In our over-stressed world, many health care providers, social workers, and caregivers are suffering from slow yet painful burnout. Many of the rest of us, working long hours and raising families, seem to be approaching burnout, too. Sometimes we may feel that we’re too exhausted to keep giving to others, even though giving is a primary source of happiness in our lives.
So how can we keep giving without burning out? We’re told that self-care is the answer: Give yourself a treat; you deserve it. Take some time for yourself. Say no.
Indeed, a research review found that psychologists in training who practice more self-care report feeling less distressed and stressed and more satisfied with life. The question is: What does self-care look like, and how much of it do we need?
As it turns out, the trick is to be other-focused and kind, but to balance that with taking care of yourself as well. Here are some practices to help you do that.
One particularly potent form of self-care involves transforming our relationship with ourselves—in particular, practicing self-compassion.
Self-compassion is treating yourself as you would a friend—with kindness rather than self-judgment—especially at times when you fail. Self-compassion is remembering that we all make mistakes, instead of beating ourselves up. And it means being mindful of emotions and thoughts without getting overly immersed in them. Self-compassion doesn’t mean being indulgent or letting yourself off the hook, but it also doesn’t mean being overly self-critical and harsh.
Elaine Beaumont at the University of Salford has conducted numerous studies looking at the impact of self-compassion on burnout and compassion fatigue. In a study of 100 student midwives—who routinely see both the miracle of new life and the tragedies that can accompany childbirth—Beaumont and her team found that midwives who had higher levels of self-compassion also showed less burnout and compassion fatigue symptoms. The opposite was true of midwives who were highly self-critical. She repeated this study with different caretaker professions and found similar results in nurses and students training to be counselors and psychotherapists.
In addition to being protected against burnout, people who are more self-compassionate tend to report feeling less stress and negative emotions. They’re also more optimistic and feel more happiness and other positive emotions, among other benefits.
To practice self-compassion, try some of the exercises that pioneering self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff has studied and written about in her book on self-compassion, such as writing a Self-Compassionate Letter, taking a Self-Compassion Break, or asking yourself: How Would I Treat a Friend?
Caring for ourselves also means seeking social connections, who can provide practical and emotional support to us when we’re struggling. A study of nurses found that belonging to a more cohesive group at work helps prevent burnout and compassion fatigue, reducing the effects of stress and trauma.
This should come as no surprise: Social connection, from birth to old age, is one of our greatest human needs. Social connection leads to lower rates of anxiety and depression, strengthens our immune system, and can even lengthen our life.
Researchers agree that social connection has less to do with the number of friends you have than with how connected you feel on the inside, subjectively. In other words, you don’t have to be a social butterfly to reap the benefits; just aim to cultivate an internal sense of belonging with those around you.
How? The tricky part is that stress is linked to self-focus; our stressed minds turn towards me, myself, and I—making us even more miserable and disconnected from others. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and walks in nature, as well as curbing caffeine, can all help us calm down and feel ready to reach out to others. A study we conducted at Stanford showed that loving-kindness meditation can be a quick way to nurture a sense of connection. Better yet, try meditating with a partner!
Empathy and compassion
It might seem counterintuitive that empathy—which includes attending to others’ struggles—would help us with our own, particularly for caregivers. But research in social workers shows that having more empathy can also prevent burnout. Brain-imaging research by Tania Singer suggests that compassion training can actually make you better at coping with other people’s suffering—helping you help others without paying the cost yourself.
One potential explanation for this finding is that, by developing feelings like compassion and empathy, we are protected from feeling distressed or overwhelmed in the face of suffering. When you truly connect with another person who is suffering, you can actually feel empowered and energized because you are inspired to uplift that person.
We’ve all had the experience of having a friend ask for help during a time of emergency. In these moments, we are usually capable of so much more than we imagined—we seem to find hidden reserves of energy. Afterward, we end up feeling much better than we did before.
Again, loving-kindness meditation is one way to start to cultivate empathy. When you speak with someone who is suffering, practicing active listening can help you provide comfort and support to them without having to solve their problems.
The benefits of giving
If we can figure out how to continue giving to others without suffering from burnout, we can expect to reap many benefits.
For example, volunteering can have a positive impact on health, with benefits for obesity, blood glucose, blood pressure, and longevity. Older volunteers can derive a great feeling of purpose and self-esteem from volunteering; research shows that it makes them feel happier, more connected to others, and more confident of their self-worth. The benefits of volunteering for well-being seem to be universal, holding across cultures as well as generations.
