February is a good month to talk about love – self-love. This is a topic that so many of us struggle with (me included) and it is vitally important for our overall health. We must love and care for ourselves first in order to love and care for anybody else. It may seem selfish but it is completely necessary. I recently had a personal “ah-ha” moment that helped me understand how not caring for myself directly affected my health. It was the perfect explanation of how Traditional Chinese Medicine works. Now, I already knew all of this but until I saw it play out in my own body it didn’t really click. I will need time to build a video to explain it, but this idea is what prompted this article. It took me decades to learn this lesson but I’m finally getting it and I’m finally making self-care a top priority. I hope I can inspire you with an easy exercise to get you on the right track.
Some of the best advice I got came from a client. She told me that
“You can’t give from your cup – You can only give from your saucer . . . meaning that you need to fill your cup until it runs over into the saucer. The excess in the saucer is what you can give away without draining yourself.”
Well, my cup has been nearly empty for a long time because I’m constantly tending to everybody else instead of myself and I intimately understand the toll that has been taking on my body.
So here’s what I did. I took my favorite Mexican cup (given to me by a friend & shown in the photo) and placed it on a saucer and permanently parked it in the middle of my house so I walk by it all day long. I committed myself to doing at least one thing a day that brought me joy or something specifically for my own self-care. Every time I did, I placed a piece of macaroni into the cup. Because to me, PASTA = LOVE!. My goal is to have the pasta overflow onto the saucer every month. Full disclosure, I have yet to reach that goal but it keeps me striving. I may need to buy bigger pasta. 😉
I didn’t bring my special cup and saucer with me to Mexico but if did, my cup would most certainly be overflowing. Now the trick is to bring this beach lifestyle back to my “real” life. Always good to have a goal.
Why not give it a try yourself? If you don’t have a special favorite mug, treat yourself. Go buy the prettiest one you can find, bring it home, place it on a saucer somewhere where you are forced to see it several times a day. Decide what you will fill it with. Some ideas can be pebbles, coins, marbles, etc. Set a goal for how long you think it will take to fill it per week, day, month. Every time you do something for yourself that either brings you joy or improves your well-being, add one object to the cup.
I don’t need motivation to make me do things for my health. I am constantly doing small things all day long using my energy medicine tools. What I need the most help with is TAKING A BREAK and doing something that brings me joy. Decide what your focus should be and feel free to change it up month to month.
Here are 10 things I consider worthy of placing a piece of pasta into my “Joy”cup:
- Painting, doodling or making any kind of art
- Sitting in my infrared sauna (just to get warm)
- Listening to my customized NES meditation
- Taking a leisurely walk
- Listening to a podcast or audiobook
- Sitting in the sun (or in my bubble)
- Having a yummy treat that I wouldn’t normally
- Playing with a jigsaw puzzle
- Taking a contemplative “pause”
- Taking a reading break
Please note that I do not include the endless energy medicine things I do all day long to improve my health. I certainly could because they are self-care, however, they have become more of a habit and they don’t necessarily bring me joy.
So what are you going to put on your list? Send me a photo of your favorite cup.