Last summer my overworking lead to burn-out, which spawned panic attacks – the strongest signal yet. Since then I’ve been hammering back “work” to a state where I can step away for a while. Work had got out of hand.
I built my business to allow me autonomy. I work mostly alone and everything I do is selected, optimised, effective. That’s what I tell myself. But even if I discount a half of my daily practice, (in case I am lying to myself), there still remains much good. I am not unhappy with how I have developed this path of mine. But I do want to pause. Even when things are good, we should rest.
When we build these vehicles, (businesses, careers, side-projects), we start out aiming for money or material wealth; for stability, to please a family member, or to prove something. If we’re lucky we see that these were shallow or base reasons, beyond which are truer motives that stand up more to rational rigour.
We re-actively “overfix” what has previously hurt most. Scar tissue is the default compass.
Course correction and containment is therefore essential. But it’s hard work. Society shouts at us through a gigantic megaphone – repeating; money is king, material wealth is the apex. Competition sits on one shoulder, ‘passion’ on the other, and these false gods do not let you remove your foot from the accelerator. They hunger for extremity, which leads to carnage.
But financial stability and autonomy are only one level in an infinite game. We must eat, but what then?
I’ll plant a tree when you buy my book, because trees are the great stabiliser of our environment. They make our air breathable, improve our soils, and many feed us.
I’ve burned myself out and exist in a compromised state after I dwelt in the sad truths of our species (massacres, war, environmental etc.). When I found a local contribution I could make (planting a food forest) I hit a money-requirement wall which lead me to overwork up to breaking point. I’m now processing the wave of sadness which consequently rolled in, and planting trees is the only thing that makes me feel better. So this is mostly a selfish pursuit đź™‚
This month I’m working on the launch of my first science-fiction novel Canopy Harvest, and to celebrate the release, I’m going to plant a tree for every copy pre-ordered. As this is my first book I’m not expecting flurries of pre-orders, but no matter what it takes I’m planning on planting a fruit, nut, or service tree for each, with my own two hands. You can read all about why I chose planting trees as the bonus here.