My beautiful friend, Duncan from Happy Guru, gave me a much needed reminder yesterday – ‘Keep your own tank full and offer the overflow to others.’ They might not be his exact words, but the essence is correct.
I spent so many years of my life people pleasing and giving, giving, giving, giving until I became utterly exhausted. I also became resentful because with all my giving to everyone there never seemed to be anyone there when I needed some giving back to (very rare for me to ask, but it happens sometimes).
It took me some time to realise that I had actually set this up in my life – people were so used to me giving and asking for nothing. I had set up a system of ‘Take from me, I have lots to give, its ok!’
Funny thing about the end of the year but I am feeling really, really tired. SO much happened in 2015, it was a life changing time in many ways and for the past few days its like the energy of the entire year has caught up with me and I’m very, very tired. Are you feeling it too?
This is where the reminder comes in.
Fill up your own tank before offering (what you don’t have to give) to others. It starts with you. Imagine you are full of light, and that light then radiates out from your very being, so bright and beautiful. You are full and have lots of light to give/gift to others without needing anything in return. Also imagine the other end of the scale, where you only have enough light to fill your big toe, and you’re trying to use that little bit of light to help others shine.
Bloody exhausting, yes?
Even if (metaphorically speaking) you only have a little bit of light in your big toe right now, that’s ok. Start there. Spend time doing the things you love, the stuff that fills you up, and over time you will notice the light filling your body bit by bit, and growing stronger and stronger. If you are very depleted this may take some time (believe me, I know), but you will get there.
Balance your life.
Work is necessary, but it doesn’t have to an ordeal. Work doing what you love. If you are not yet doing what you love it’s time to start to think about how to rearrange your life so you are (have a session with me, I’m great at working with that stuff!!)
Work (doing/working towards what you love), laugh, play, be in nature, eat well, deal with any addictions you may have (food, drugs, smoking, relationships etc etc), move your body in a way that you genuinely love to move, hug people often and deeply, feel love in your heart space for others, meditate (for your God-self sake please meditate!!!) and most importantly – love. Love your self. Love who you are. Love your body, your mind, your perfectly imperfect, amazing, beautiful, individual self.
Self love can be hard, so start by treating yourself as you would treat your most beloved friend/animal/partner/family member.
Add in anything that i have not mentioned that feels right for you.
Fill up your tank.
Fill up your tank until you are overflowing, and believe me, that overflow will be such a beautiful gift to others without you even needing to try (but offer it anyway).
I’m not one for new years resolutions, but I am going to be very mindful of keeping my tank full in 2016. And, when I feel my tank is less than full I am going to stop and check in with myself and see what it is I need to do in order to refuel and do it – no matter how long that takes.
I hope this helps to remind you to keep your tank full, too.
Keep stepping forward, Sam