Where Are You Over-full?


Hello beautiful human.

One day, this wax plant (hoya carnosa) was an innocent collection of knobby vines and thick leaves winding up my window frame. Then, a cluster of red, berry-like little knots burst out. Those knots unfurled into fascinating pentagons. Those spread into unfathomable flowers. Their bubblegum pink petals are wet to the touch; the sharp edges of the starburst top delicately defined.

They are so easy to care for. In fact, they seem to grow best when I’m not around to overthink of their needs… and overwater them.

Most of us go through periods of intense overwhelm over the course of our lives. Interviewing professionals for The Me, Without, I kept hearing about how much energy we unnecessarily burn: we spend too much time competing online, pursuing superficial goals, or always prioritizing the needs of others. We do this because we care. We want to move forward in our work, health, relationships, and feelings of self-worth. We want our plants to grow and climb and blossom.

But sometimes, we’re so focused on watering that we don’t realize we’re flooding one area and leaving others in drought.

Where in your life may you be over-full right now?

  1. Pause and consider where you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed: Where do you feel pushed around or pulled along? Write, voice memo, do a body scan or meditation, talk to a friend—whatever you need to tap deeper into understanding this overwhelm.

  2. Make an action plan: Is there one particular habit you can take out for a little bit of time to help reassess your growth? How can you best make space to reprioritize your time? Make the calls, move the appointments, and breathe deep.

  3. Have a boost of happy ready for go time: Make up a mantra or pick a power song that will help you stay strong if things get tough. (I’m particular to Mr. Blue Sky. My dog, Mitra, now has a revved up Pavlovian response to it.)

  4. Plan for “failure”: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit over and over, it’s that having a backup plan for “failure” gives us the best odds at overall success. What clear activity will you have ready if you find yourself falling back into the same overwhelm or returning to the habit you’re trying to shed? How will you not give in and give up, but get back on the horse?

  5. Celebrate yourself: Interviewing filmmaker Roko Belic for The Me, Without, I was told, “Happy people do things that make them happy.” We have to do things. Sometimes uncomfortable things. Vulnerable things. Change can be hard. “But it’s worth it,” Roko told me. It’s worth the tapping into unfamiliar spaces and new ideas. It’s worth trusting others. And yourself. You’re worth it.

I can’t wait to see how we grow and blossom. Please do share on Instagram.

Happy Thought-Full Thursday,

Jacqueline xoxo