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The Moment of Break True

13th March 2017

Burn Out Forces You to Stop

Sometimes when I tell people about my experience of burn or I relate someone else's story, I notice some listeners' discomfort and desire to distance themselves from the topic. Their comments suggest 'how could someone let that happen' or 'this couldn't happen to me'. And yet, people continue to fall into this trap of burn out, a state of complete physical and emotional exhaustion from too much stress or over-working, not minding 'self' or not addressing some trauma or need.

The fact is, many people do not recognise the signs that they are heading for burn out. Even if they do know the signs, they fail to register that the worst case scenario might happen to them.

From my own experience, burn out was a very distressing and humbling experience. I thought I was getting ahead by over-working myself but instead my depleted health forced me to stop and put me at the bottom of the ladder metaphorically.

My Terrifying Moment of Burn-Out

The year was 1999, I didn’t heed the signs that all was not well. I knew nothing about self-care or mindfulness back then. Mental health was a taboo topic. I worked day and night to keep up with my work as a teacher.

That particular year, I happened to have been time-tabled in a way that that meant every class I was given was doing end of year exams. The 'mock' exams were coming and all papers were elected to be corrected by teachers in the school, in our own time.

We all experience the demands and pressures of work from time to time but when aspects of our health and wellbeing are not being addressed, stress takes its toll. Truth is, I had been experiencing cycles of mild depression and anxiety for years. I had accepted these states as if they were part of my personality, that’s how misguided I was.

Finally, a wave of despair took hold. I was catapulted into a chaos of unrestrained emotions, it was both tremendous and frightening. I wept continuously for a week. Prior to that moment I had been supressing a deep sadness, afraid that if I cried, I might not be able to stop. I did eventually stop and that was when things started to change for the better.

Breaking True

For the first time in my life, I dared to consider what I really wanted for myself. I left my teaching career (of Science and Maths) behind and moved to the city. Taking temporary office work meant I could use my evenings to explore other options such as finding ways to improve my health and wellbeing, while exploring the creative practices that intrigued me.

One morning, when I had the house to myself. I did something I hadn’t done since my teens. I got some art material ready and asked myself this question: 'Who is the person inside, who wants to be seen and heard? A blank canvas starred back at me. After some loose sketches and determination, I started to paint. I was amazed at what emerged.

Break True boldly stated her intentions through the blue and menacing swirls. She appeared fearless and strong. I felt her power as I painted her. It was just a glimpse. I was reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi:

"All that appear and happens about and around us is uncertain, transient. But there is a supreme being hidden therein as a certainty and one would be blessed if one could catch a glimpse of that certainty and hitch one’s wagon to it. The quest for that Truth is the summum bonum of life."

Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi, An Autobiography Page 250

The Importance of Seeking Authenticity

Break True had given me a glimpse of what I was to become. My transformation took time, as it does for anything lasting and worthwhile. Years later my refined version of Break True painting found its perfect owner, an inspiring woman who had also transformed herself and who continues to inspire others.

Break True is a reminder of the importance of seeking authenticity. By being more true to ourselves we make it easier for others to be themselves, eventuality we see the transformation in society.

Break True is currently available as a limited edition print. It is presented with a certificate of authenticity and can be shipped worldwide. It’s a popular art print with clients who have initiated the process of transformation in their own lives and it has been purchased as a gift to provide inspiration to people starting out on that journey.

I work with people who want to realise their goals and dreams. I provide books, e-learning programmes, personalised coaching and mentoring services to help you get started or back on track. Check out the options below or join Authentic Path Explorers.

Caroline Cunningham

Transforming your life is possible at any age, my own journey is a testimony to that. I believe authenticity and wellness are intrinsic to success in all areas of life. It takes courage and passion and they are within you, waiting to for the spark to set them alive. When you read my posts I hope you will get sense of my capacity to help you to succeed with your dreams and goals. Check out my books, online courses and personal wellness programmes designed to guide you towards the most powerful authentic version of yourself. Learn more about my journey here.

Testimonials

See what people say about our company.
  • I Discovered My Passion

    I was stressed with a lot going on in my life. I needed to find space to clear my mind. Caroline helped me to relax. Then, by asking me a few relevant questions I got an ‘aha moment’. I left with an idea for starting a new business doing something I really care about. I discovered my passion and left feeling energised.

    M. Ryan, Canada

  • More Aware of Signs of Stress & Anxiety

    The biggest benefit of the coaching programme was having someone to listen to me, who ‘gets’ what’s going on with me. Caroline helped me to put in place a step by step self-care routine. Also, I’m more aware of the signs of anxiety and stress now and am able to do things that reduce their effects.

