Thursday, July 06, 2006

Are you an Over-Giver running on Empty?

I have been working with many women lately that are focusing on the feminine energy of receiving. When we open our being to receive, we are one with the Divine Feminine energy. She is the Goddess, the bearer of all life and is represented as a bowl or vessel waiting to be filled.

As consistent givers we naturally flow energy out to others, even when our bowl is empty. We don�t wait for others to fill our bowl; we just continue to give until we run on empty. We look at our empty bowl and see lack and scarcity. We see all that we don�t have. It�s like the old adage of how you see the glass; is it half empty or half full? It�s all a matter of perspective.

Emptiness can seem scary. We look outside and grasp for something to fill the emptiness within, often turning to food, alcohol and other addictions. Caffeine is an unsatisfactory replacement for an empty bowl. What can we do with our emptiness?

Looking to the bowl with fresh eyes we can say its emptiness gives way to all possibilities, a new vessel, open and receptive to all life flowing into it. It is spacious and offers new opportunities.

There is a practice called the begging bowl. Each day a monk goes out into the public with his empty bowl and whatever is placed in his bowl by those passing by, is his nourishment for that day.

I guess the questions that surface from hearing this story can range from varied perceptions. Does the monk go out knowing his bowl is empty and feels he must beg because he is experiencing scarcity and lack? Or does he go out with the knowledge that the emptiness of the bowl offers all possibilities of being filled because life is abundant and receiving can come in all forms? It is all a matter of perception.

If the bowl is a feminine vessel, then is our feminine spirit within experiencing emptiness as lack, or emptiness as spacious and full of all possibilities? There are many ways to explore this, just as there are many emotions involved.


These are all options. They range from the concept of the bowl being empty to beg with and the bowl being overflowing with abundance and possibilities.

What if your inner bowl is already full? Or maybe it�s too full? What is it full of? Is it so full that you have no space to receive?

Is it you that fills it? Or is it full of debris from others that they have placed in your bowl as they have passed by? Does it overflow, resulting in a perpetual state of overwhelm?

I see an overflowing bowl when I look at people who live their lives in huge amounts of clutter and confusion. Some may say its better to be full with things you know and are comfortable even if those things make you uncomfortable. At least you don�t have to live with that empty bowl. That may be �too scary�.

I look back at my life and see when my bowl was so full of debris and �stuff� from others. I was young and overwhelmed. I never wanted to receive anything, in fact I worked hard not to. When I was little I received some not very nice things. I also had several members of my family deposit their anger and emotional overflow into my bowl.

I look back now and see that my life and my clutter reflected all that. Every time I moved to a new home, I had loads for the garbage dump. One of my moves several years ago, I had an entire truck load going to the dump and a truck load for Goodwill. I had been radical in my cleaning. Purging the physical �stuff� instigated the emotions to also be released.

When I moved again the following year there was even more I cut away and let go of. I purged and purged, all the while seeing the emotional freedom growing.

When I moved into this present home, I was amazed that once again I purged. I had released so much again that I shocked myself. Now I look at my office and say, �Well, there are still 2 boxes of miscellaneous stuff to sort through and there�s still a need for more organization in my closets.� It is a feeling of awe when I realize that I am enjoying and looking forward to the emptiness.

I realized my bowl has been so full of �stuff� and �things� and �feelings� that I looked forward to the state of the empty bowl as spacious and allowing for all possibilities to be received.

I have a new outlook on making space and being organized. Oh, and by the way, I did manage to clean my office! It�s much better. I still want to organize the closet more, but the filing cabinet is operating efficiently and the desk is clean

One thing that amazes me the most about being receptive is realizing how many ways we unconsciously keep ourselves blocked. I found 2 cases of old paperwork, going all the way back to 1990! I sat for over 3 hours shredding paper! It�s all stuff I didn�t need to keep� miscellaneous �stuff� I no longer needed. It felt great! Now I know I can create more space to receive.

As you read my story of creating space to receive, think about your bowl. Is it empty and feeling scarce? Is it full and overflowing? Is it cracked and always leaks? Is it full of emotion and you�re not sure where to start?

Many people turn to me and say, �How do I make changes Jodie?� I guess my most frequent answer is that you create awareness. �Awareness is 99% of everything,� I always say. Awareness opens the door for you to take action. The difficulty lies in not being able to see the forest for the trees. That means sorting your emotions first. Sort what is in the way. Identify what is yours and what isn�t.

Start a little at a time. Work a little bit every week to sort, release and clear the path through the old emotions that are no longer required. It will be a great awakening for you, and your house will be cleaner too!