Welcome to Filling our Mama Cup Wednesdays! Here is where I invite you to pause, sit down and have a cup of coffee/tea with me as we take time to fill up our cups for the week. Or to even just notice that we are almost running empty, without judgment what-so-over. Because, that’s just LIFE. Here is where I invite us all to make space for ourselves so we can explore what kind of nourishment we are needing for this week and gift ourselves exactly that. Sounds yummy? Join us. Here. Every Wednesday.
I wish I could brag about how good I am at self-care.
In fact, I may have given the impression that I am. Especially that I am a Nia teacher and all.
And…and…and….also? I’m a Mama! Moms are supposed to be good at self-care because it’s the only way we can sustainably care for our children, right? Right?
The truth is, I sort of suck at taking care of, well, me. It’s really just out of habits more than anything.
I often wait until my cup is smack-clean empty before I realize that I gotta fill ‘er back up.
And then I beat myself up for letting it happen. (Yikes!)
Oh but I’m learning.
Yes, I am.
Perhaps it’s my Nia practice that has helped me embrace myself where I am. Listening to your body can do just that. Or maybe it’s just me growing into my big mama shoes and letting go of my silly notions of what a mama should look like. Or maybe it’s just me finally coming Home to…well…me.
And slowly, I’ve been seeing a progress of sorts. Cyclical yes but progress nonetheless. I still have Empty Cup days, but they are farther and fewer in between. And they no longer send me to Hell like they used to. I no longer hate myself or scream at my husband as if it was his fault that my cup had mysteriously dried up. And if that is not progress, then I don’t know what is.
So here’s what I’m learning:
Empty Cup Days are A-Okay
Yes, I’m learning that it’s okay to have empty cup days. That’s just life! An ebb and flow of empty and full. How can you fill a cup if it’s not empty anyway? Especially if you are somewhat of an artistic kind of mama who works in creative spurts, a multi-passionate entrepreneur who tends to “juggle” a multitude of things or a recovering perfectionist like me who tends to give 110% to what you care about. Or, simply if you are a woman in tune with your inner rhythms like the waxing and the waning of the moon.
Repeat after me: Empty Cup Days are A-Okay.
I’m learning to be kind to myself most especially when I have am Empty Cup kind of a day and that I don’t need to kick myself in the butt for letting it happen. It is what it is. Accept it.
Wanna know what else I’m learning?
Noticing what it’s like to be Empty.
I’m learning to simply observe what it’s like. I’m learning to ask myself questions like, Where do I feel tired? What part of my body feels heavy? How is my Emptiness expressing itself? I’m learning to just notice and not judge. Here’s how I know I’m on Empty: when I start to NOT want to make any meals for my family, when my eyes feel heavy and I just want to sleep on the couch, when I start to crave chocolate (!), when I just want to watch cheesy movies, and when I just want the house all to myself. In the past, I would be really hard on myself for being all these things, label myself lazy/bad mama/etc. Now I know it’s just my body’s way of telling me I’m running on empty. And that it’s time for a re-Fill. No drama necessary.
Filling my Cup Up, like Now!
No-duh, right? Before, I would take days and days analyzing where I went wrong, how I could do better, blah blah blah before I took any action to fill myself back up. Nowadays, I’m learning that even in my Emptiness, I can connect to Joy. As soon as I notice I’m on Empty, I can take pause, breathe deeply and ask myself what I need right that very moment. Or what is the easiest thing I can do for myself right then and there. Maybe it’s just a short nap. A green juice. A date with my artist self. A Nia class. A long soak in the bath. Or even just permission to be in Empty for awhile. And I give myself that.
Exploring and Connecting Dots.
I’m learning that trying so hard to figure out what I did wrong was just plain counter-productive. It’s far more easier to just be curious and explore how I landed on Empty again. To follow the dots that led me there. And it becomes a discovery of sorts instead of another round of “what the hell is wrong with me” kind of inner talk that I have been used to all my life. Like how I just discovered that one week out of the month, I really am super un-motivated to cook in the kitchen. And it so happens that it’s also the week I start to bleed. Hmmm. Interesting, right? (More on that later!) And really super-helpful information for me to know where and how tweak routines and habits in my life.
So your turn.
What are you learning about your Empty Cup Days?
I’d love to hear. In the comment section below, share what you do on Empty Cup days. And then ask other mamas you know to share. Isn’t freeing to talk about it? We probably think we’re the only ones with Empty Cup Days to begin with! And don’t forget to come back next week.