Brittany's Burnout Story
I'm never quite sure how to start these kinds of things, but what I do know is that when we’re ready, there is power in sharing our stories… so here we go. 🤍
This chapter begins a few years into my entrepreneurial journey with Vive, which began in 2013. It was a whirlwind of excitement and adventure and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was intentionally creating a life aligned with a deeper sense of purpose. My dharma. My destiny. Though I definitely didn't have that language at 23. 😉
Two years later, in 2015, I left a traumatic relationship of nearly eight years and asked for divorce, opened two new stores shortly after, experienced deep financial insecurity, all while engaging in harmful patterns of behavior. Avoidance, numbing, perfectionism, you name it, I’ve likely experienced it… often because I didn't know at the time how to cope with the mountain of stress I was experiencing on top of the ancestral and childhood trauma I was carrying.
Needless to say, it was a lot.
In early 2017, I started to get myself back on track after a powerful plant medicine ceremony. I got into therapy, started practicing yoga again, learned how to meditate and while things definitely improved, I was still experiencing intense anxiety and stress overload. In 2018, I knew something had to change and that same year we closed the two stores I had opened three years prior. The truth is I considered closing entirely because I was so exhausted. If it hadn't been for my current partner Craig, Vive wouldn't be here. It was his encouragement and sight set on the future that kept us going.
In 2019, we remodeled Vive and she became the beautiful, light-filled neighborhood shop that I had always envisioned. We simplified our operations and for the first time in five years, I felt like I could take a deep breath. I was still exhausted, but at least I could breathe.
When January 2020 rolled around, my system had reached full burnout. I needed time and space after all I had experienced in my life to focus on myself — which felt so backwards given my conditioning — but I knew something big was coming. I had no choice but to listen to my body’s call for rest.
I had been going going going for so long, stepping away from just about everything in order to heal and re-member my spirit was equally terrifying as it was necessary. I came back to Vive periodically to help during the pandemic, but I couldn't sustain it just yet, as much as parts of me wanted to. For as much as it was difficult to watch Vive continue on without me, it was also beautiful to see my team come together and carry the torch.
From 2020-2022, I learned how to put into practice for myself everything I knew in my heart and had given to others. During that time, I also immersed myself in trauma healing education, learned about energetic frameworks for healing and greater understanding of our interconnectedness and revisited my inner path with the plants to heal my body, my spirit and my mind.
Identity death, spiritual awakening, dark night of the soul, emotional/mental/spiritual health crisis… you could call this time many things, but for me it was a process of rebirth. There was so much I had to face, feel and let go. & as difficult as this has been, what I have gained cannot be measured.
What I’d like to end this with is the recognition that while my body is still catching up with all this internal transformation that’s taken place, there is a lightness within me I didn't know could exist at this depth. I can truthfully say that nothing is too big, too dark, too messy or too much to heal from if you’re truly willing to and you stay open to grace-filled possibility.
I also know that my journey would have been a lot smoother had I found the support I needed sooner. I say this with compassion because I know in my bones we all do what we can with what we have available, we all have our unique lessons to learn and life runs on its own timeline.
I believe wholeheartedly that wellness requires full-spectrum nourishment and that’s why I’m excited to not only create offerings like the Adrenal Tonic Focus Group that can support our physical well-being, but advocate for emotional, mental and spiritual health too.
To me, this all distills down to exploring how we’re relating to ourselves, each other and what we’re all a part of. Remembering what’s real and honoring what is sacred, recognizing that "being nourished" goes far beyond what we physically eat. Nourishment is about connection to the earth, our bodies and what rests inside our hearts.
I thought my time with Vive had come to a close, but I’m grateful to be here and see what wants to be co-created. What I do know for sure, is I’m devoted to doing things differently in the world.