If you are shy or introverted or even have social anxiety, giving to others can actually still increase your happiness. Although giving tends to feel better when we connect with beneficiaries, for the truly shy or those who don’t have time, even kind acts conducted over the computer can increase well-being.
Self-compassion, social connection, and empathy are powerful forms of self-care—but that doesn’t mean that traditional self-care activities have no place in our lives. Keeping your spirits up with exercise, sleeping in, and making room for fun activities like movies or shopping are important. These pleasures give us short bursts of happiness that can help fuel us and keep us playful in life. To complement these more physical pleasures, giving and connecting with others in positive ways will bring us long-lasting feelings of joy that come from a life of purpose and meaning. The balance between the two is a ripe recipe for a happy, long, and fulfilling life.
YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO GO GET IT
(which is ultimate cure for BURN-OUT
IT ALL BECOMES A BLUR SOMETIMES
. . .doesn’t it?
WE ARE RUNAWAY SENTENCES
not so much looking for an unimaginable
P E R I O D
so much as just a mere
that’ll give us just momentary pause and relieve us from
with not even a second to spare
a deep breath to take or reset
Y E S
there’s a antidote for HURRY SICKNESS
that’s never waiting to be invented
I M P L E M E N T E D
Many of us suffer from “hurry sickness,” the feeling that we’re perpetually behind. And NO, we don’t need to have the holidays to intensify our anxiety. We’d like to pause, take a moment for ourselves, but who has the time, might be the wrong question to ask. . .WHO DOESN’T HAVE THE TIME?
We might not recognize our habit because we believe we’re simply being efficient, multi-tasking. But here are some signs that we might need to slow down:
- We often speed, whether through traffic, conversations, or meals.
- We often rush through work tasks and household chores, to the point we sometimes have to redo them.
- We often perform time calculations to see whether we can fit in another task.
- We’re irritable when we encounter delays, hyperaware that we’re “wasting time.”
- We constantly try to find ways to “save time.”
- We have trouble focusing on one thing because we’re always running through our to-do lists.
- We have trouble investing time in truly listening to others.
We experience physical problems related to stress.
THE CURE FOR HURRY SICKNESS. . . ?
Well, why not just start today (OR HOW ABOUT NOW) by allowing ourselves a 15-minute nap, relaxing walk, or enjoyment of a book? JUST fifteen minutes of doing nothing we have to do.
(My thanks to Crystal Rapole)
Go ahead. .
P A U S E
needs a little time to
B L O O M. . .
IT’S THE ONE THING
THAT EVERYONE STOPS AND REACHES
whether it’s family
whether it’s work
whether it’s downtime
whether it’s personal as personal can be
H A P P I N E S S
but mere S-E-N-S-E. . .
Here’s a complete list of 100+ hacks we can use to boost important “happiness chemicals” such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. These are the building blocks to living a happier and healthier life. Which are your favorites?
Dopamine is often associated with reward-seeking and goal-oriented behavior.
- Complete a small and easy task (making your bed, washing the dishes, send an email).
- Celebrate a small win (something you accomplished recently).
- Eat a healthy but enjoyable snack (in moderation).
- Complete a small puzzle or game.
- Reflect on a positive memory you had recently, however small it may be.
- Finish reading a chapter of a book.
- Clean one thing or go on a tidying marathon one afternoon.
- Practice a power-pose to boost your physical and mental confidence.
- Create a timeline for your goals to get a clearer vision of your future.
- Take a temporary break from a pleasurable habit (to reset your hedonic treadmill).
- Learn how to savor your positive experiences.
- Schedule something exciting in the future to look forward to (the power of anticipation).
- Buy yourself something nice, but recognize retail therapy is only a temporary fix.
- Take a break from social media, which can often lead to a “dopamine burnout” from easy likes and attention. Pay attention to your digital environment.
- Learn about a new and exciting topic, but don’t become an information junkie.
- Set a new goal for yourself (something realistic and attainable).
- Take personality tests or psychology quizzes to learn more about yourself.
- Make sure your diet includes important vitamins and minerals associated with dopamine production (especially iron, niacin, folate and vitamin B6).
- Put a fun twist on ordinary activities to make them more enjoyable.
- Find activities that put you into a state of “flow,” where you lose sense of time and become fully engaged.
- Consume more positive news – and share it with others!
- Complete a personal project or “passion project” that isn’t related to work or family.
- Identify a strength or “superpower” of yours.
