16 August 2012

Conscious Living: Working Hard

This post is written by contributing author Shelly Kerry. 

Have you been working too much? Hopefully it’s doing something you love or the extra work load is bringing in the financial support you need to pursue your goals. Sometimes it's neither and it can be painful.  However, this can be reality. Not everyone has a second income to rely on. Not everyone is in the right financial place to pursue their dreams full-time.

I have been that person for some time now. Knowing that I am working hard towards creating something incredibly wonderful often pulls me through. However, there are days when optimism is not so easy and I feel tired.  This is when I have to step back, rely on my own advice and regroup.  Here are some simple yet life changing reminders to use if you find yourself in this same place.

You will get sick if you work too hard
Sorry but my Grandmother’s advice is true. It happened to a friend of mine earlier this year. 80 hour work weeks, 40 + doing what she really didn’t want to be doing, left her with four days of vertigo. I had no idea but vertigo is a really big bummer. What it did offer her was days of being in bed and realizing she couldn’t go on like this anymore. She is super ambitious, obviously, and the other 40 hours a week was being spent growing what has become a super successful business. I believe that getting sick was her body saying, “Damn it. Listen to me. You are ready to go on your own. Now do it.”

If you aren’t quite there yet that’s ok too. Give yourself a little break. Try to remember the beauty of patience. This is where I am at. I am constantly talking to myself. Everything will pay off. The power of positive thought can prevent us from moving too fast and eventually falling ill.

Creating a board or filling a scrapbook with reminders of your end goals with the word Patience in big bold letters at the top can be a great tool. Keep it someplace handy.

Photo: kanelstrand
Tweak the way you think
You have a job that pays fairly well but you really don’t love it. The people you work with are great. It is not an unhealthy environment. It just isn’t what you want to be doing. However, it offers you the freedom to do so many other things. In rough economic times, it offers stability. 

Two words of advice that I am constantly reminding myself – Be grateful.  You have a job.  As of July 2012, the unemployment rate in the United States is at 8.3%. This is not great. This alone can be depressing but can also be a great motivator to creating something of your own.

Bottom line, the power of positive thinking is vital here. Think daily about all the positive ways your current position is helping you. Does your current job offer you great benefits? Are you able to spend all holidays and weekends with your family? I don’t think I have to tell you all the benefits of positive thinking.  Not only can it help you appreciate your current situation but it can also keep you out of what I call the negative hole.  Make a list of everything that is good right now. Make a promise to say three things you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep.

The negative black hole
If you have never fallen in the black hole then I want to meet you and pinch your arm to make sure you are real. It isn’t a pretty place. Not everyone is comfortable with sharing their black hole experience and that is ok. However, if you think no one knows the only person you are kidding is yourself.  It starts with one negative thought and sometimes it lasts only 5 minutes, sometimes a day, a week and sadly for some a life time. 

This hole can be paralyzing if you let it. And don’t get me wrong, it is ok to be negative sometimes. It’s normal. It’s your recovery that matters.  Have you set up ways to recognize when this is happening to you? What are your triggers? Is it a certain person? Do not hang out with them when you start to feel this way. Is it a poor diet? What are the beginning signs of not feeling well?

I am an optimistic person but I am also super sensitive. My emotions are very obvious. I found the beauty of connection and laughter a long time ago and it saves me every time. If your super negative energy is filling the office and you find yourself at lunch alone then apologize. Admit you have been cranky, make your mates some cookies and laugh about it. You aren’t alone.
Spend time finding your own ways of creating happiness.



Pat yourself on the back for working so hard.

Be thankful that you have dreams.

Give yourself a break and rest.

Shelly is the motivation and creativity side of Lightbox SF. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service - healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.

Shelly will be pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University in 2013. Connect to Shelly via twitter or facebook.


  1. I work four part-time jobs to make ends meet. It's stressful and is making me physically and emotionally ill. I just turned 30 and am feeling like time is running out. There are so many things I want and need to do, but just can't seem to find the time to get them all done. It's hard to be brave and positive when your insides are churning like a tornado at sea.

  2. Oh darling. I can totally relate. This is a great time to seek out support from your community - friends or family. If you want to talk more about this I can listen. Feel free to email me at shelly@lightboxsf.com
    Big hugs to you today. Find some time over the next days whether it just be 10 min to do something just for you

  3. This post is so true. Practicing patience, being grateful, and avoiding negative thoughts are important for success in your business. I just finished up working on a huge order that I have been working on everyday for weeks, and I need step back and take a break. Thanks for this post, what a great reminder that taking a break is not only nice, it's necessary.
    Everyday Inspired

  4. Thanks Valerie! Hope you have a few, even if very short, lovely breaks this week!