Overworking & Hitting Bottom (Again)

I recently hit another bottom in my life. Luckily, this one didn’t involve drugs or alcohol (still sober, 3+ years). But it did involve something I think many of us can relate to:

I hit my bottom with over-working.

After a very full year living in New York City, producing content & courses, and going full-speed, it finally caught up to me. Once again, I could feel things around me crashing down and falling apart (mainly, my natural sense of joy and ease).

This experience was very reminiscent to my first bottom, when I got sober in 2011. This time, I found myself exhausted, in my bed, wondering “What the hell am I doing?”

Why am I working so hard? 
What am I trying to achieve?  
What is my purpose in life?

These moments of reckoning stop us right in our tracks. And it’s there – in the stillness and quiet – that we can finally hear the truth.

As I lay in my bed, exhausted from overworking, completely surrendered to the moment, the answers, once again, became very clear.

I’m here to embody, practice and teach love.

In other words, I’m here to remember myself as a spiritual being, and help others do the same. 

And that’s it.

The ego is cunning. It lulls us to sleep so we forget who we are and what we’re all about.

This voice is highly convincing; it tells us, “What you want is over there. In the future. When you get _____. Just go for it. Disregard what’s in front of you now….”

I’m highly connected to Source, and yet my ego still fools me often. It tells me that what I want is “out there,” in the form of accomplishments, people, places, experiences, money, food, and anything else I can imagine.

Before I know it, I’m unconscious, on the treadmill of life, chasing some dream of the future.

I’m writing this article to come clean about my struggle with my ego, and to tell you that I don’t want to be seduced by it anymore. That’s not to say that it won’t happen because I’m sure it will; it’s more to reinstate my commitment to you and to myself.

I also want to be clear that the reason I don’t want to be seduced by my ego is not because it’s bad or wrong. It’s because… the ego’s promises are empty. 

They’re totally empty. 

Money isn’t going to fulfill me.
A successful launch isn’t going to fulfill me.
A certain number of likes isn’t going to fulfill me.

The only thing that’s truly going to fulfill me is connecting to Source and letting it’s message speak through me, in all that I do. 

While that may sound limiting, it’s really not. Because I can be connected to Source in everything I do (which means I can feel fulfilled in everything I do), as long as I’m not hypnotized by my ego.

Last night I watched a YouTube video of Oprah interviewing Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart was asked the question, “Is the world getting better or worse?” and I thought his answer was profound…

“Both,” he said.

“On one hand, the collective ego is advancing rapidly, which we can see in the ways we’re harming the planet and each other. But, people are also awakening at a rapid rate, too.”

There are two streams of evolution happening in both directions  – one towards higher consciousness, the other towards the deception of the ego.

He went on the say today we are reaching a critical point in history – we’re either going to evolve beyond our egos, or we’re going to destroy the planet and each other.

Heavy message, I know. I don’t tell you this to be dramatic or to scare you; I only mention it because I think it’s true.

I’ve been feeling the awakening movement for a long time now (I’m sure you have, too). We’re each – individually and collectively – a huge part of that movement.

You matter. Your connection and consciousness matters. 

This movement is not about being perfect; it’s about doing the best you can.

For yourself and for life itself.

I personally feel deeply committed to the path of awakening (again, when I’m being honest with myself, this is my one, true purpose in life), and in that, I’m committed to keeping my ego in check.

There’s a new freedom that bursts open the moment we recognize, “The way I’m doing life isn’t working.” Things always seem to get worse before they get better.

It’s in that “bad” – those moments of reckoning when we question who we are and what we’re all about –  that the real answers pour through.

My commitment is to be as aware as I can be, and to share that process with you. 

And just like that… in stillness and surrender… I’m overcome with relief and satisfaction. The pushing falls away. The forcing falls away. And what I’m left with is the vastness of this magnificent moment, and the assurance that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

With love & gratitude,

Shelly

–> If you have questions about this topic or you’d like to leave a comment about your personal awakening process or anything else, please do so below. I’d love to hear from you.

–> If you’d like to watch the interview with Eckhart and Oprah, you can do so here. They start talking about it about it somewhere in the 4th minute (it’s 10 minutes long).

Comments

Nancy

Great article Shelly…Kudos to you for being so authentic and vulnerable…I have watched the Eckhart/Oprah interview…it is very good.

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Emma

Thank you Shelly. It is so beautiful to see someone expose and open up their egos to their audience like this. We’re all human after all! This wonderfully disrupts the old story of having to appear ‘together’ or successful, flawless – the list goes on.