- Recite positive affirmations that resonate with you and inspire you.
- Share an accomplishment of yours with someone who’d be proud of you.
- Play a video game you enjoy and you’re good at (in moderation).
- Cultivate a diverse range of interests and hobbies, so nothing ever gets stale.
Oxytocin is often associated with feelings of love, affection, and bonding.
- Give someone a long hug (or hug yourself).
- Play with a pet (especially a dog or cat).
- Play with kids.
- Cradle a baby.
- Give someone a genuine compliment.
- Wrap yourself in a comfy and warm blanket.
- Cuddle with a loved one (while in bed or watching TV).
- Volunteer for a cause that means something to you.
- Practice a loving-kindness meditation to cultivate good intentions toward everyone.
- Give or receive a massage or back rub.
- Spend romantic alone time with your partner.
- Embrace human touch, even in small ways such as a handshake or pat on the back.
- Prepare a meal together with someone you love.
- Collaborate on an art project with someone.
- Listen to someone who needs someone to vent to and provide emotional validation.
- Give a random gift or present to someone you care about.
- Tell someone you love them.
- Take a nice hot bath.
- Practice eye-gazing with a loved one.
- Empathize with someone who is less fortunate than you.
- Write a letter of appreciation for someone.
- Practice synchronized breathing or mirroring.
- Participate in a group music activity, such as a drum circle or choir.
- Use more “we”-language in your relationships.
- Reach out to a person you trust when you need support or someone to listen.
- Permit yourself to fall in love with someone and have a long-term relationship.
- Recognize your sense of oneness with everything.
Serotonin is often associated with mood regulation and happiness.
- Practice meditation, such as a simple breathing meditation.
- Go for a long walk.
- Spend more time outside nd learn to appreciate everyday nature.
- Sit in the sun and enjoy it (especially when boosting mental health in the winter).
- Pursue a creative hobby, such as painting, music, photography, or filmmaking.
- Listen to your favorite music, one of the most common ways we regulate our mood and emotions.
- Do more aerobic exercises like swimming, running, or cycling.
- Think kind thoughts about yourself to practice self-compassion.
- Practice a progressive muscle relaxation to relax both your body and mind.
- Go to a live event, festival, or concert.
- Engage in more “awe”-inspiring experiences, like star-gazing, going to a museum, or visiting the zoo.
- Identify one thing you are grateful for every day – make gratitude a daily mental habit.
- Write in a daily journal about your thoughts and feelings (or try one of these writing prompts for self-reflection).
- Maintain a consistent and healthy sleep schedule between 6-10 hours every night.
- Train your mind to be more positive. Try to minimize complaining and talking about problems too much.
- Drink green tea.
- Consume high protein foods that contain tryptophan such as salmon, turkey, eggs, and nuts (or take a supplement).
- Improve your body awareness through mindful stretching, Yoga, or Tai Chi.
- Consume healthy probiotics in your diet (yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented foods).
- Find opportunities to engage in healthy reflection.
- Have a genuine and meaningful conversation with someone (know the difference between small talk vs. big questions).
- Participate in a religious or spiritual ceremony.
Endorphins are often associated with stimulation, energy, and feelings of relief (pain-killers).
- Laugh a lot with friends.
- Watch a comedy movie or funny TV show.
- Go for a long run (also known as “runner’s high”).
- Have an intense workout at the gym.
- Engage in a competitive activity.
- Pursue extreme sports (surfing, biking, skateboarding).
- Eat dark chocolate.
- Engage in positive thrill-seeking (like amusement parks, rollercoasters, or skydiving).
- Dance to fast and upbeat music.
- Take a cold shower to shock your body and boost your adrenaline.
- Practice improvisation exercises where you can engage in spontaneous creative thinking and playful risk-taking.
- Do something you’ve always wanted to, but you’re nervous to try. Learn how to channel anxiety into motivation.
- Eat really spicy foods.
- Engage in a healthy but lively debate about a topic you care a lot about.
- Approach new people you want to meet, even if it’s a tiny 10 second relationship.
- Go to a fun and wild party or night club.
- Do a quick high-intensity workout (cycle through jumping jacks, push-ups and crunches).
- Have passionate sex with your partner.
- Learn how to play a musical instrument at a high level.
- Perform something in front of an audience (such as a song, poem, or speech). Face your performance anxiety.
- Enjoy a glass or two of red wine at night.
- Get a chiropractic massage, deep-tissue massage, or try acupuncture.
