Simla Somturk

Delicious Health LLC - Founder & Principal Coach
Ft Collins, CO

    Is Your Work a Life Suck or a Yummy Treat?

    April 10, 2010

    Working 9 to 5.

    Work it out.

    Work, the four letter word.

    Work as a definition of Self.

    Work-life balance.

    Work as chore.

    Work as a calling.

    Work as a bore.

    Work as a blessing.

    Make it work.

    Work as an obligation.

    Work as an escape.

    Work as business.

    Work as busy-ness.

    Work as validator.

    Work to feel worthy.

    Work as a drag.

    Work as an excuse.

    Work as an outlet.

    Work as expression.

    Work it, baby.


    Work is such a loaded word.

    We usually work more than we spend time with loved ones , and yet most of us never stop to think what it is we’re really doing through our work. What it really means for us, how it ~ or whether it ~ really serves us. We hesitate to approach the question, “Is it worth it?”

    From my perspective of the world, I see the word “work” as being interchangeable with productivity, creative expression, altruistic endeavors, and, yes, motherhood. Work does not just equate to a paying (or non-paying) job, career, business ownership, or toiling at what you feel you’re supposed to be doing out in the world to earn your keep.

    From a conscious place, work is an expression of our Selves in this world ~ an outwardly manifestation of who we believe we are, of what we’re capable of, of how we share our gifts with the world to make it a bit better off than where we found it, of taking the stage to be heard, acknowledged, and, hopefully, appreciated.

    From an unconscious or smothered place, work can be a major soul dampener that extinguishes your voice, your joie de vivre, your soul, and your true purpose. This is work as a life suck in all its glory.

    I believe this latter state contributes to physical, mental, and emotional pain and dis-ease. Not only do I believe it, I know it. Like know it.

    There was a time not too long ago I went from being a crazy-busy, overachieving management consultant rising up through the ranks in the left lane to sitting in a wheelchair, unable to walk or brush my teeth because of unbearable pain and fatigue, the work/life I’d built falling apart, my definition of Self disintegrating and leaving a vacuum.

    My healing process was arduous and terrifying most days, but I kept at it. To make a very, very long story short, it was when I finally took figurative steps towards my true calling ~ through the fear ~ that the pain in my feet started resolving for good, so that I could start taking literal steps again.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Check in with your body’s subtle signals. Before it has to start screaming at you to get your attention, like mine did. What is it telling you about the state of your work/life?

    • Do you end your day with a fulfilled, wow-I-had-a-great-day, satiated, sweet type of tired, or a I’m-so-totally-drained type of tired?
    • Does your gut tell you you’re doing things for others and for what you think others think you should do rather than what you really care about and really want to do? “Others” can be your investors, your mom, or our general culture of “work to be worthy” conscience. 
    • Do you do things out of fear or worry, driven by emotional anxiety, or from a place of deep knowing, feeling centered and grounded (even if some days are rushed and hectic)?
    • Is your general approach to your work, even if it’s the right work for you, sabotaging your everyday juju? Do you resent things that you could instead let pass, spend too much time and angst on those little things that are not worth it, driving your body into a tizzy? Or, does your mindset allow you to surf over inevitable glitches without wiping you out, letting you have a more yummy day, every day?

    I suggest sitting with these questions for just a few minutes today, to start creating a space for yourself to have this discussion with your Self.

    Just like the wrong foods for you deplete your body, and the right foods for you nourish, feed, and heal... so does your work.

    How does your work affect you?

    Read Simla's other blog entries >

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