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Is Your Tank Empty, or Full?

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This is a great article about finding balance and doing something good for yourself

.  Friday Afternoon.  Work’s done. No where to go, no responsibilities, no obligations. Don’t have to be home until, well, whenever – it’s my night out.

You think I’d be off like a rocket, right? Heading to the cafe/bookstore/movie theatre/park/you-name-it, to enjoy my favorite diversion?

Nope. I sat in the car, and just stared. I didn’t even turn on the ignition.

This was highly unusual. It used to be that anytime I had a free moment, I’d be hanging out at a bookstore, filling my mind with all kinds of new ideas. Or at a cafe, filling my stomach with all kinds of delights (ever had a “cobblestone”? Yum.). Or sightseeing, filling my eyes with all kinds of new sights, amazing views, breathtaking scenery.

But not today. Today, I drew a blank. Why?

It wasn’t filling that I needed. I had been working so much, learning so much, giving so much, all week long. I didn’t need to fill with ideas, food, or air. I was full enough already. What I needed was emptying.

– Are you full enough, too?

The reason I ask is, you’re probably a “giver”, just like me. In your work and in your personal life, you most likely engage in a lot more giving to others than being given to (at least directly). Caregivers, healers, coaches, entrepreneurs – your lives are focused on giving to the lives of others.

So wouldn’t you think you’d be empty then, from all that giving?

Au contraire. As a giver, your focus is always on someone other than you. Rather than look to what you need moment by moment, you’re probably much more tuned into the needs of others, and you’re catering to their requests (spoken or unspoken). You’re so full of everyone else’s lives, so attentive to others’ needs, you rarely stop to put yourself in the picture, too.

Because of that “other-focus”, most givers don’t engage in enough truly restful behaviors. We’re spending the bulk of our time considering the needs of our clients, families, and friends, that our own needs get shunted to the back of the line.

So what do you do, when it’s your turn?

Getting the Rest You Need
In order to really know what kind of rest you need, you need to tune into your own heart first, and see where your tank is at.

– Start with some Remembrance. That’s always the best way to tap into your own heart, and take stock of where you’re at.

– Then, feel your inner “tank.” Are you full (had enough input to last you a while)? Or, are you empty (can’t feel much left inside, thirsty for something new)?

This is a subtle distinction; give yourself the time you need to feel where you’re truly at. And be aware that one can masquerade as the other. Trouble figuring out what level your tank is at? Try this:

– Take the idea of going to a bookstore. Or a library, or a mall, or onto the internet. Hold that idea in your heart while you Remember for a minute or so. How’d that feel?
– Now, take the idea of being alone on a walk (park, beach, wherever). Or golfing, running, biking, swimming, etc. Or playing with a dog, or blowing off steam in your favorite way. And hold that idea in your heart while you Remember for a minute or so. How’d that one feel?

If the bookstore/new idea brought peace to your heart, then you could use some filling. If the alone time/steam-blowing did the trick for your heart, then it’s emptying that should be your agenda.

Doesn’t evaluating all this with your heart take up a bunch of time? A few minutes, sure. But better to use a few minutes to know what you’re really needing than waste hours over-filling or further-depleting your tank.

So, what was the verdict?

I felt my heart, started the car, and headed over to the movies. Movies, for me, are both entertaining and emptying – a chance to get out of my head for a couple hours. And then, I talked to myself the entire drive home, emptying my head of all the ideas I hadn’t had time to process that week.

And when I pulled into the driveway, my head’s tank was empty, and my heart’s tank was full – the perfect place to be when you’re about to get jumped on by two kids, welcoming you home.

About the Author

Are you struggling to get done all you need to get done? You have a message you want to bring to the world; don’t let it get buried under mounds of unfinished work. Visit MonkAtWork.com, and get a free ebook that will help you silence the overwhelm.

Article Source: Content for Reprint

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach 

March 1, 2007 - Posted by | choice, personal time

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting my article, Marcia!

    Comment by Adam Kayce : Monk At Work | April 7, 2007 | Reply


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