- Challenge yourself and put yourself in a situation you know you will fail. Setting yourself up to fail on purpose can be a great way to test your limits.
- Sit in a hot sauna or jacuzzi.
- Smell euphoric essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, or citrus fragrances.
- Practice fast and powerful breathing to boost your energy levels.
- Watch a really intense drama or thriller movie.
Are you getting a healthy dose of all these “happiness chemicals?”
NONE OF THESE 100+ HAPPINESS HACKS
Will ever happen
try’s on for size. . .
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what do you have to lose??
H A P P I N E S S
Ever feel like a
P A N E
without hopes of
B E I N G
a Window. . .
Depending on what study you google
there are up to 70%
who feel inadequate
who feel like they are
NOT ENOUGH. . .
If your self-worth seems to rise and fall according to what other people think, you’re not alone. But you can challenge this mindset and find a new way of valuing yourself, says psychologist Meag-gan O’Reilly.
(This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community.)
“How often do you get asked ‘What do you do?’ and feel like that question is going to determine how much attention or respect you receive?” That’s a question posed by Meag-gan O’Reilly, staff psychologist at Stanford University’s Vaden Health Center in Palo Alto, California, in a TEDxSJSU talk.
Perhaps you had the stomach-sinking experience of seeing your questioner’s face change or their eyes glaze over when they hear your response. It’s lousy. Instead of being seen and appreciated for all of your complicated individuality, you feel like your worth has been judged in a flash — and found wanting.
But getting a nod of approval is also unsettling, says O’Reilly. “Even those of us who seem to be winning at these conditions stand to lose because conditions change with time, age or unexpected hardships.”
For some of us, these encounters echo earlier occasions in our lives when we felt like our value as a person was determined by other people — usually adults — and fluctuated depending on what they thought of our latest grade, game, performance or accomplishment. O’Reilly says, “Think to yourself for a moment: What were some of the early messages you received about who you needed to be to show up in the world as meaningful?”
No matter how deep-rooted these experiences and feelings are, we can free ourselves from thinking that we’re not enough. This undoing may take a while to happen so we should be patient, cautions O’Reilly. “It’s a process, and I call it lifespan work.”
Here’s how we can start challenging the not-enough mindsets in ourselves and in the people around us, according to O’Reilly.
1. Do what makes you — not other people — happy.
Feeling like you’re not enough can sometimes lead you to take on certain friends, hobbies, projects or jobs that you think will make you look good in other people’s estimation. O’Reilly asks: “When was the last time you did something not because it’s going to show up on your resume, not because it meets that condition of worth you’re wrestling with, but just because you enjoyed it?”
It’s important to pursue the things that you genuinely enjoy because “it softens our stance toward ourselves,” says O’Reilly. “It allows us a zoomed-out perspective and gives us a chance to experience ourselves and others in a non-conditional way.” When you’re in the flow of doing what you love, you can shake off the weight of judgements and expectations.
2. Recognize that you have value — period.
Believing you’re enough does not mean that you should lower the bar for what you’d like to accomplish in life, emphasizes O’Reilly; it’s just that your personal enoughness remains constant and isn’t affected by your actions. She says, “Please go and achieve much. But do it in such a way that you know there’s a floor or a baseline of worth that you cannot descend below.”
Contrary to what some people fear, recognizing our inherent self-worth does not mean that we’ll be full of our own self-importance. O’Reilly says, “An inflated sense of self-esteem sounds like … ‘I can do it, I’m the best,” whether or not that’s actually true.” Inherent value, she adds, “sounds like ‘This is important to me, and I’m going to do my best … but it doesn’t define me.’”
3. When you meet new people, go beyond your job, title or school.
If we’d like to remove the judgment associated with the “So, what do you do?” question, we can also change how we respond to it. “The next time someone asks you what you do, don’t provide an occupation or field of study,” says O’Reilly. “Instead, share with them something that you cherish about yourself; try to break interpersonal ground with them and not start with labels.” I really paid attention to this because I hate telling people, “Oh, I’m a minister or I’m a chaplain.”
4. Respond with love and acceptance to the successes and failures of your family, friends and colleagues.
Similar to the previous point, we need to try to model a new way of being if we want to ease the not-enough mindset in the people around us. Given how achievement-oriented society can be, says O’Reilly, “this is difficult … but a person is not a product and we need a culture that delineates the two and helps us see that one does not define the other.”
