, what would be the result?
It has been a journey to get to a place where I feet truly ready to grab life by the horns once more. When doubt, dullness or a destructive sense of despondence occasionally creep in, they rarely bring anything beneficial.
So next time you find yourself feeling tired, consider what’s driving it and what you could change.