Refilling My Cup

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.

Give from your saucerIn 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!



Time Out

I didn’t write last week. I was traveling on the weekend, and exhausted on Monday.  I felt a bit guilty about it, because I had made a commitment to write at least one post every week.

Instead I slept in, I took a bath, I read, I did a little homework. In short, I was taking care of myself and recharging my batteries.

time outI just finished reading Kevin Sorbo’s autobiography, True Strength. In it, he tells about his brush with death. An aneurysm in his shoulder caused three strokes in short order. He went from being an active, driven over-achiever to having to rest and take it easy. He shares how difficult it was for him to admit his weaknesses, ask for help, and do nothing. And what a huge realization it was for him that resting was actually doing something.

I could relate to his story in a lot of ways. I am an over-achiever in many ways. My friends often comment that they don’t know how I do all the things I do. Sometimes I don’t even know how I do it. And sometimes I need to take time to rest. I don’t always remember to do that, though. Quite often I push myself to exhaustion. I keep going until my body forces me to rest by getting sick.

I’m almost ready for the Spring Mysteries Festival – I’ve been preparing since the beginning of January. There are a few things I have left to finish, and a little bit of memorization left. I’m very excited to have a part, and I am truly enjoying the process. Yet there is still a small part of me that is starting to look forward to it being over – to have one less responsibility.

I’ve taken on a lot this spring. I don’t regret any of it. And I’m ready to set some of them down. I hate to admit it, especially to myself, but I’m not a superhero. I’m a mortal, and I have limits. I’m pushing those limits right now. I’m dancing on the edge. It’s good to know where my (energetic) boundaries are.

What about you? Do you know where your boundaries are? How do you find them? And how do you know when you’ve crossed them?




Sacred Selfishness

While I was taking a break from blogging, I had several opportunities present themselves to me. For example, I got to spend time with two of my spiritual mentors. That was definitely a positive!

choices and prioritiesThen there were the future opportunities. Like being part of the Human Library project at the PuSh Festival in Vancouver, or auditioning for the local production of The Vagina Monologues. Or studying more, and teaching, at Wiccan Seminary. Or being more involved with the Spring Mysteries Festival.

And once upon a time, I would have said yes to all of them. Then, in the middle of it all, I would have been falling apart and wondering why I took it all on in the first place.

One of the things I learned while I was away was that this might be a consequence of working with Inanna. She wasn’t satisfied with being the Queen of Heaven and Earth. No, she wanted to do and have ALL THE THINGS. I can totally relate. There are so many things that I would like to do or experience. Being a mortal has its limitations, though.

So I’m working on reassessing my boundaries, and taking my limitations into consideration. There are certain things that still need to happen – like going to work, and serving my coaching clients and students and my Circle. And advocating for my son to get the help he needs in school.Then I can decide on the other things I would like to do.

Part of that process involved determining what my priorities are. What do I really want to do? What would I be upset about if I didn’t get to do it? I realized that I really wanted to learn more through the Seminary, and I want to be involved in the festival. Those were my top priorities after my family, my Circle and work.

I love being able to contribute to my community. And it is not always easy for me to say no. I am starting to embrace the idea of “sacred selfishness”. That sometimes I need to do what is right for me, even if that may be at the expense of someone else. By serving my needs, and making them sacred, I am serving my community. Because I cannot contribute to my community if my cup is empty.

When was the last time you examined your priorities and your commitments? Post your comments below!