Filling Your Well
Over thanksgiving, I’ve really had a chance to reflect on some things. While it is a time to acknowledge all the things that you’re grateful in life, it is also a great time to rest and recharge. Sometimes we give and give, but don’t notice when our own reserves are running low. We can’t give to others if our own well is empty.
The first step is to understand that the foundation of your well should be self-love. That love comes from a deep space of knowing and respect for you. We can’t give if we don’t have self-love as the foundation. People can’t appreciate you if you can’t first appreciate yourself.
The next step to building up your well is to cultivate a practice of returning to homeostasis. It’s about developing that inner stillness, despite external circumstances. It’s not about remaining like a zen Buddha all the time as we encounter unpleasant situations can stir up strong emotions (traffic in LA or any city for that matter?), but how quickly you can come back to the balance or calmness at your very core. You can develop this through the practice of mindfulness or just becoming aware of your thoughts by observing them. The function of mindfulness is to prevent unhelpful distraction and awful-izing about the future (you're already in traffic, so just enjoy those tunes/podcast). Mindfulness helps bring you back to the present moment and to that inner stillness, knowing that all situations and feelings eventually pass. Ask yourself how you can cultivate more of that in your life?
The last part to filling your well is building trust in yourself. If you say you’re going to do something, then do your best to take that action. It helps you internalize that what you say, you will do! Also, ask for what you want and need. You can’t control the answer others give, but if you don’t ask, then you’re telling yourself that it’s not ok to ask for what you really want. As we grow up, we may have been told that it’s not ok to ask for this or that. But I’m saying, be like a child that just doesn’t care. Ask for what you need. It internally reinforces that you’re willing to take care of your own needs first. Anyone has a right to say no, but you always have a right to ask. And that strengthens the trust within yourself. If your reserves are running low, see if there's some patchwork to be done in your well.