Self-cultivation is a cure for burnout
Are you great at giving advice to others but not so great at putting this wisdom into action for yourself? You might find that over time, a lack of consistent self-care can lead to “professional burnout.” I have experienced this myself, and it’s not fun!
Here is an excerpt from my book, Meridian Massage, Opening Pathways to Vitality:
“We can pretend to give others what we ourselves do not have, but in time everyone will see what is lacking. The practitioner will burn out, feeling that life is unsatisfactory, frustrating, and stressful. Clients will feel unsupported, dissatisfied, and go elsewhere for their care.
Each one of us is called to serve others in different ways, for different purposes. Each one of us must wrestle with our own personal growth to develop professionally and feel a sense of wonder, joy,contentment, and interest in our life path. We have to learn how caring for others can actually serve our own aliveness rather than drain us. When we connect to our work from this deeper place, the ‘work’ becomes a joyful extension of our own everyday life.”
“Self-cultivation” is a term that grabbed my attention while studying Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine offers many avenues toward balance and health, and acupuncture is just one of those methods. Self-cultivation or self-care is another approach toward vitality and well-being that is encouraged within Chinese medicine. Practices such as meditation, Taiji, Qi Gong, and Dao Yin are all specific forms of self-cultivation. These practices all focus on maintaining abundant and flowing Qi (what is Qi?).
For me, self-cultivation is an on-going exploration and practice of self-awareness and self-care.
I notice that the more consistent I am in tending to myself, to ensuring that I “fill my cup first,” the better my work is, and I am happier through the day. I have realized over time that my main “work” is to attend to the quality and flow of my Qi. As long as I am flowing in harmony with Qi, my work flows easily through me, rather than from me. At the end of the day I may be a little tired, but more often, I am inspired, vitalized, and satisfied by the events of the day.