While I hate to admit it, I have an easier time with outward encouragement, service and gratitude for others, than that inner gratitude that actually supports and fills my cup.
I say this because I do struggle with this. Whether it is my nature (inner chemistry) or the psychosocial environment, this dynamic is a really strong pattern. If my cup is full, I am unstoppable, when it is drained, I feel like lying on the couch.
What comes to mind is one of the Aston Kinetics concepts that I love:
“Sequence Determines the Result.”
While men do struggle with this, I think the ladies have a much bigger burden to overcome in this department both socially and in their nature because we are programed to take care of others first.
The Holiday Season for example, when the social expectations, over commitments and challenging family scenarios come into play, the women jump in to do more, smooth it over, and make it look good at the expense of their own “cup”. The trap of women I think is over Do-ing for others before themselves ends in what I call “the empty cup syndrome”. Even though this has supposedly ended long ago we are subtler about our constantly depleted state that we stuff with things, which depletes our bank account too.
We minimize our efforts but now we do it all while running our businesses too. We actually tell ourselves we don’t have time and that self-care is some luxury item that we will be rewarded with some day….if only we give more!
So I am wondering-What is it worth to you? The cost of over giving when you are empty is not really giving- it is depleting. What small thing can you do to fill your cup every day? And while decreasing your aches and pains with a massage will do wonders, it does not have to cost a thing.
–Lady of Leisure exercise. Sit in the most cozy and comfortable place in your home sipping a warm cup of tea while leisurely flipping through a photo book or magazine for a few minutes as if you had all the time in the world?
–Getting back to Nature- go for a walk in nature! Breathe in the fresh clean air, notice the change in color all around you. Take it in.
–Spontaneous Fun-Especially filling if you say to yourself “I couldn’t possibly do that!” –Even though you secretly want to! Do you have some hidden desire for doing something fun with a friend or taking an upside down photo at Sky Candy? This was a spontaneous type of fun I indulged in (the best kind) that filled me up for days! This is the pic above!
Now for the Gratitude: Spend a few moments directed inward to think about what gratitude you have for that inner part of yourself that works so damn hard every day ~Soften and feel what is that small thing that needs fluffing and filling? Give her a little, and you and all around you will be rewarded ten fold. Then think about the other gratitudes you have and write them down, specifically. (if you need some help check out this video from Marie Forleo http://www.marieforleo.com/2014/11/powerful-gratitude-practice/
I am in gratitude for my abundant life with so many wonderful friends, family and clients like you. I am most grateful for the learning each of you brings to my bountiful table. I savor the gifts of your presence and admire your commitment to self-care.
Giving to you is an inside out and upside down proposition, I know, but it makes giving to others so much genuine and pleasurable.