No – we don’t have to play at perfection, keeping up appearances for ego – for that slick, over-marketed, sunny, perfect-body, perfect-life surface. Nor for other people so that we feel better, or to keep their imagined respect. Respect comes from substance, honesty – and honesty can take courage but it’s here in bucketloads, and that enables me, everyone, to stand up to their problems, stare them right in the face and admit they have them and that they’re absolutely normal and fine to have them too! Hurrah!

Thank you for sharing this reflection and rock bottom. That ‘pushing’, forcing, I know very well – thank you for reminding me to loosen my grip on life a little. The tighter we hold on to want we want/desire – like sand in our hands – it just slips through our fingers. Thank you for reminding me to give life more space to breathe, grow and blossom.

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Robin

Thank you Shelly for this article. The honestly and rawness of it really speaks to me at this time in my life. It feels so conflicting at times for me to balance my ego and my source, especially in a romantic relationship with another… the energies that are being exchanged feel so real yet there is always a part of me “checking in” to be as sure as I can be as to what is real, what is true, and where the ego might be hiding or deceiving. How to truly embrace a relationship for what it is, not for what I expect/want it to be… Your work is beautiful and I am grateful for what you share with us all. Thank you

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Shelly Bullard

Thank you for your beautiful message and honesty, Robin. We’re all on this path together. :)

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Alexandra Le Ny

Thank you so much Shelly for sharing your experience in all honesty. I have had the same experience lately. I hired a business coach to propel my business and paid her a fortune, only to realize that where she wanted to take me was not a place that resonated with me. I am not looking to work like a mad woman, make a fortune nor become famous. I am merely looking for a just-right place for me, where I shine and thrive helping others my way, versus replicating what most practitioners in my field are doing. Finding the right balance between my business needs and my own personal values. It was enlightening and relieving. As a side note, I agree with Eckart Tolle. Humanity is going at two different speeds, consciousness and self/ego-destruction. We will either save or lose ourselves. We are in a crucial and determining phase for our future. Much love XO

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Shelly Bullard

Thank you for your comment, Alexandra. Glad you realized that where you were headed wasn’t right for you. Speaking of Eckhart, I love how he talks about his process of writing the Power of Now (writing a book is similar to building a business in many ways). He said, rather than feeling like he had a book to write and forcing it into existence, he let the book be written through him. In other words, he had the patience and lack of ego ;) to fully trust the process, and to allow Source to work through him it whatever way It wanted to. Which is why the book is so phenomenal and so pure. I use what he says above as I move forward in my own business and writing – choosing to not force anything into existence, and finding trust that what wants to come through me, will.

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kd12

hi shelly — enjoyed this; very real. i’ve recently been reading the teachings of Abraham & there is a point made in the teachings about contrasts in the world: good/bad, dark/light, consciousness/ego, joy/sadness, etc. Abraham’s teaching is that contrast helps us focus our attention (vibration) on what we want versus what we do not want. The Law of Attraction always answers our focus.

When I begin feeling negative, critical, judgmental, I am now aware that my feelings are vibrating towards what I don’t want. I only know this because I have seen what I do want, which is offered by the contrast.

I think you’ve just been through a big area of contrast — feeling off in the company of the ego. And you were/are so aware of that that you bounced right back to what you do want & what makes you feel good. That’s why you are such an awesome, inspiring teacher!

We were born into this amazing world of contrasts because we knew it would help us choose our focus. Feeling good is where it’s at! I’m so thankful our emotions are such true guides for this:-)

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Shelly Bullard

I love this, KD. Awesome awareness. Yes – the contrast is necessary in that way and guides us to know what we want/what we don’t want. What’s interesting is I’ve become very good at manifesting, and I’ve realized that unless what I’m manifesting is fully aligned to my connection to Source, it’s really not going to fulfill me. That’s where the ego tricks us – its says, “When you get this, then you’ll feel good.” I caught myself following that lie, and now feel recommitted to the path. Thanks so much for your comment and process – I really enjoyed reading what you said above. xoxo

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John Nyman

My mind runs at 50% when I CONNECTICUT is the way..Reason:it’s a job to get the money you need
to make your life work for you..Now? I don’t care about objects that you think make
Your life happy.. But some do..But life doesnt care. So do not overwork yourself, to
Much to lose.. Comr to a place you enjoy after working.And take advantage of
The people you care about, CONNECTION
Mind–body–spirit. WORK WITH FEEL IT BE IT..YOU WILL LOVE IT..Thanks John..

