"Burnout is a clue that the energy you are putting into something is coming from the wrong intention." Ram Dass.
So obvious and simple. So true. These words landed deep in my heart. They landed because language is powerful. Language can create or break culture. It brings into existence all the beauty in the world and all the heartache too. Words land as truth in our hearts. As these did in mine.
Burnout is a clue. Most of us have experienced relationships burnout. And if we are honest, I am sure we can agree with Ram Dass: the burnout occurred when the energy we put into the relationship was coming from the wrong intention. A friendship won't last if you are being friends with someone because it is convenient. It won't last if you feel you 'have to' be friends or your friendship is a habit. Friendships and relationships burn brightly when they are based in love, mutual respect and reciprocity.
This is also true of projects, your work and ideas. They also burn out when your heart isn't in it. And if they don't burn out, you do. If you love what you are doing and it aligns with your intention in life then you, your projects, ideas and work flourish and thrive.
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that just like fire, we are energy. Our intentions in life are our fuel. And we can't burn brightly with the wrong fuel. To burn bright, we must be true to ourselves or we burn out.
Take a moment to notice the abundance of energy inside you next time you feel your actions align with your intentions. When we serve or care for others with love in our hearts our energy is limitless and continually reignites. Resentment, on the other hand, is a great dampener.
Just like fire, as well as having the right fuel, we need enough oxygen to burn brightly. Oxygen feeds fire. I invite you to pause for a moment to consider who and what gives you your oxygen in life. Then consider, who and what takes it away. For me the oxygen I need comes from being surrounded by friends and family, having a good laugh with people, learning new things, helping others, being grateful in the moment, random acts of kindness, being out in nature and opening my heart to the awe of the world.
I will continue with this fire metaphor (which I hope you agree is totally appropriate given this is about how to burn bright in life). To start a fire we not only need fuel and oxygen, we need a spark. Passion lights the fire within us and gives us an abundance of energy. It continually reignites us. If we are passionate about what we do in life, and the people around us, everything and everyone burns brightly.
So, if lately you are struggling to burn brightly in an area of your life, perhaps take a moment to check in with your intention. Be aware of where your oxygen is coming from, and what takes it away. Lean into the things you are passionate about.
As I said at the very beginning, words are powerful. Where we rest our awareness soon becomes our reality. So let's focus on burning bright rather than burning out. Because warmth and light radiates from us when we burn brightly; and it allows others to burn bright too.
May you burn bright, beautiful! May you burn bright.
Let's burn bright together! In May this year, I will be holding a mini retreat, Flourish and Thrive, with Wellbeing Coach, Paige Tan, who has an abundance of energy. Designed specifically for teachers and those in the education sector, this will be an afternoon of learning together, beautiful rituals and sharing collective wisdom around burning bright. If you would like to spend an afternoon with Paige and me, to gather what you need to flourish and thrive, we would love you to join us. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest before we open up bookings to this beautiful afternoon retreat, or to find out about upcoming retreats for everyone, everywhere to burn bright.