Christine Arylo reminds and encourages women to access our innate wisdom and power. As the subtitle of her book says, Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered & Sustained in a Chaotic World.
We live in a culture that was “built for burnout” with systems that add to our stress and overwhelm, Arylo points out. She outlines the “external forces and internal imprints” that drain us regularly. I found the book a helpful guide to which I’ll return for help in releasing old approaches to “keeping up” and embracing practices that sustain.
The book’s introduction describes “7 Roots of Overwhelm, Burnout, and Self-Sacrifice.” Root 4 stood out for me: “Your nervous system has not been conditioned to handle the amount of information coming at you, nor the accelerating pace and intensity of today’s world, so you keep short-circuiting.” Arylo quotes Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini yoga to the West: “We do not need more information. We need the wisdom to use all the information.”
There are “twelve specific imprints at the root of the burnout, self-sacrifice, and overwhelm” Arylo says. She devotes a chapter to each, illuminating the way each is not working so that you can “release” it. Chapter 4, for instance, is “Release: Start the Day Harried and Hacked” and “Embrace: Start the Day Connected and Protected.” Throughout the book are self-awareness practices entitled “Know Yourself” with questions to consider.
So as not to be overwhelmed by the book, Arylo suggests reading a chapter every week or two. “Choose a time span that feels focused and fluid.” I found that to be wise advice.
A chart helps readers get in touch with their own behavior by rating from 1 to 10 such things as “I try to do too much in one day” and “I feel anxious when I slow down or create space to relax.” The chart really helped me wake up to my regular, non-sustainable habits.
“Success is having the courage and clarity to choose what’s aligned and true for you,” Arylo says and I wholeheartedly agree.
Throughout the book are illustrations called glyphs created by Katherine Torrini. Some are related to harmonizing practices, such as in Chapter 10: “Release: Make It All Happen Now / Embrace: Focus on What Matters.” The glyph is called “Feel Focus & Flow” and is one that could be photocopied and kept as a regular reminder. The woman in the glyph is pondering several questions. One of these is, What is needed today?
I appreciate Arylo’s reminder to stop glorifying being busy. In pre-Covid times it seemed to be the most-asked question: “Keeping busy?” And then we might go on trying to outdo one another with many examples of our busyness. Perhaps these days we can ask one another, “How are you replenishing yourself?”
Overwhelmed and Over It also reminds readers that we’re not alone. We can reach out to gather our people. “When women come together in sisterhood, with intention, shift happens,” Arylo says. Together we can embrace and celebrate our power and innate wisdom.