This week I had the incredible opportunity to sit down and be a student. It's very rare that I get this opportunity because I'm often the one standing in the front of the room or on the stage pouring into the lives of others, which I love to do. But, this week was a gift for me. This week I was the sponge absorbing all the powerful drops that were being poured into me. Although I'm being certified to teach this class (The Energy Project's People Fuel), I had to be placed in the learner's experience first.
The class focused on being aware of how we expend our energy in various areas of our life and the need to be intentional in how we replace and renew what we give out.
realizing there was nothing left to pour. How many of us can honestly say that's where we might be
in our life right now; exhaustedly and unsuccessfully trying to pour into others from an empty place? You can put your hands down now.
Why do we continue to pour from empty? We don't expect our cars to keep running on an empty tank and perform at its best. So why do we expect anything different from ourselves? Just like our cars, we HAVE to stop and refuel every so often to continue the work that God has set before us, both in our personal and professional lives. And just like our cars, we receive warning signs when we're out of fuel; signs that alert us to the dangers that we will experience if we keep going without refueling or routine maintenance. We all know how costly it is to repair a car when major damage has occurred. We not only experience the financial cost, but we also experience the cost of time, inconvenience and overwhelming frustration.
The same applies to the cost we experience when we don't create routine maintenance for ourselves. The costs of neglecting to fill ourselves back up can also be financial, in terms of medical costs, but also the cost of broken relationships, emotional and physical harm to others, costly errors that may take years to recover from and the cost of losing yourself in the process. So, I have to ask you, how much are you willing to pay before you stop to refuel? Sure, you can keep going and test the boundaries, just as some of us do when our gas light comes on in our car. We see the low fuel light, but tell ourselves "I know how long I can keep going before my tank is “really” empty. But, are you willing to take the risk of the damage it may cost you?
Now, I realize that some of you may have this down to a science and are right where you need to be right now; full of FUEL! But, I also challenge you to remain aware of how and where you expend your energy,
because we all go through different seasons of energy demands. Staying aware will keep you from burning out.
Here are a few refueling tips that I have applied to my own life:
- Read a devotional or scripture daily
- Pray, meditate or sit quietly in a space with no distractions
- Connect with people that have positive energy and that are full enough to pour into your life
- Express gratitude to others Volunteer to serve others
- Write and read positive affirmations
- Read books or resources that will change and strengthen your mental focus
- Change your mental and visual scenery and take a break every 90 to 120 minute
- Listen to uplifting music that can take your mind from frustration to a peaceful place
- Be selective about the foods you place in your body. Eat more veggies!
- Establish a regular exercise routine. Even if it's 15 minutes a day of walking, jogging or dancing
- Find activities that will energize you and provide fun at the same time.