You cannot pour from an empty cup
As I type this, I am on a boat in Brighton, on a family getaway for a few days. It is so wonderful to get a change of scene, so wonderful to be relaxing... which is why I wanted to talk about the importance of self-care in this blog. We all know we should but so few of us really do put self-care as the priority it needs to be. Women especially are all too willing to put their own needs, time and energy as the last priority, always choosing to give away our time, our skills, our life force and our energy to other people. Men, as well, put the needs of others above their own at times but I think men are better at 'switching off' because they've been programmed by the 9 to 5 working mentality. So they 'clock off' at 5pm and put their feet up. Women, on the other hand, have not had this time-based working week. Traditionally, women are on the go from the moment they wake till the moment they put their heads on the pillows. 'A women's work is never done', as that awful phrase claims. I suggest we throw this idea in the rubbish now. Because there is another pertinent maxim, which is 'You cannot serve from an empty vessel' or 'You cannot pour from an empty cup'. I'm not sure where these phrases originated but the author Eleanor Brownn summed it up well when she said:
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
And I am saying this to you because I know I have to learn this lesson myself! I tend to run myself ragged for family and friends but as well I find it hard to say 'no' to strangers who call or email me for help with themselves, their loved ones, or their animals... but who are not able to pay me for my work. Some of these people are indeed in dire straits and fundamentally, I am a healer, this is my purpose, so I heal them as best I can. I was put on this Earth to offer healing to others through the gifts I've been given by God. However I know that a balance must be struck and I am now trying to strike that balance a little better as recently I've been over-giving and burning myself out as a result. I cannot be an effective healer if I am burnt out and exhausted. As well, I have my own bills to pay like everyone so I need to earn money from my work. This is what I am focusing on at the moment -- filling my own cup again so that I have plenty to offer others. Thank goodness this mini-break is by the sea, the energies of the ocean are magical and life-restoring.
So, I invite you to take a moment's introspection. Where are you leaking your energy? How are you leaking your power? What or who is draining you? Where is there an imbalance in give and take? Most importantly, how can you alter this to find the balance and refill your cup to overflowing once again?
Here are some tips:
1. If you feel your heart contract when someone asks you to do something, then gently say 'no' or apply conditions, eg, 'sure, if you could help me with ...' or 'sure, my hourly rate is...'
2. Sleep more. Go to bed an hour earlier with a good book.
3. Ask for help and delegate - why do you have to do it all yourself? Watch out for 'martyr syndrome' in yourself and ask yourself if your need to be indispensable - your need to be needed - is linked to subconscious beliefs of low self-worth or not being loved (these are very common, just FYI).
4. Nourish yourself properly. How can you expect to have health, vitality and energy if you don't put quality foods into your body? If you're surviving on caffeine and cheap sandwiches.
5. Prioritise your self-care in whatever way it means to you
Do you have any other suggestions? I'd love to hear them, put them in the comments below!
Lots of love, Zoë xx
PS I am offering guidance and healing sessions over Skype/Zoom/Facetime/BOTIM etc. - get in touch if you'd like to book an appointment! Just click here. For Dubai clients, I've found that Teamviewer and ToTok also work very well.
PPS To add names to my free, distant healing group, go to my Facebook page here www.facebook.com/zoehendersonhealer
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Intuitive healer, horse whisperer and animal communicator who works with the angels to offer healing and guidance to all beings.