The Burnout Queens love Love; big Love, small Love, puppy Love! Of course we are talking about Love today! In past years we've 'done' Love (with a capital L), we've definitely talked about self-love and yes we have even explored the steamy kind, but love of work, loving what you do, is not necessarily the dot that gets connected to hearts and flowers.
Plato referred to love as 'divine madness' and Freud believed that two of the most important aspects of life were love and work. So is it madness to believe you need to love your work to be healthy and happy? The Burnout Queens don't think so!
If we connect love with work we should expect big moments of passion, true calling, momentous insights, or at least a big 'kissy fest' with our colleagues all the time...right? Not necessarily so.
It can be a challenge to notice signs, big or small, of the kind of love that means your work is engaging your soul. These signs often hide in the everyday, the mundane, the tedious and the commonplace. So what exactly are you looking for?
Well, when you work with mindfulness you begin to identify signs of loving what you do: a moment of pride for a well done job; a rush of warmth, understanding or caring toward a co-worker; the comfortable familiarity of an everyday task; the old books on the shelves in the boardroom; taking a moment to 'see' the painting you love on your office wall, the view outside your window; knowing you are doing 'good' work or providing for your life and family.
Here are some moments of love in my work:
Typing this draft with my soul-dog on my lap (not great for my posture but fab for my heart),
Receiving a 'Hello here's what I'm up to!' from a long-ago (but never forgotten) client,
Having an 'ah hah moment' when two seemingly diverse ideas collide and become something new...BIG LOVE!
Writing that flows from the heart.
A hot cup of tea and biscuit on the corner of my desk.
Being 'told' to take a break by a ball dropped on my foot or thrown down the stairwell followed by barking!
Receiving baby pictures, pet pictures, family pictures from clients new and old.
Taking a brain-break by editing something already written (ah relax).
Dropping a quick "Thinking of you" to a client for no reason other than to connect.
Hearing the birds in the tree outside my window.
Looking up to see the picture of Dad on my bookshelf.
Stopping to read the Burnout Queens Desiderata (You mean you haven't got one? Join the Realm Darlings!)
Let's be honest we can all lose the love of our work from time to time!
Stress, pressures, deadlines, dreaded tasks, the evil boss or conniving colleague, or just the tedium of the everyday can trick even the most enlightened and sensitive amongst us into missing (or possibly avoiding or ignoring) many opportunities to connect with the love of what you do.
In the BIG picture we all want to be happy at work. We want our work to be engaging, pleasurable and fun at times. We truly want to feel like we are doing something that contributes to the wellbeing of others in the world. That sense of contributing is love personified.
Yes there are times when we drag ourselves 'to the office' moaning, but there are other times when maybe life is in turnoil that work becomes a place of refuge, a sanctuary. Just the other day a client whose world has been turned upside down said it so clearly, "Thank goodness for my work, it's keeping me sane!" There was a time that my office became my retreat, my haven of peace, from family illness, crises and loss. It was physically a peaceful and serene place, I loved my clients, and when 'in session' I was unavailable to the outside world! What's not to love.
Even if you aren't currently in your ideal job or career, allow yourself to love aspects of what you are doing.
Love for your work, in whatever nooks and crannies you can find it, opens up your imagination, your creativity and awakens your soul.
Being a highly sensitive woman means you were delightfully designed to find work you love but first you have to find love in your work.
From our hearts to yours...The Burnout Queens xx