Time to fill/refill my cup

Filling up my cup relates to creating a white space for oneself to do what one feels important and excited about. The last many months have posed innumerable challenges to every one of us, personally and professionally. Several blogs have come out from many, and a recent study by Mintel points to a lot more at-home personal routines for physical and mental well-being. 

To me, “filling my cup” means stopping to think about myself and taking care of my physical and mental needs. It starts by differentiating what I need to do from I love to do and create a balance of activities between the two. I would like to walk you through a personal journey in the last 16 months that has had me going well amidst several challenges. 

Chance or choice – As many of you know, IAGB collaborated with NIMHANS, Bengaluru and started offering the Yoga for well-being series. I am a dancer and do what is needed as a warmup before my classes and performances. But I never paid particular attention to pranayama as I thought it was complicated. As luck would have it, I got the opportunity to host the zoom sessions, every morning, 5 days a week for the first 6 months and later on, one week a month learning lesson. I never knew what to expect when we started but was sure that I wanted to be of some help/serve. In that process of helping ever so many people join from all over, barring time zones benefit from the sessions, I served myself as well!

I have another friend, who serves another non-profit with me and she picked up on making concert flyers as we were short of people. Now, after many months, her weekly flyer is so popular and has made her a designer with finesse~. 

One of my elderly family members is doing a virtual pilgrimage to all the temples in India that he wanted to visit and has created interesting blogs on his observations. 

If chance was one factor in the above cases, earnestness coming out of understanding one’s core value was another important factor. To understand one’s core value forms the foundation that helps us formulate the basis of our choices, improve our contentment chart and help guide our choices in the right direction. I selected – serving to the best of my ability, dependability and stretch my comfort zone as the 3 top values. 

My favorite quote is, “It is not enough to be busy… The question is; what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

As many of us know, to remain refreshed, healthy, kind and alert, these 4 quadrants are essential in a day.

  • Physical – Yoga (active exercises), continue to teach dance virtually 5 days a week, at least 7 hours of sleep, and plenty of water.
  • Emotional – Declutter my room/work area, writing a journal, write and practice positive affirmation, have a word with friends as needed, reach out to long term friends and enquire about their well ness, help a couple of elderly couple with their needs and participate in service activities when and wherever possible. 
  • Mental – solve a crossword puzzle/Sudoku, practice music/dance, choreograph several new dance pieces just for the fun of it, and listen to podcasts.
  • Spiritual – learning to chant simple verses, read a devotional hymn as a general prayer for well-being of people other than me or my immediate family, sing or listen to bhajans. 

Having a buddy or a couple of buddies with similar values helps us keep on track, discuss “spills’ and how to avoid the same! Practice and discipline are key to any undertaking and our buddies help us keep both in check!

One of my spiritual masters says “hydration, oxygenation, meditation, inspiration and affirmation” as keys to personal wellbeing.

Let us find our core values, make our contentment chart go up and look within for guidance on the right choices for our well-being, shall we?