You’ll recall Goldilocks entered the house of the three bears and set about finding what was right for her. Porridge: too hot, too cold, or just right. Chair: too big, too small, or just right. Bed: too hard, too soft, or just right.
Goldilocks’ search for the right fit makes her an interesting role model for balance (break and enter aside).
We’re all familiar with the ’too hot, too big, too hard’ side of this equation. That’s the world of overload and burnout where we find ourselves on fire, racing at top speed, flat out, overcommitted and overwhelmed.
We may be highly engaged, but we’re just as likely to be exhausted. Things are just not right. This overextended phenomenon of ‘too-much-ness’ gets a lot of attention.
From time to time, many of us also experience the ‘too cold, too small, too soft’ scenario. This is where we’ve outgrown one or more elements of our lives and our everyday patterns no longer fit as well as they once did.
We may feel restless, pinched, diminished, bored, joyless or adrift, suffering the dis-ease of finding ourselves under-challenged or under-engaged. Things are just not right. This malaise phenomenon gets much less attention even though it, too, causes distress.
Action: I’ve experienced malaise myself, more than once in my life. At those points, it’s not that things are all wrong, it’s more like they’re not all right any more.
It was a recent round of malaise that first pointed me in the direction of painting – as a way to light a spark in the areas of learning and creative expression. And, boy did it ever do that for me!
Rest easy! I’m not advocating painting as a panacea for everyone. But, I can suggest an approach that might help you find your way to a better place – or help you guide others who may find themselves stuck. (more…)