In early April I have the good fortune of being a presenter at the Women Leaders Conference sponsored by UW- Milwaukee. This is a great event attended by women from all walks of life who are interested in expanding possibilities for themselves and others. As a part of my talk on “Managing Overwhelm”, we will explore how enhancing our awareness of how we show up – when we are getting ready to move from ‘just hanging on’ to full blown ‘overwhelm’ – can better position us to choose actions that serve us vs. hurt us.
One of the ways we become a better observer of ourselves is to pay attention to the cues our body is giving us. My friend and coaching colleague, Lynn Motley (www.lynnmotley.com), shared a terrific blog post by Susan Bernstein called “Confession to My Body”. It is a somewhat humorous yet poignant description of how over the years she had consistently ignored the warning signs her body kept providing her (jaw pain, queasy stomach, insomnia…). These showed up around life events that didn’t work out too well for her in the end (job selections, relationship decisions, etc.) As she looked back, she realized that her body kept signalling her to consider a different path, and if she had respected its wisdom, she might have saved herself a whole lot of pain.
If we can fine tune our attention, we will start to notice the sensations our body gives us when we are headed down the path toward a full blown overwhelm breakdown. When we begin to think of our body in the same way we do a good friend – you know, those people who care enough about us to tap us on the shoulder and say, “You sure you want to do that?” – we tend to make decisions that serve us well. This kind of self awareness, when added to an understanding of our habits around saying “Yes” to things we don’t really care about, are potent tools for “Overwhelm Prevention”.
If you want to learn more about the Women Leaders Conference, check this out https://www4.uwm.edu/sce/conference.cfm?id=568