The Dimmer Switch Framework: How to Pursue Passion Without Burning Out

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The Challenge

I’m a creator at heart. My mind is very often coming up with new ideas to share with the world. This is such a blessing and something I am very proud of…but it can also be a curse.

Because of my creator core, I find it challenging to “turn off” my mind. As soon as I see something I admire or think of a new concept, I go into major create-mode…conjuring up all sorts of ways that I can make things a reality.

No matter what your obsession is, we all struggle to turn off our minds at times. However, learning to do so can bring so much peace and tranquility into our lives.

But you don’t want to give up what you love!

I often feel torn between staying in full creative mode and leaving it all behind. Due to the intensity that I go after new ideas with, I often feel overwhelmed. It feels like I am either all the way on or all the way off.

HOWEVER, during my recent 35 day trip around Scandinavia and my return to life back home, I learned something really important that I think might help all those other obsessors out there…

You can create a dimmer switch.

The Solution

Here’s what I mean: while I was away on my trip I found that my mind was still going a million miles an hour with all my ideas and I didn’t have any headspace to enjoy all of the amazing things I was experienced each day. This didn’t sit well with me. So I stopped, I chatted with Kasey, and I decided that I was going to give my brain a break and work hard to “turn-off” my creator-driven brain for a few weeks.

And you know what? It was SO NICE. It was challenging at first, but as soon as I found a way to enjoy what I was seeing and release the need to create things of my own, I felt so much more present and joyful. I was actually experiencing my travel experiences. It was magical. But then…

…we went home. And I was terrified. I was SO afraid to step back into my normal daily life because I knew I would fall back into the trap of my obsessive brain and leave behind the peace that I had found while away from it all. I was so afraid that I even avoided going back to my work tasks for almost a week after returning. I simply didn’t want to slip back into my old habits and my old mindset.

But you know what? I LOVE creating. I love my job, I love the clients I work with, I love what I get to do on a regular basis and how I get to make a difference in such unique ways.

So…the question was, “Can I have both?”

Can I enjoy the energy and fire that I get from creating things while still finding a way to maintain my inner peace and mindfulness? It sounded soooooo difficult…until I got talking with my therapist (who is effing amazing!) about it and she gave me a really amazing framework to use to digest the idea of getting the best of both worlds:

The Dimmer Switch

For so long I felt like my brain was either on or off. However, through this trip and taking time to think through my experiences, I now see that it is possible to install a good ole dimmer switch. Think of it as a way to smoothly transition between full creativity mode and full relaxation…I CAN have both! What a relief! And you can, too!

In all honesty, this framework is brilliant but putting it into practice is less than simple. It is going to take work to install this bad boy. It will take training to learn how to operate it…to slide easily along the scale and reap the benefits of both off and on. But I’m ready for the shift.

Have you ever felt this way? Whatever it is that feels overwhelming to you, know that you CAN dim the intensity without giving up the light. It take a little perspective, a little patience, and a LOT of practice…but it can be done.

I hope to continue sharing about my journey to being a dimmer switch master…and I hope that this framework might just help you tackle a problem you’ve been facing and find a way to enjoy your passions without burning out. It’s work every ounce of work and reflection you put into it.

Thanks for following along on my journey. Please share about your own in the comments! I’d love to hear what has worked for you if you’ve faced a similar challenge.

Always improving,


Sarina Sandstrom