When we become stuck in the cycle of always reacting and giving away all our energy, we are no longer present and participating in our own lives. Sound like a pattern? Learn how a broken unicorn mug inspired me to not let anyone dull my sparkle!
I used to have a favorite mug – a rainbow unicorn with these words etched into the side: “Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.” I say “used to” have a favorite mug because I broke it. I’m clumsy like that. No family heirlooms, good China, or fancy champagne flutes stand a chance in my hands. And if I am trusted to actually wash one of these items, the family will look on, faces grim and eyes clouded with apprehension as I brandish Great-Grandma’s rhinestone-studded goblet in my slippery, sudsy hands.
Every day we make choices as to who or what is getting our energy. Are we being conscious about it? Think of all the energy drains that we let into our lives – the things we let in that destroy our serenity:
- Stressing about the things we can’t change.
- Managing everyone else’s lives but our own.
- Deliberately putting ourselves in toxic situations
- Getting stuck in damaging patterns.
- Maintaining harmful relationships.
With each new sunrise, we have the choice as to whom or what we give our energy. It is up to us.
Now, the point here isn’t to say that we all need to stay in our own personal bubble and avoid people, places, traffic, long lines, telemarketers, and a co-workers boring story about the dream they had last night. And while is is impossible and unrealistic to create a completely stress and annoyance free existence free life… “and then what did the hippopotamus in your dream say, Martha?” … we do have the opportunity to choose how we react and to what we react..
We can choose not to:
- Have the last word
- Always be right
- Be perfect
Is it easy? Ha! No way. We all have days when we wake up, feeling like we hit the “reset” button and completely unlearned everything we thought we had figured out the day before. And we know it’s only a matter of time before Crazy Aunt Mable suspects that we are deliberately not answering her calls. But when we finally do pick up, it is ultimately our choice if we let it ruin the rest of our day.
The same goes for current events. When we watch/read the news, there comes a point when we reach saturation; nothing new is being said and we have all the information we require – the rest is just chatter and rehash. Why do we keep listening? Arguing back at the TV or shaking our fists at the car radio? Are we scrolling through the comments on social media and composing the perfect argument retort in the shower? Are we having the “last word” in conversations in our heads with people we haven’t even seen in 20 years?
Why? Why are we doing this to ourselves?
But it’s not just about shielding ourselves from energy drains, but also finding ways to replenish. So, what makes you sparkle? Is it going for a hike? Taking your dog to the dog park? Playing in the yard with your kids? Watching the sun rise? Recharging with a bubble bath, complete with candles, chocolate, and a good book? When is the last time you did something to help shine your sparkle? It is an important part of our daily self-care to do things that allow us to recharge and rejuvenate.
If we keep ourselves worked up into a constant state of anger, stress, fight or flight – it has a terrible impact on our body and our mind. Physically, we suffer from poor sleep, high blood pressure, indigestion, and stress eating (to name a few). Mentally and emotionally, we become caught up in a cycle of despair and anger. We fail to notice the joy and good things around us. When we are stuck in this cycle of always reacting and giving away all our energy, we are no longer present and participating in our own lives. Everyday we have choices. We may not always make the best choice, but we can try to bring awareness to who or what we are giving our attention.
Today, my broken unicorn mug has been glued and re-glued. It is no longer capable of holding liquid and it graces my desk these days as a pencil holder. However, the sentiment remains – when I see this mug I am reminded that I have choices, and ultimately, it is up to me to not let anyone dull my sparkle.
Today, ask yourself, who or what are you allowing to dull your sparkle?