“Years ago, President Boyd K. Packer told of a herd of deer that, because of heavy snowfall, was trapped outside its natural habitat and faced possible starvation. Some well-meaning people, in an effort to save the deer, dumped truckloads of hay around the area—it wasn’t what deer would normally eat, but they hoped it would at least get the deer through the winter. Sadly, most of the deer were later found dead. They had eaten the hay, but it did not nourish them, and they starved to death with their stomachs full.”
The group of deer died and their bellies were full. This statement has caused me to think a lot over the last few days about what all that could mean for me. Is my belly full? Am I starving? Am I dying?
Occasionally, I get stuck. I don’t care about doing anything and I have no motivation. I’ll spend hours scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, watch television, eat crap, and there is no way I workout. I spiral further and further, turning within myself. I’ve filled myself, but I am starving. My spirit is starving.
For me, lack of motivation, not knowing where to start, or feeling that a task is daunting causes me to start this cycle. The answer to the problem is not always the same either. Sometimes one thing works and other times, another thing works. I haven’t found the golden goose, the perfect equation, or the golden ticket. At certain times, I think our spirit needs different tools to get us out of the cycle of filling our bellies with things that will starve us.
Here are a few things that have worked for me.
I tell someone that I feel stuck.
I don’t necessarily want to talk about it when I feel this way, but my closest family and friends will get me to workout, or pamper myself, or get out and do something. This one links closely to my number two.
I say yes to what my friends and family ask.
If I just say no all the time, I stay stuck. As much as I want to stay stuck and as much as I DON’T want to do what others want to do, I know that if I don’t start the process it and it will get worse. I have to say yes, even if it is half-hearted. By no means does this fix the problem! It does however get my mind and body doing something different. If all I do is focus on the problem, then that is what I will still have – a problem. Allowing my focus to shift provides a means for my mind to open up to having a different conversation and letting some inspiration in.
I pamper myself.
While I am doing a little thing for me (taking a bath, using my fancy scrub in the shower, painting my nails, drinking sparkling drink in a fancy glass), I acknowledge that I am grateful for it and the time I have to do it. We don’t give ourselves enough “me” time and when we skimp on that long enough, our cup doesn’t fill. It’s not about being selfish, its about taking a little time to recharge myself.
Generally when I workout during these times, it is half-hearted because I don’t know how to put my feelings in a box and do something different. But just a little bit of exhaustion on the body changes things for me.
I do everything I know to do to get a good night’s sleep.
If that is melatonin, lavender, bath, lights out, spray on my pillow…whatever, I get myself to sleep well. That means turning off the phone and tv.
And always, I pray for help.
When I feel this way I don’t normally feel like getting on my knees but I will pray in my mind while I am walking/driving…whatever. Sometimes I think of a topic I want to study or learn about. If that is too much mental energy I do number seven.
I turn on YouTube and go to BYU Speeches.
I’ll scroll until I find one I’m interested in listening to and put it on. I carry it with me while I’m working in the house or in the car. It has a very calming effect for me and quiets the noise and the bad things I have been taking in.
These are just a few things that I do to help get me out of the downward spiral. It is also not a quick fix. I am not a 0 to 60 kind of girl, but more of a slow acceleration. But if I am willing to say yes to others, and force myself to do the things I don’t want to do, I get out of the spiral much quicker.
What are some things you do to fix your life when your bellies are full but you are starving?