    Sarah-Jane, Carlow, Ireland

  • Authentic Path Inspiration

    I recommend Caroline Cunningham to anyone seeking the path of authenticity, whatever way that manifests itself. I’ve heard nothing but exceptional reviews of her reflexology therapy, as a seeker of the light myself, I find Caroline very inspiring.

    Rachel Nolan, Yogiberry, Carlow

  • So Inspiring

    Caroline's passion and creativity in everything she does is so inspiring. Her enthusiasm will certainly guide you to success.Caroline's passion and creativity in everything she does is so inspiring. Her enthusiasm will certainly guide you to success.

    Kerry Manning Author

  • A Fresh New Perspective

    Caroline's Seven C’s to Calm offers a fresh, new perspective on how we view our anxiety with a workbook to help track, monitor and record your progress. A simple and effective approach in helping you in reclaiming your anxiety-free self!

    Krystal Long, Mental Health & Wellness Facilitator, Ireland

  • Invites Peace & Tranquility

    Caroline poems are soothing and inspiring. Her words have the power to captivate and charm the soul. Connecting with Nature is a very effective way to reduce symptoms of stress, because it slows down the mind and helps the body to relax. Reading poetry is an instant way of inviting peace and tranquillity into your life. Caroline combines both in ‘The Whisperings of Nature’.

    Gloria Mc Breen, We Are Holistic, Ireland

  • Opening Up to Life’s Wider Possibilities

    I recommend Caroline for her creativity and ability to open one up to wider possibilities in life.

    Mairin O’Rourke, Co. Wicklow

  • Importance of Time for Self Care

    Caroline’s four week well-being workshop opened my eyes and made me realise the importance of having time for myself. I cannot help anyone else if I cannot help myself.

    Mag, Co. Carlow

  • Learning to Relax & Listen

    I really enjoyed the workshops and would like to continue. I learned how to relax more and to listen better and I made new friends. I highly recommend Caroline as a facilitator.

    Katrena Blake, Hacketstown, Carlow

  • I Discovered My Passion

    I was stressed with a lot going on in my life. I needed to find space to clear my mind. Caroline helped me to relax. Then, by asking me a few relevant questions I got an ‘aha moment’. I left with an idea for starting a new business doing something I really care about. I discovered my passion and left feeling energised.

    M. Ryan, Canada

    More Aware of Signs of Stress & Anxiety

    The biggest benefit of the coaching programme was having someone to listen to me, who ‘gets’ what’s going on with me. Caroline helped me to put in place a step by step self-care routine. Also, I’m more aware of the signs of anxiety and stress now and am able to do things that reduce their effects.

    Sarah-Jane, Carlow, Ireland

    Authentic Path Inspiration

    I recommend Caroline Cunningham to anyone seeking the path of authenticity, whatever way that manifests itself. I’ve heard nothing but exceptional reviews of her reflexology therapy, as a seeker of the light myself, I find Caroline very inspiring.

    Rachel Nolan, Yogiberry, Carlow

  • So Inspiring

    Caroline's passion and creativity in everything she does is so inspiring. Her enthusiasm will certainly guide you to success.

    Kerry Manning Author

    A Fresh New Perspective

    Caroline's Seven C’s to Calm offers a fresh, new perspective on how we view our anxiety with a workbook to help track, monitor and record your progress. A simple and effective approach in helping you in reclaiming your anxiety-free self!

    Krystal Long, Mental Health & Wellness Facilitator, Ireland

    Invites Peace & Tranquility

    Caroline poems are soothing and inspiring. Her words have the power to captivate and charm the soul. Connecting with Nature is a very effective way to reduce symptoms of stress, because it slows down the mind and helps the body to relax. Reading poetry is an instant way of inviting peace and tranquillity into your life. Caroline combines both in ‘The Whisperings of Nature’.

    Gloria Mc Breen,
    We Are Holistic, Ireland

  • Excellent Mentor - Feeling Boosted

    Caroline is gifted and is clearly an excellent mentor & I will work more with her in the future. Caroline boosted me to get onto the right track very quickly, without me even realising. This means Caroline was very able to make me understand what I needed to do. (Focus for Success Programme).

    Alison MacColl, Reflexology Therapist

    Importance of Time for Self Care

    Caroline’s four week well-being workshop opened my eyes and made me realise the importance of having time for myself. I cannot help anyone else if I cannot help myself.

    Mag, Co. Carlow

    Learning to Relax & Listen

    I really enjoyed the workshops and would like to continue. I learned how to relax more and to listen better and I made new friends. I highly recommend Caroline as a facilitator.

    Katrena Blake, Hacketstown, Carlow

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