You can’t pour from an empty cup.
You’ve probably heard of the old saying – the idea that often an individual is giving so much of themselves to others, to life, that there is no fuel left for them. It makes sense. It’s resonated with me at times in my life.
However recently I was struck by the idea that perhaps we are looking at this saying in the wrong way.
That actually most people have pretty full cups. That as individuals, we are full. Full of all of the things in life that make up our experience. Memories, feelings, emotions, sensations.
It’s normal to be full. It’s human.
Even though it is understandable it’s actually really challenging to walk through life so full up of your own stuff. I speak from experience. It makes sense that some of us feel weighed down by it, dragged down.
It also makes sense that because some people’s cups are so full they end up splashing their contents over those around them. And I’ve seen this so much since coming back from my training. In my own personal life and in other people’s lives. So many spillages everywhere I turn.
Continence – Self Containment
Yogic philosophy comprises the Yamas and Niyamas – a moral framework of ways to live your life in an ethical, more truthful way both internally and externally. One of the Yamas, which is relevant in terms of this cup analogy, is Brahmacharya. Continence.
We’ve all heard of incontinence right? The physical inability to contain your bodily fluids.
Sorry if anyone’s eating their lunch whilst reading this.
So continence explores the idea of self-containment from a mental and emotional standpoint. This isn’t to say that vocalising or experiencing your emotions or feelings is a bad thing.
Not at all. It just raises the idea that it is important to look after your OWN emotions (or do so with a paid professional) so that you don’t end up accidentally spilling them over someone in day to day life.
This was a HUGE learning for me during my teacher training. It was a huge revelation to realise that from an emotional standpoint I was quite incontinent. I expected those around me to listen and burden a lot of my emotional weight, because I didn’t have the tools to work though my stuff alone. And my goodness I wanted to be heard.
And because I expected this from people, a lot of time was taken up with my stuff. How I was feeling, what I was struggling with, my experiences, my fears, my pain. And so often there wasn’t a lot of room for anyone else’s stuff.
Upon reflection I realise that I was bonding with people through my PAIN. And they were bonding with me through theirs. And it was a shock to realise this. A huge shock.
I learned in my training that I could HEAR MYSELF. My own listening and recognition was enough. I wanted to step back. Take a breath. Use the practices I’d learned to process my emotions. Navigate my own way through them. And when I’d ‘figured it out’ a little bit THEN share with those close to me.
To share from a place of GROWTH.
To not emotionally dump onto those I love the most, but to step back, breathe, do my practice, process, cry, journal, think, navigate. And then tell them – ‘wow I’ve just had a wonderful realisation and learning I would love to share with you.’
And it is from this place I make the overflowing cup reference. That often people are so full of their own stuff that they do not see how much space they take up.
How can anyone maintain balance if the contents of their cup are dragging them to and fro? How can an individual interact from a place of level headedness and calm if their internal landscape is so swamped?
What would it be like if your cup was a little less full? Would it be easier to find your centre? To find that sense of balance? To feel less heavy? To be less likely to spill over?
Lightening the Load
For me that is the aim. To help people empty their cups. To rid themselves of the things that drag them down. To empty out the heaviness – trauma, pain, stress, anxiety, fear, restlessness, anger, insecurity, overwhelm.
To lighten their load and allow them to reconnect to all of the beauty and wonder and truth they also hold within. Their light, their flame – which may have dimmed just a little because of all they have been burdened with.
And that is the beauty of body-based practices – they release the toxicity in our bodies (our cups if you will) and leave us less full. Through incredibly simple practices our nervous system can be rewired, our heaviness is slowly released and our lives become more manageable, more joyful and less heavy.
This was exactly my experience during my training and it is such a blessing to have come back and be working with others to do exactly that. One client messaged me after a recent session telling me she felt so much relief. Emotions and sensations often come up during and after sessions and the release and relief felt by clients is clear to see. They are lighter once they leave.
Another client told me after our session ended she felt so much more ready for the day now. That she felt supported and safe, able to cry, to hold herself and know that I was there guiding her.
My sessions are a safe space. You are so welcome with me to be yourself.
I know these practices work. They have 100% changed my life. And I am so passionate about helping others experience them, release what they no longer need and reconnect to the unending beauty they hold inside.
You are so worthy and so wonderful.
Take good care.