If I want to evolve and grow, I need to spend some time practicing things that truly challenge me. For instance, it is challenging for me to find 5 quality undisturbed minutes in my day, day after day, even at the weekends and on Christmas Day that were cleared for meditation. I could do very over enthusiastic spurts every now and then, which might be a lot longer but the practice was never consistent until I decided that this was one of the priorities which would make my self care deeper and therefore fill me up further to enable me to give out more in the long term.
Deepening our well means being aware of the big rocks that need to go in the jar of life first. This should consist of various types of self care practice like exercise, Yoga and Meditation but in an ideal world, if we are well and happy, then these practices need to be at the very cutting edge of our comfort zone or we will stagnate and they are no longer well digging practices.
If we have no self care then very soon the whole of life comes to some sort of grinding halt, usually in the physical body letting us know in no uncertain terms that it is broken temporarily as a result of being ignored for some time. At this point and at other times of exhaustion and crisis we need to simply fill our well up, and not worry about making it deeper at the same time.
My life’s mission is to learn when to be filling my well deep – to be challenging myself to expand my horizons and to try new and different things that will grow me, deepen my mind and experience especially as a Spiritual Teacher – and when I need to simply fill the well up. It can be a bit confusing what Well-filling really means. It can tip over into indulgence at times if you are going to things outside the mind for comfort such as boozing or overeating. The very early Yogi’s taught us that over indulgence can never go and in hand with spiritual growth but the activity is also very short lived in terms of comfort too when the hangover hits the next day and you realise you have an even deeper void that needs filling! But there are some gentler practices at times when well digging is inappropriate or even impossible, such as mindful walking, Yin and Restorative Yoga practices and a gentle dance workout, without the weights this time… These are practices that are deeply nourishing and nurturing without being addictive. For instance getting 8 hours sleep a night; eating really nourishing food and taking time to see friends. Even if life is demanding too much of you, for instance you are working whilst you are fighting off an infection, then you can stand it if you up the amount of well-filling practices you are giving to yourself.
I have become aware that sometimes something that started off as well-digging, becomes well-filling as I become good at it. I had to write a journal for my Yoga Teacher’s qualification. This was immensely hard at the time, especially committing to doing it every day (you see a pattern here of not being good at routine)… But once it was well established as a practice, it became less of a challenge and become a well-filling rather than a well-deepening practice. So nothing is fixed. It’s all open to change and I believe our job is to notice where we are at and adjust accordingly.
What can you do today to become present to what you need to deepen and fill your well? Remind yourself that you have nothing to offer if your well is not full and soon become depleted to the extent that you are no good anybody else or yourself.