I have a chronic syndrome. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
It’s called Overthink-Everything-And-Stay-In-My-Head Syndrome. And if you ask me, it’s a national (if not global!) crisis, at least among women. The name of the syndrome pretty accurately describes the symptoms: whenever I’m faced with a decision, standing at a cross-roads, or staring down a failure, I overthink everything and stay in my head!
You might be wondering how I got this syndrome. Is it genetic? Contagious? A product of toxins in our environment? The science is still unclear about that, but one thing’s for sure: it gets in the way of day-to-day life.
I pride myself on being detail-oriented, a stellar problem-solver, self-aware, and pretty dang positive. I’m an occupational therapist and a life coach. I read personal development books like they’re going out of style. But I still suffer from this chronic syndrome. Maybe you do too?
Through a series of events, people, courses, coaches, and breakdowns, I realized that my version of Overthink-Everything-And-Stay-In-My-Head Syndrome was largely caused by an overabundance of yang energy. If you’re not familiar with yang – or predominately masculine – energy, you can read more here. Essentially, I was so focused on thinking, analyzing, and taking action that I neglected to slow down and balance with the yin energy of feeling, healing, and just being.
About a year and a half ago, I started a journey of seeking wisdom from the inside instead of searching for answers outside of myself. I began to give attention to the long-forgotten yin side of the picture. This leap was a game-changer, and I began to uncover a whole lot of self-love that I never even knew existed within me. Using tools like meditation, yoga, prayer, and dance, I reconnected with my femininity and spirituality. It has been a challenging, beautiful, and painful journey, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.
But, through this journey, I’ve discovered that how we do one thing is how we do everything. My M.O. is to shrink and hide, especially in the midst of or just before a big breakthrough. I’m also really good at starting things only to never finish them. Aaand there’s the pesky habits of not being consistent, self-sabotaging, and beating myself up. (Most people with OEASIMH Syndrome have all of these other symptoms as well, so I know I’m not alone here).
Yeah, I loved doing yoga, dancing, meditating, and praying….
…but only when they were “convenient” for me. And only when I felt like I really needed them, which surely wasn’t very often. (ha!)
Ya see, a common problem that comes up as we try to treat OEASIMH Syndrome with an overabundance of yang energy is that we actually become afraid of the thinking, analyzing, and taking action. I thought that in order to balance myself back out, I had to do a whole lot of just being with no action-taking. Boy was I wrong!
The truth is that balance – living the yin / yang – takes a hell of a lot of commitment, courage, and action-taking. It needs to be approached fiercely and lovingly, and it requires that we show up day after day after day.
Dancing is my antidote to OEASIMH Syndrome. BOOM! It gets me out of my head instantly, and I can’t overthink, I can just feel. Feel it all – the good, the bad, the ugly, the uglier, the sublime, and everything in between. I know now that I can’t just dance when it feels convenient or really needed. I need to show up for dancing day in and day out – in the big, life-changing moments, and in the ordinary, everyday moments. And those moments when dancing is the furthest thing from my mind, my plate is full of to do’s, and I’m pissed off? Well, that’s precisely when I need to dance the most. And dance I will…