“Ones you have started to let go the only way is to continue”
This was something I didn’t realize in the beginning of my “road to recovery”. It was felt as if I was on an endless slide with some flat bits on my way down. On these flat bits I thought every time.: “I am at the bottom”, but NO, at a certain point the slide down continued.
Creating life experiments was something I started enjoying more and more when I felt better during my recovery. People who have been going through a burn out in some point in their life might know that you’ll have panic attacks on a regular bases. These panic attacks are very very scary. But already quiet fast I was aware that this was part of the path I was on. To have my focus, “discovering my active – outdoors – designer – learner ME”, made going through these panic attacks easier. They were still awful but sticking to the goal made the pain of letting go bearable.
I think I cried a bucket full of tears last year. As I allowed my self to really find out what I am made of and who I am, at some point there is no way back and you have to go al the way. I was lucky to have amazing friends and colleagues that allowed me to go al that way and supported me in every step.
So where does design come in, in this letting go stuff?
As a designer you make prototypes or design experiments to learn from. At some point you designed a vision, a strategy or a concept and then the next step is to realize this. As every designer knows this is an iterative process you go through. Building prototypes and experiments and more important test them, allow you to discover what is really relevant and important to your design and what is redundant. You need to ‘Peel the Union’ to get to the core. That is probably why a lot of designers work according to ‘a less is more’ philosophy.
During your life you collect a lot of mental things in your brain that have the power to guide you away from your core values. This can have multiple reasons, work, friendships, relationships, opinions of others etc. And that is all logical, but when facing a burn out confronts you with all that clutter in your brain.
So designing these life experiments and test them allowed me to recognize the relevant stuff that I am made of and forced me to let go of all the redundancies.
“I was really curious to learn more about myself and find my core.”
In the next couple of blogs I shall show examples of what these experiments looked like in both my personal as my working life.
Meanwhile I leave you with Matt Simons – Catch & Release
Previous Re-design your life blogs
Author: Jeroen Spoelstra
Featured image: Jeroen Spoelstra