Burnout to Flourishing: It Can Happen!

August 25, 2014 7:28 PM

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Burnout to Flourishing: It Can Happen!

It was a rainy evening in Munich, Germany in November 2011 when I realized something was seriously wrong. I had just gotten into my car after a full day of delivering a workshop to a media company then presenting to a women's group that evening. I felt utterly depleted, dizzy and nauseous and could hardly move. My whole physical and mental systems were shutting down. What was happening? Then I heard a voice in my head say, "Look at your calendar." What??? "Look at your calendar." So I pulled out my annual overview and looked. It was then I understood what I was looking for: The only time I had taken off that year was three days in April. I was so exhausted those three days that all I did was sleep. Other than that, I had not taken any time off except for sporadically having one morning on the weekends to rest. My work had always involved a lot of travel (often international), which usually meant leaving or arriving home (or both) on the weekends. In that instant, I saw the big picture. I had not had more than five days off at a time over the last 27 years of my career. Weekends were usually my time to catch up with work, unpack and re-pack. The number of times I had taken five days off in a row could be counted on one hand in that 27-year period.

I had had the opportunity to move to Germany from Los Angeles in 2007 to launch a training and coaching company with a German partner. For me, it was a dream come true. What a year to start a company; the year before a global financial meltdown! Fortunately, my partner helped to subsidize the compan...

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