The idea of sacred selfishness has come up for me again, in several different ways recently.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was teaching my Intro to Meditation class through the Wiccan Seminary, we were discussing how many of the students had stumbled in their meditation practice. They had been doing well, and then life jumped up and meditation fell by the wayside. I’ve been there, on more than one occasion. We talked about needing to take time to fill our own cup, so we could continue to share with the other people in our life. Meditating each day is a form of sacred selfishness, giving to yourself first. In a way, it can be seen as a responsibility to make sure your reserves are not depleted before giving to or assisting others.
In class we also talked about “giving from your saucer.” The concept is that we all have a limited amount of energy in our cup. When we help others, we use up some of that energy. We give them some of our reserves out of our cup. The goal is to keep your cup so full it overflows into your saucer. Then you give from the saucer.
The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me. It is our busiest time of year at work, and I didn’t really get my day off last Sunday, for a positive event. Which essentially meant I just “worked” for two weeks straight. I was really feeling the lack of “down time” and retreated into videos and reading, but not my school work. Theoretically, the movies and reading was to recharge my batteries. At least, that’s what I told myself.
Really, I was escaping. I didn’t want to deal with my course work. I didn’t want to deal with much of anything, including how tired I was. I wanted to be mindless for a bit (television is excellent for that). I didn’t even want to fill my cup.
Thankfully, this past Sunday was an actual day off. I slept in. I talked with friends. I sat outside, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the grass beneath me. And I worked on my school work. I did a lot of reading.
This seems to be a pattern for me: do lots of stuff, become exhausted, check out mentally for a while, recharge. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I’m getting better at recognizing the “check out mentally” step, and the duration seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Which means there is less guilt on the back end that I “should have been doing something else”. I’m getting better at jumping right to the “recharge” step. Every once in a while, I misjudge a little – for example, I wasn’t anticipating how crazy busy (read: exhausting) the week before last was going to be at work, and I didn’t put that together with the plans for the weekend.
How do you recognize when you need to recharge? How do you fill your cup? Please post your comments below!