Sunday, March 13, 2011

Empty Your Cup Before it Overfloweth

Pretty much everyone I talk to about life balance admits that they often feel overwhelmed.  Clearly there are moments when the glass isn't half full or half empty.  It's just plain full  

A cup about to overflow.

Even the thought of not being to handle it all adds yet more pressure. Oh, the possibilities and consequences!  Judgment.  Extra mess to clean up. Suffocation. Failure. (Hello fellow overachievers!)  

Sometimes that super anxious feeling is a clue to us that we need to do less or ask for help.

When both of those options are truly off the table, our "relief" has to come from within. 

True life balance is internal.

Instead of waiting to see which next "drop" will unleash the flood, I personally find meditation to be the quickest way of mentally and emotionally emptying my cup a little bit.  

Here's an exercise I find especially helpful in those moments. Very simple. Even if you've never meditated before, this is a great one to try.   If you're already comfortable with meditation, you can take it to the next level by using different colors depending on what your focus or goal is at the time.

First, deep breathing. In past posts I've mentioned the square breathing technique.  (In for four; hold for four; out for four; hold for four.  Rinse.  Repeat.) 

You can do that or just take a few deep breaths. In through your nose; out through your mouth.  Doesn't need to be a huge ordeal, just close your eyes and breathe.   Slow, easy, deep breaths.

Now imagine that there is a little pilot light in the area of your heart. If you need a visualization to get started, picture a match or small candle being lit.

Next, picture the light gradually getting brighter and brighter... a yellow or white glow expanding bigger and bigger until it surrounds your whole body. Then, imagine the glow is radiating out into the room around you,  through to the sky and then shining out into the universe like a beacon of light.

As you do this, feel the feelings of harmony, gratitude and happiness. You can even think of a specific happy moment. Whatever helps you replace the usual chaos of life with peaceful, joyous, thankful feelings. Let the positive emotion wash over you.  Bask in it.   

Allow all the muscles of your face, neck and shoulders relax.  Let that goofy smile to take over.  Laugh even.  (Yes, you do look silly.  It's okay.  You're allowed.)

When I do this, I usually picture my kids. There is a special feeling of intense joy and peace I feel when I'm snuggling them close, kissing their hair and feeling so filled with love that nothing in the world could ever take it away.

If you're into affirmations (which I am), you can repeat something to yourself like, "I am radiating love and light; attracting health, happiness and prosperity into my life now."

So be it, so it is.

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Tammy said...

I think I will imagine myself sitting smack in the middle of that awesome picture you put with this. I will try that affirmation too. What is the rince in the square breathing technique? Saying that sometimes our cup is just plain full is a good way to describe that feeling. I feel. That way a lot. Lately mine feels filled with fat. Meditation alone may not cut it for me but it always helps. Perhaps I will also help to remember what you say about balance coming from within. Getting moving wouldn't kill me either. :)

Sarah said...

Ahh...perfect timing. Thank you!

Charlene said...

Tammy - I'm not 100 % sure about the "rinse" either... But they always have it on shampoo bottles. :-). Or, you can think of it as "reset.". Or just chalk it up to my weird sense of humor and ignore. Lol.

Sarah - thanks for stopping by. Glad I could help !

Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

I'm relaxed just reading this LOL.

Kristi ~ ArtSea said...

I've never officially "meditated" but since I've moved here to the Caribbean I've found myself (everyday) just sitting, not really thinking about anything in particular, and just enjoying "being". I think I needed to seriously decompress after living in the fast paced, stressful New England... And this has been the best therapy! So I Think I can understand why meditation works, you just need to let thoughts and feeling go... Melt away!

foxy said...

That visualization is just perfect! Maybe I'll try to use that during labor...

Karen said...

The breathing technique is great. Thanks for suggesting it, I'd forgotten. I liked the "rinse" part. hahaha

@ foxy-When I was in labor (3 times)I used Lamaze-type breathing in conjunction with just "staring a hole" [focusing real hard] on a spot on the ceiling. It really helped. Good luck!

Electronic Medical Records said...

Health is all about having a very balanced lifestyle which is stress free and cool to handle.the Yoga or exercise a balanced diet and obviously a work life that you can handle takes care of your over all health.

Robin@CrashingTheBoy'sClub said...

Thank you for this post. I would always hear people say, "Oh, just meditate." But, you actually made is sound so simple. I don't need to clear a room, light candles and play some soothing music. For a mom who already feels frazzled, if you tell me that I have to find the time to do these things just to be able to meditate would push me over the edge. LOL!

From now on, I'll just use the imaging that you mentioned and not worry about the rest. Thank you for simplifying things.

G said...

I basically live by the cupeth thing. How can you learn something if you think you know everything.

Amandah said...

Great post! I've been feeling overwhelmed for the last few months due to family circumstances. I do a lot of deep breathing to return me to my center. It helps.

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