This concept is widely known but how many of us actually practice replenishing our cup?
How many of us feel guilty when we take time for ourselves? How many feel bad about spending money on nothing but you?
It is such a shame that some of us have difficulty in taking time for ourselves, feeling like it’s an ‘indulgence’ or something we must fit into a time slot, only if everyone else is taken care of. I hear people saying all the time, ‘when I get time I’ll...' ‘when I have done all of my things on my to do list, then I’ll…’ or ‘when I’ve paid/got …then I’ll treat myself with something if I have any money left over’
Just listen to those last statements again, when I have time, if I have any money left, treat myself, when I’ve done everything else… Wow you’re really making yourself a priority there!
When we casually say and think these things, we are emphasizing them in our unconscious minds. We are cementing the hierarchy of where you put yourself. Whilst it is totally understandable and right that we put certain things first, our children’s needs, bringing in an income to feed us, clothe and keep a roof over our heads, we can put ourselves up there too. If you do not feel comfortable with putting your needs first, think of them as equal to others needs.
When I was in the midst’s of moving from many jobs, down to focusing on just my own business last year, I had the empty cup scenario going on. Working one job, that paid my bills but unfulfilled me, another which I enjoyed but was not being my authentic self in and then trying to learn new skills, getting to grips with social media, websites, building relationships with my clients, working on myself and business, it was no wonder I felt exhausted. As well as all the other things we do without thinking like looking after a home, having a personal life, friendships and relationships going. So, it is no wonder I got to the point of feeling a little fraught and things start to slip. Patience gets tested, sleep gets lost, and in the end all aspects of my life, work and home life were suffering.
Sometimes it is about working out what your priorities are and as I most certainly aim to practice what I believe in and teach others something had to give, I had to put my own welfare first. I did redress the balance and many shifts and turns later, here I am 100% self-employed!
So, back to that cup. I have several cups, call me greedy. Maybe you can have one giant mug and make sure it’s all in there.
· Work out first what your non negotiables are, for example, mine are plenty of sleep, walking, being in nature, meditating.
· Then you can start to add the little extras that make you feel ‘whole,’ your ‘gifts to your soul’ I call them. For me they are a regular treatment of some kind, be that Reiki, massage, reflexology, or healing sessions and yoga.
· Then, sprinkle on some extras for ‘nourishing your soul’ as in things that are not thought of as ‘productive’ but time spent just being and not doing. For me they look like, laying in my hammock, reading for pleasure not education, being creative just for the enjoyment of the process not the end product.
If you start from an empty cup how can you give to others? If I don’t fill my own cup, how can I give out to others? How can I teach mindfulness and meditation if I am not authentic and practice these tools, I know work for me? Does it enable me to be more patient, grounded and balanced if I give gifts to my soul? Of course! Am I a kinder, happier person for adding on my extra sprinkles of joy that nourish my soul? You bet cha!
So, I hope you can see, fill your cup for you first and then it overflows out into the world as your compassion, your patience, your happiness to share with others. Draw on a blank sheet of paper, picture it in your mind or write down what’s in your cup, what you feel is missing and maybe you’ll be able to step back and look at the picture. Don’t judge yourself, be kind to yourself, always. Remember we are all a work in progress…
And so it is,