Wouldn’t you like the most important people in your life — young or old — to feel like they are enough? By appreciating them and showing that your care for them is unconditional, you can create change that will ripple outwards. “Enough is enough with these worth wars we’re waging,” O’Reilly says. “Think about how radically different our world and relationships would be if each of us actually acted like we all had inherent value.”
The greatest ways I have come to feel
E N O U G H
is creating moments making
E N O U G H
. . .THE CARING CATALYST CHALLENGE:
DON’T TRY IT. . .
L I F E
isn’t about a number of Candles
on a quick-to-go-stale
Birthday Cake. . .
. . .Maybe the best part of old age for anyone is that they can actually
A T T A I N I T
There are Givens:
Death is the Number One Killer in the World. . .
Life is Sexually Transmitted and it’s
T E R M I N A L . . .
and it ENDS. . .
just not as well as we’d like. . .
it turns out,
is merely the slowest possible rate
at which anyone can ever die. . .
But. . .
After some 792 months
3443 weeks and five days
24,107 Days on this spinning blue ball
I’ve learned a few lessons. . .
and the biggest one:
There’s just a few more lessons to learn. . .
There was a recent survey taken in the UK that said the biggest fears men have growing older are:
94% fear going bald
89% fear becoming impotent
75% are worried about going grey
64% are scared of getting fat
61% fear losing their teeth
45% dread needing ‘jam jar’ glasses
31% are scared of going deaf
24% are frightened of getting bad breath
100% of me is concerned that I wasted time. . .
I didn’t become all of
I regret little of what I’ve ever done. . .
even the not-so-good-kind-of-horrific-things
because they’ve all made up the tapestry of my life–
especially the dark, ugly colors;
It’s the strands of threads
that I didn’t allow to become a part of the mosaic. . .
to expand it
that taunts me;
It’s not the two-self published books,
it’s the yet-to-be published two novels,
five Children’s books,
three non-fiction books
four books of poetry
and the yet to be written ones
that fill stacks of notebooks and overflowing file folders. . . .
I have no interest in spewing out the
greatest things I’ve learned in my
6 6 years. . .
I do believe that
R e l a t i o n s h i p s,
not technology or medical advances,
Heals me. . .
I do believe that
L O V E
is the greatest force in and out of this World
and when applied frequently and liberally
Y O U
not only Change. . .
The Universe does, too. . .
I do believe that the secret to long life is
simply never to let your heart stop beating
or never passing up the opportunity
of making Another’s beat better. . .
I do believe that
Life is not counted by pages on a calendar
or minutes/seconds on a clock
or candles on a cake. . .
M O M E N T S
that can never be counted,
harnessed. . .
o n l y r e m e m b e r e d
way past a pulse,
a heart beat,
or any other means of defining Life
that can’t be definite. . . .
B I R T H D A Y S
are never what they’re cranked up to be
no matter how many you continue to collect
none of them mean a thing
until you make everyday between them mean
E V E R Y T H I N G
So. . .
about that cake. . .
I’ll pass. . .
but WOW. . .
that piece of Pecan Pie
is looking mighty, mighty
f i n e !
Join me. . .
we’ll call it a
Party. . .
a never-ending Celebration
. . .Candles are optional
But, at my age
I’m not much thinking about Blinking
. . .I don’t want to miss a thing
and I can’t wait to see
not so much how many more
strands I can add to this
t a p e s t r y
so much as
that’ll get me ever closer to being
c o m p l e t e d
. . .now where did I put that letter
FAMILIAR. . . ?
Sometimes some of the worst care
is the lack we give
O U R S E L V E S. . .
Being A Caring Catalyst to Others
begins with being
A Caring Catalyst
IT IS THIS SIMPLE:
We do the best we can with what we know at the time. . .
It is VERY unloving to expect more;
We often were not given the knowledge
or the tools while we were young. . .
Life is about learning.
Sometimes that learning can be painful.
Our challenge is that once we have learned the lesson
that we do not continue to repeat it. . .
For many of us, however,
we may have to go around the track a few times
before we are able to count it as a
m i l e. . .
There is no finish line
There is no competition
Self forgiveness is necessary on a daily basis
and SELF-LOVE even more needed
in order to bring Compassion Care. . .
BEING A CARING CATALYST
YOU DID THE BEST YOU COULD
. . .Now let it go
. . .Latin for
THINGS TO BE DESIRED
is a 1920’s Max Ehrmann poem
brought back to Life
and Music in 1971
by Les Crane
and even though the
poem is over 101 years old
and the song is 50 years old
it could have not be more
r e l e v a n t
today than when it was first written
or brought to music
and most likely
we constantly need reminding
Your presence on this earth
at this very moment
makes a difference
whether you see it or not.