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Tlami

Thank you Shelley for this, I was going through my own rock bottom, missing important deadlines, not following through, letting things pile, just because I am going through a difficult period, and of course the ego has taken charge! I read your email and have managed to get some things out, feeling better than I have been in a while!! Very grateful that you took the time to share this with us, very brave of you!!

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Angela

I so appreciated this post! Every once in a while, you just need to slow down, get real, and it’s SO refreshing, to hear – although a person may have it together, no one is perfect, and money is not going to solve everything.

The honesty of this post was exactly on point to what I needed to hear at the time! Thanks for always consistently being yourself, and therefore passing on permission for others to be themselves too.

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Sara

Maybe the problem is not so much the ego but lack of owning what we are doing. If you want what you want, go ahead and want it without shame. Burnout is sometimes part of going after goals with intensity. The body will wear out eventually.

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Shelly Bullard

Ego = lack of consciousness = inability to see what you’re doing. What I want continues to change as I do – my practice is to try to line up with my truth as authentically as I can.

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Sara

I agree, ego is lack of consciousness. Or at least unhealthy ego is. The healthy ego is Conscious and aware with an intact sense of self.

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Sara

Basically if a person’s real intention or dream is to be the next enlightenment superstar, just admit it to yourself and others. People can feel the truth behind it all. We know when we are owning our true motivation or not. The tension and burnout may be from the disconnect. There is a reason why moguls who make no apology for their reason for doing things (Snookie openly told people she was going to be famous before she was and owned it when she was is an example of this), versus those who aren’t transparent with themself and others . . . may not burnout as much. Done have statistics but that transparency helps avoid inner battles.

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Ada

Shelly, thank you. Thank you for being a good voice in my head. I was stuck but you just whispered “move”.

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Elena

Great article as usual Shelly! I am a perfectionist and a very anxious person. I’m wondering if you can speak to my issue: I am soooo hard on myself anytime I think I make any kid of mistake or decision where someone may not respond favorably. I am scared that by making a mistake or wrong decision, I ruin my destiny, my life. This applies to all aspects of my life. If I really care about something (my work, boyfriend, etc.) I beat myself up trying to make sure I don’t mess it up. Any thoughts on how to work towards changing that? Thank you!

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Shelly Bullard

Yes – you’re trying to control outcomes of life because you’re scared. You’ll overcome this pattern when you start to tune-into the voice of Truth within you and let it guide you. As you do, you’ll know that you can’t go wrong. Decisions will become easy because you will be guided. It’s all about surrender, which is probably the last thing you want to do. But that’s your growth edge: letting go.

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Amanda

I remember having four calls with you back in 2014.
Your site and message resonated with me, and I was drawn to your energy. You were the start of my journey towards my awakening and understanding of the need for self love in personal growth.
Since then, I ended an unhealthy relationship and have found genuine happiness and more love for myself. I started your Manifest Love course early last year, but wasn’t ready to be with anyone except myself at the time, and am looking forward to starting that again in the near future to also manifest more love for myself within my own relationship with me.
I am also working down a path of helping others–I graduated from IIN in September and am currently in Marie Forleo’s B-School. In trying to figure out what I want my business to look like, to really mean, how I want to help others, you are constantly on my mind because of how much you helped me.
This is the first time I’ve visited your site in over a year, and I was glad to read this article. It reminded me of the type of coach I want to be–a human being, like everyone else, one who practices humility and gratitude, one who is honest about their own struggles with these real issues, and one that is fully aligned with their source, purpose, and authentic self. One like you.
Thank you, thank you for the work you do and for the energy you put out in the world. So much love.

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Shelly Bullard

Wow Amanda, this is SO touching. Really – thank you so much for your comment. I remember working with you and I love hearing how you’re evolving into Truth, Truth, Truth that you are. So beautiful. Many blessings and keep me posted on how your business evolves. I’m sure it will be amazing.

Love,
Shelly

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Karla

Great article, do you have any plans to write a blog on getting sober and or a course on how you did it? Thank you!

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Kasia

Dear Shelly,

I love your article as always. I wonder if this “tune-into connection with Truth process” is proper for somebody like me. I’m after divorce with 2 little children, no work, living with parents in small town in Poland. I have almost nothing (exept kids). I love this path that you decribe here on your blog but I always think that it is for somebody who has a kind of stable life and just want to have it easier or more beautiful. Do you think it can help me to re-build my life?

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