When I started exploring the root cause my fatigue, I explored the relationship between our body and our energy centers, or chakras, specifically the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus is associated with personal power, ego, self-worth, confidence, accomplishment, transformation, and our ability to visualize success. Physically it’s connected to the liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, small intestine, adrenals, mid-spine area, and pancreas.
When this area has a physical imbalance, we may experience chronic fatigue, eating disorders and more. Emotionally we may experience powerlessness, greed, doubt, anger, indecision, lack of motivation or willpower, need to control, dishonoring self, low-self esteem and fear.
I realized there were six key behaviors connected to the solar plexus chakra that I believe contributed to my (and others I work with) fatigue.
- Working for our worthiness
When we feel we aren’t worthy on our own. We need to look a certain way to feel worthy. If we’re not perfect we’re not worthy. If we made a mistake we’re not worthy. If we haven’t accomplished something we aren’t worthy of feeling good about ourselves.
- Being indecisive
Mentally spinning (majorly wasting energy) over small stuff. Going back and forth and back and forth over the same decision. What brand should I buy? What time should I leave? What should I eat? Should I say yes? What if this isn’t the “right” decision?
- Needing to control
If I don’t do it, it won’t get done correctly. So I’ll take it all on and completely exhaust myself. I don’t want to burden anyone, so I’ll just do it all myself.
- Dishonoring self
There are straightforward and less obvious ways we do this.
Obviously not respecting the body’s needs and energy levels is one way. For example, pushing through an intense workout when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept well all week.
Another way is routinely bending over backwards to help others at the cost of our own health and happiness. While we’re honoring another’s needs, we’re paying the price personally. Or, taking on others’ problems instead of processing our own issues.
- Digesting life stressfully
How we digest food can be a mirror for how we digest life. Do you shove food down your throat without paying attention to your hunger levels? Do you overwhelm your digestive system?
Do you overwhelm yourself by taking on too much? (Because when you get it all done you’ll be super woman and completely worthy! My former MO.) How do you respond to experiences in your life? Do you respond or react to life’s events? Is everything dramatic, chaotic and stressful? Do you constantly talk about how busy you are?
- Visualizing what you fear
I call this one “spinning stress.” Is your mind racing with worst-case scenarios? On the outside it looks like you’re peacefully sitting in your chair relaxing, while on the inside there is a war going on in your head.
- Experiencing “subtle” stress
These are the things in our life that should be easy but we’ve made them difficult, resulting in stress. For example, getting a shirt out of your closet in the morning is a stressful event because the closet is jam-packed and the shirts are wrinkled. Instead of pulling something out quickly and throwing it on, you worry/spin about what to wear and how long it’ll take you to steam/iron it and how late that will make you. And even though you go through this every morning, you haven’t changed the pattern.
Reversing these Behaviors to Gain Energy…
When I connected these dots, I realized how much unnecessary stress I was creating for my body. I remembered from certification training years before that my body doesn’t know the difference between a tiger in front of me and a messy closet. The internal result is the same – a stress hormone is released. Over time that becomes a problem. Our bodies aren’t meant to be in a constant state of fight or flight. It wreaks havoc on our digestion, our health and our happiness.
Armed with these realizations, I simplified, slowed down and de-stressed so that I could heal my exhaustion. If you’ve read this and nodded your head to some of the seven ways, put together a plan to slowly transition these mindsets and behaviors too.
Notice when you’re mind is spinning. When you become aware of it, you can detach from it. You can witness it instead of being in the center of the storm. Wow, look at my mind spinning like a rinse cycle! From that space you can choose differently. Go for a walk. Think a different thought. Make a decision without worrying about the outcome.
Notice the urge to say yes to and to take on everything. What is driving your decision? Is it a fear of not being enough (not achieving enough)? Is it to busy yourself so you don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside? Or, is it legitimately something that you want to say yes to and it’s coming from a heart-centered space? Does it make you feel good thinking about it, or do you feel racy inside wondering how you’ll fit it in?
Notice areas of your life that you’re creating subtle stress…little pockets of disorganization. (Your office, bedroom, kitchen cabinets, closets, or other.) Commit to cleaning one at a time over time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all at once! Spend five minutes at the end of the night tidying up so it doesn’t become a two-hour weekend project that you avoid.
Stay centered by creating rituals to connect with self and go within, for example, journaling, meditation, mindfulness, grounding, tapping (EFT), gardening, walking or whatever else feels good for you!
The cool thing is that the very things that created stress for you can help you de-stress and regain your energy. It takes discipline and commitment but it’s totally possible and so worth it.
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