Jeremy Fulwiler is a body psychotherapist , a poet, an amazing dancer and a marathoner. He runs a thriving therapy practice, Wellness Beyond Words, and has a beautiful community in Detroit. We hopped on FB live in November to discuss courage, overcoming challenges and his first book, Prodigal Selves. You can watch the whole interview here.
When I asked Jeremy what was the biggest obstacle he’s overcome to build the beautiful life he has now, I was surprised by his answer. He paused then said, “Ambition.”
He went on, “I was so ambitious that I couldn’t sustain that level of output, of intensity. So I would burn out, get overwhelmed.”
Ambition as an obstacle?? I was surprised.
But do you ever end up running around trying to fit everything in and do it all perfectly until you’re completely exhausted?
I needed to do a couple of times along the way, a sort of swan dive off of a cliff. Making space so I could kind of find the ground of what I was doing and let go of whatever I was really throwing myself into.
Quitting his job in social work administration in NYC and moving to metro Detroit was one of these swan dives.
Coming here without a job where I was able to go into yoga teacher training and start my Core Energetics training program for about 4 – 6 months before I had to insert myself back into the system as a social worker.
This time was critical for me in developing my own capacity for self care, finding out what my nervous system really needed and really getting to feel what was really inspiring me outside of the intensity of what I was doing before.
Is quitting your job critical when you burn out? According to Jeremy it depends…
I don’t think I can overstate the significance of me getting to take a few periods in my life to withdraw from the need to be productive.
These have been deeply re-organizing periods in my life that have allowed me to take a step back from the map I was convinced I needed to follow, so that I was able to actually see and feel me in the world as it actually exists.
Surprise jobs and careers shifts, unexpected friendships, and new understandings of who I am are a few of the things that were able to transpire.
I’m not convinced that quitting one’s job is the only or best way to “swan dive” or get the space needed for life reorganization. I think for most people, most of the time, it wouldn’t be realistic.
But today, on this Sunday afternoon, I challenged myself to slow down enough to the point of boredom. And I sustained that place, fell asleep into a nap, woke up with a deep sense of the preciousness of life, and slowly have moved through my afternoon, not knowing what is next, and finding a lot of tenderness and creativity along the way.
I think even “simple” practices like this (or journaling, meditating, slow walks in the woods…) are significant in allowing life to reorganize itself more authentically.
Through his training in both traditional and body-centred psychotherapy and his own personal journey Jeremy has learned about overcoming burnout and building a life that makes you feel fully alive.
In his debut book of poetry, Prodigal Selves, Jeremy contemplates two kinds of rest,
resting to do… (so that i can go back to work refreshed tomorrow, or have the energy to go out tonight, so that i can get better when I’m sick)
and we also discussed
resting to rest…
(for the pleasure of rest
because it feel good
because it’s so damn natural
because it leaves space to be
space to be in bliss
or not – space to be just as
just as i am
because being is a miracle
no one else can construct,
because being alive is a miracle
no one can guarantee,
because breathing is a miracle of massaging
my life from the inside
at a rhythm uniquely this)
If you’re ambitious, you need both these kinds of rest.
You’re probably familiar with the first one – going to bed early to get ready for a big day or recovery from sickness.
But you also need the luscious, fun, playful, spacious kind of rest.
A great way to start developing more luscious, playful, delicious, spacious rest is reading Jeremy’s book, Prodigal Selves which is full of musing and inspiration on how to live a full luscious beautiful productive life.
Jeremy’s amazing book of poetry!
You can find his book at: www.jeremyfulwiler.com
And I also have a special gift for you if you’re looking to develop more rest.
Need more hours in the day? Get this free Courage Compass checklist Reduce Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back that lays out 3 simple steps to start getting your time back. You in?
Thanks so much to Jeremy Fulwiler for an amazing interview and sharing your wisdom and gifts with all of us <3.