29 March 2012

Threshold of Change

I hung up the phone, exploded into flames and was catapulted into a wild and fiery place. The CEO of the art school rang me late last week, completely out of the blue, and offered me a ridiculously high paid position with increased management duties, trying to lure me back.

I worked at the art school for 16 years until I left last April to take up a position at a fast growing little college that trains art therapists and transpersonal counsellors.

Yesterday I resigned from the college and accepted the art school job. I'm going back.

Despite being extremely overworked and overwhelmed at the college, I'd been enjoying the work, the workplace and the lovely people here, or so I thought...
My yoga practice had dropped off to nothing, I hadn't attended any of Kosta's led classes lately, I've been losing weight and looking haggard, I haven't had any time or energy to do anything outside of work for quite a while (blogging included). No chance to get a conversation out of me outside of work - when I leave work I just turn off to save power...brain down, no reading, no writing, no thinking, no moving. Do not disturb.

Was I suffering from burnout?

I kept telling myself the busy period would pass and the job would settle down, but I also took heed of Glenda's warning that it probably wouldn't.

Burn out is weird - having never been there before I didn't recognise it. In my case it was caused by work overload, dealing with too many projects, processing massive amounts of information VERY fast, organising people and situations, fixing problems, writing policies, communicating information to students and teachers, juggling timetables and people, monitoring and assessing a million situations, answering queries, setting up systems, everything now, now, now, zap, wham, bang, all day long, for very long hours with no time out...until my brain started showing signs of nuclear fallout: white fuzz, drifting, meltdown.

I lost my spiritual practice, my perspective, my vision, my love, warmth and compassion, my smile. I've been in a shut down survival mode for over a month now while STILL telling myself I love the job!!!

When my former boss rang me with a job offer too good to refuse, I was torn in half, not knowing what to do. I was in labour for three long days, trying to give birth to a decision: to stay at a workplace I love, or go back to the workplace that I left.

On Monday at 5pm I accepted the new job offer almost in a fit of despair from not being able to decide!

So in three weeks I'll say goodbye to the lovely art therapy and counselling people I've been working with for the past year and return to the art school that I watched grow from a baby to an adult...this time in a more senior position. The school will be moving to larger premises at the end of this year which promises to be a very exciting leap forward. History in the making.

Now THE IRONY OF ALL THIS is that back in March 2003 I resigned from the art school, and exactly one year later in March 2004, I got a phone call from the manager, out of the blue, asking me to come back, increased pay and increased responsibilities.
So I resigned from my job and returned to the art school. See blog entry 15th March 2004.

The phone call this time was pure deja vu.
And the image of dancing through an explosion is very much how I feel right now...

A new chapter starts and the journey continues...


sarah said...

wonderfully like parenting through different stages, only you had a chance to step away into the chaos of a different family setting before stepping back to shepherd this new transition. i feel joyous for you - i sense that your deep nurturing of the creative spirit will help the art school find its way in this growth phase, AND you might even find it relaxing to hold the reins rather than be the galloping horse as you were in the college. plus being wanted, and well paid, are both just right too. may you find your meditations, your nearly-daily practice, your open-space walks, and relaxed humor rising.

nobodhi said...

Thanks for your sweet blessings Sarah. Its like a sudden gust of wind blew in, picked me up and changed my direction - for a moment I pause, breathe, review, then I let go, gather momentum and taxi out to the next runway...

Meredith said...

Sounds like you were meant to be there Sally, but needed a break. Good on you! Meredith