A N D
so does every single person
. . .THE BIG QUESTION
“When are you going to act like it?”
isn’t as important as the
the World is desperately waiting to
E X P E R I E N C E. . .
YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE
NO LESS THAN THE TREES OR STARS
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE
(and so does everyone else)
the next time
you refuse to sing
because you’ll never
fill a stadium
or decline the joy of dance
for fear of looking
or you resist risking
the new adventure
not entirely ready or
you dim your shine
because you’re not
completely healed and whole
the next time
you hold yourself suspect
because you’re not
a bird doesn’t sing
because it’s talented
a bird sings because
it has a song
the moon doesn’t only shine
when it’s whole
it can show up with
a single sliver of itself
and still light an entire
show up. sing. shine.
the world needs you
as you are.
© Angi Sullins – www.AngiSullins.com
(Thank you, Lynne Maragliano)
The story is an old one
and I forget where I heard it
. . .or maybe I read it. . .
It’s often been attributed to Paulo Coelho,
author of THE ALCHEMIST
here now for your pondering:
A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.
However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.
The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.
The Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.
He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.
“However, I want to ask you a favor,”he added, handling the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”
The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.
“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”
Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls.
He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.
“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.
Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.
“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages.
“The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”
S P O O N
of yours. . .
Are the drops of oil long gone
splashed haphazardly all over the ground
or are they still securely floating there in the
because you’re paralyzed
won’t take a step
breathe in too deeply
for fear of losing the
precious drops. . .
THREE BIG QUESTIONS:
What do the ‘two drops of oil in the spoon’ mean to you?
Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to enjoy the world around without forgetting your essence?
What helps you appreciate the world without forgetting your sacred self?
Can anyone ever Serve too much?
O V E R S E R V E ?
I still wake up in the middle of the night. . .
S O M E T I M E S
because of those
D I S
services. . .
I made a commitment to conduct two funeral services. The Services were two hours a part and at two different Funeral Homes, of which, both Funeral Directors knew of the Services I was doing. . .two totally different situations.
The first service was for a young man who died at a very early age of pancreatic cancer. His love was his motorcycle. It was actually brought in and placed right beside his coffin. A few family members were late and we got started a little late and several spoke during the service. We then had a motor cycle Procession to the funeral home…and I had several heart attacks on the way, because now I was late to the other funeral, a funeral for a baby who had died from
S I D S.
Yes, I made several phone calls telling the circumstances. . .
. . .A BABY’S FUNERAL?
What made it worse
(AS IF IT COULD BE WORSE)
The Grandfather kept Sincerely
APOLOGIZING TO ME
for my huge mishap—-
as if it was his fault and my huge inconvenience!
O V E R S E R V E D
She was not only a close friend, but an awesome colleague who had a routine heart valve surgery that went horribly wrong. She was on life support systems and I had to guest preach at another Church, a commitment I had made months before the surgery. Even though I was attentive to the family during surgery and several days following, my beeper was going off incessantly before and during the service because the family and Doctors had decided to wean her off of the vent she was on to keep her alive and they waited TWO LONG PAINFUL HOURS for me to actually get there before they allowed that procedure to take place with this large family of thirty plus packed into a very small waiting room. . .
O V E R S E R V E D
She was three weeks late coming into my World. My daughter Angie was born, three weeks late on a Friday morning, two days before I was scheduled to go to a week long Junior Church Camp where I was going to be the Director. I, literally left them in the hospital as I went driving off to Camp. . .
O V E R S E R V E D
Sometimes I lay in bed at night, not sleeping, not Remembering the things I HAVE DONE
over all of the things
I HAVE NOT DONE. . .
B E D E V I L I N G
Not The Accomplishments
But Bemoaning the ACCIDENTS.
Is it possible?
Could it be True?
Can we ever–E V E R–Serve too much?
O V E R – S E R V E
It can be as messy as an expensive wine being OVER Poured into the most elegant and expensive of Crystal Goblets
I think of all the OVER SERVINGS that kept me from friends
I think of all the OVER SERVINGS that kept me from family
I think of all the OVER SERVINGS that kept me from Actually
S E R V I N G
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm Of The Day:
Never let your service
become a DIS-Service. . .
It’ll keep you up at night. . .
keep you from going back to sleep!