“Yes, the rum is gone.”
“Why is the rum gone?”
“One, because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels. Two, that signal is over a thousand feet high. The entire Royal Navy is out looking for me. Do you really think that there is even the slightest chance that they won’t see it?”
“But why is the rum gone?
– Elizabeth Swann and Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ok, so maybe not the best quote, but it’s almost fitting and I added all to the title of this post, but sometimes you need to say it’s all gone.
There are many things that I talk to all my clients about, but one of the biggest things is self-care. Losing weight and losing inches is what we can see from health, but if you mentally are suffering size doesn’t matter. Self-care can mean different things for different people. For one person, self-care may be the action of getting their nails done every few weeks. For another person, it could mean taking time each day to read. It doesn’t have to be physical like going to the gym, but it can be. While I encourage my clients to practice self-care that is more selfish – doing something that solely benefits them, it doesn’t have to.
In December, one of my clients explained that the month was going to be busy, but it’s how she liked it. She’s religious and her faith is important to her and one way she serves her church is by playing music for services, but also for various performances through the month of December. She explained working with colleges students is like herding cats, but when it all comes together there’s a sigh of relief and a feeling of being full. While the busy schedule going from work and the gym to music rehearsals is exhausting, it’s a good exhausting.
For her, playing music, performing and giving to her faith and community fills her cup.
The more her and I talked about the symbolic drinking glass, the more I started thinking about mine. First, I like to imagine my glass is a stemless wine glass during the week and a highball glass on the weekends. Not necessarily the shot glasses needed for rum.
As a human, there are times when I feel like my cup is slightly low; however, the past three or four months, I haven’t felt like that. My brain has definitely felt like it was going explode a few times over the past semester, but I didn’t feel like I was giving away so much of me that I couldn’t replenish fast enough.
However, go back more months, go back years and there were times when I felt like I had given so much that I couldn’t give anymore or refill my cup fast enough. I find this happens with a lot of my clients.
I like working with parents. I like working with mom’s – and yes, probably because of the dysfunction of my own family, but also because I watched the behaviors of parents around me. I saw years of friend’s parents working hard so that their children – my friends – could have everything they wanted or needed without desire for more…even though as kids we were selfish and there’s always desire. While parents aren’t the only ones that deplete their cup, over the past year, I’ve seen them at least deplete it faster than others.
So, my cup? My glass? What keeps it full?
What keeps my cup full has changed over time and it should. I’m not the same person I was when I started this journey. Ideas I had about myself and others changed. Practices and beliefs I had have changed. So to me, it makes sense that the things I enjoy have changed.
FirstBeing active like with lifting, running, yoga still keep my cup full – even though there are times I lean towards one over . I find this time alone to be relaxing, especially when I’m running or going through a yoga flow because I find myself detaching and getting lost in the movement. I like numbers and that’s another reason why lifting and running keep my glass full. I can see progress through the numbers. Maybe it’s not through the immediate weight lifted, but the amount over time. Maybe I’ve increased distance or speed or time. This is something that is just for me.
SecondContinuous education and opportunity to learn like reading, writing and researching keep my glass full. As more studies are conducted and discoveries are made that challenge previously held thought, practices change. You must understand that you will always find research that supports your ideas, but you will also always find research that goes against them. Learning how to be more effective in analyzing research has made reading more fun because I can more easily determine the legitimacy of a study (where it could’ve been more effective or where there may be flaws in data). It has made the overall process of learning by being challenged in my ideas more enjoyable. We should be pushed and challenged to examine our own ideologies, and be open to understanding why others do what they do. You don’t have to agree with the beliefs of others, but as a wise communication professor of mine once said – you need to understand the argument of your opponent so you can develop your argument more thoughtfully.
When I started blogging and sharing my my journey, I felt by putting it on the screen I was being held more accountable to my goals and to myself. Not only can I be more effective in my own journey through what I’ve learned, being able to understand and talk about health concepts in a more detailed way helps me help others.
Third Directly helping others like with one-on-one coaching keeps my glass full. During the coaching process there are a few things that I believe make it rewarding: 1 a client saying they understand a concept that they didn’t before, 2 a client saying they feel like they are being successful in their goals – that they are moving in the direction they wish, 3 seeing a client become empowered and fully participating in the process. I want people to feel empowered and feel capable of taking control of their lives. I want them to feel unstoppable. Seeing changes in attitude toward self is amazingly powerful. It’s also when I start to recognize that they may not need my help anymore.
When a client and I finish working together, I always thank them to allowing me into their lives and sharing their journey with me. Yes, they paid me and I offered a service, but they also became vulnerable and put their trust and faith in me – that’s not something that’s easy to do. It’s because of this trust that I don’t share a lot of information or stories about my clients. Life and health coaching is different than personal training. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about finding a new direction, building or working on current relationships, it’s about emotional and mental health just as much as it is about physical health. Everyone’s story is different, and that means how comfortable they are about connecting or sharing with others also varies.
Coaching is a way for me to impact change on the world around me. Maybe put more positivity into the world and help others start to see the greatness they have in them even if they can’t see it right away.
Fourth Being half of a live-in couple is teaching me more about interpersonal relationships. Trust is big, it’s hard to develop. I can be over trusting of some and under trusting of others. I can talk to strangers and share my story easily, but be guarded to those close to me. It’s like public speaking – I can talk in front of a crowd of 100, but I hate standing up in front of class. JP and I have lived together since last September. Sixteen months today actually. He moved home just before I took medical leave last fall, so there were a lot of emotions going on, but not just on my side. He took a few months to adjust to being home, being in a new role and then deciding he needed another new job.
We are two separate people, with different interests, but the shift from long-distance to live-in took some adjusting. We went from scheduling our dates and time together, to being able to wing it. All of a sudden we didn’t have to do everything together because he wasn’t just visiting, we were waking up beside each other.
The past few months we’ve found a pretty good balance of doing things together and doing things separate. There are still times we have to remind each other that we can do things apart, but this part of life – this part of our relationship has been eye opening and taught me more about myself. I can trust this man and he will support me and my crazy ideas. He asks about coaching and how it’s going. He talks out ideas I have and challenges me to think differently. He has talks with me about school and has helped me through a few binomial problems too.
So what does this have to do with my cup? Together – make dinner, we take long walks through the wine aisle to find the perfect bottle, we run together (not always, but more lately), we sit on the floor and watch TV, we cuddle in bed with a heat pad at our feet watching movies. We go to museums and tap rooms where we share flights and finish off the beers the other doesn’t like, but was willing to try. We talk about everything from politics to podcasts.
Before – I would feel like I was missing something if I went to the gym when he was visiting, which is partially why I would schedule my workouts strictly. I love working out and for the goals I had it was necessary, but it also meant being more strict on my timing. I don’t feel that I have to be that strict anymore – not just because my goals are different, but because my relationship is different.
Surround yourself with good people, good drinks, good ideologies.
What fills your cup? What do you do when all the rum is gone?