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Filling Our Cup

| December 11, 2014 | 12 Comments


Every year as I’m clawing my way to the annual finish line I end up feeling like my life’s cup of energy and good intentions has sprung more than a few leaks. All of my hopefulness and to-do list enthusiasm has puddled-up around me, and I’m lucky if I even remember to brush my hair. And that’s on a good day.

I think for most of us, the simple fact that we’re alive means we are in service to others. Whether it’s our children, spouse, partner, aging parents, family, clients, bosses, investors, fans, community, neighbors, friends—we spend most of our time giving of ourselves. It’s how we’re wired, and I believe it’s why we’re here.

But boy, that constant outpouring sure can leave us empty, can’t it? And I have absolute reverence for those who, without feeling guilty or self-indulgent, know that they have to spend time filling their cup back up in order to continue being of service to those around them. I want to brush my hair and be them.

I’ve been surrounding myself with people who embody this at the workshops I’ve been producing—people who save up, invest in themselves, and travel from all over to spend a few days filling their cup doing something they love before heading back into their lives. I’ve witnessed the transformation in people—especially after the Tuscan Retreat (which was so fulfilling and magical I still can’t find words, and we have another one coming up in May with two spots left!).

Here are a few pointers I’ve learned from these wonderful folks:

  • We fill ourselves through experiences, not by things.  Although retail therapy feels good in the moment, it’s usually empty calories that lead to regret. Experiences feed and sustain us.
  • Experiences are guilt-free. They should never be seen as self-indulgent, because their purpose is to provide us with what we need to serve those around us. An investment in ourselves is good for everyone.
  • Filling ourselves requires a quiet space of time. And unplugging is essential.
  • An investment in ourselves doesn’t require a lot of time or money. It’s a long-term fund that you keep putting a little into here and there. It can be a walk, a massage, breaking out the nice soap and taking a hot bath, burning that candle you’ve been saving, treating ourselves to a wonderful meal, or just spending a morning reading a magazine or getting lost in a good book.
  • Always have something to look forward to. The planning and anticipation of something can often fill us as much as the actual experience.
  • Spend time with your tribe—the people with whom you share common goals and passions, and who celebrate the part of you that your family or co-workers may not quite “get.” They always provide a steady flow of good energy when we need it.

Feel free to add to the list, and share any pointers you might have. And be good to yourselves, everyone—remember to take time to fill your cup until it spills over with all the wonderfulness you have to give. I’ll be toasting you with a nice bottle of wine I’ve saved in anticipation for just this occasion!

Wishing you love, peace and much music over the holidays—


Category: Note From Lydia

Comments (12)

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  1. Donna Shelton says:

    Having just signed up for the Tuscan retreat with Gretchen Peters, your words above are so meaningful.

    • Lydia Hutchinson says:

      Thank you, Donna — and I’m SO looking forward to spending time with you in Tuscany!

  2. jeff moseley says:

    Hi Lydia,
    I hope this note finds you well. This rainy Sunday night Charlene and I are having popcorn and enjoying a Hallmark movie, ofwhich I admit had me bawling, and this heartfelt movie made me think of you. I’m so thankful for the 16 years that Charlene worked with you, which also brought you into my life. I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate your friendship. I’m so happy your doing what you love. Your deep passion for the artistry of writing memorable songs and your true love for those that write them pulsate in every interview. For this we thank you…and we love you!

    • Lydia Hutchinson says:

      Oh Jeff, that made me cry! What a wonderful 16 years it was, and you and Charlene were along for every minute of the ride. The highs and lows, the black-tie events and pajamas in public. And I do feel like it all led to what I’m doing right now with the workshops — I’m watching people be transformed and it makes me so happy. Love you both, miss you, and hope to see you soon! (P.S., I also ate popcorn tonight, watched a sappy movie and cried … great minds on a rainy night.)

  3. anthony walker says:

    Hi Lydia. I hope all is well with you. I had the pleasure of corresponding with you a few years back when you featured EWF with issue 28. I recently thought of your interview so I decided to pull it out of my closet and read it again this evening. A wonderful read and many of the topics you covered is as relevant today as they were in 1998. Almost 17 years later, EWF is still in stride and still a musical force. I was a freshman at LSU when EWF played their and it was definitely a highlight for me-even though I did not have front row seats!!! If its okay with you, I would love to mention in some EWF FB pages that this well written interview is available. Best Wishes, Anthony

  4. Stay safe. Stay happy. Stay healthy. Geaux Tigers.

  5. Laura Gold says:

    Beautiful sentiments. I’m hoping to attend Beth’s workshop in February.
    Enjoy the holidays!

    • Lydia Hutchinson says:

      Hey Laura! Beth’s workshop is filled now but I can put you on the waiting list — otherwise I’m sure we’ll have another one later in the year with her. Hope you’re well and that I see you again before too long — you enjoy the holidays, too!

  6. Tricia says:

    Beautifully said, Lydia:) We may need to talk about a workshop in the Delta…

    • Lydia Hutchinson says:

      Thank you Tricia — and a workshop in the Delta one day may be fun! Hope you’re well and let me know when you make it to Nashville so we can catch up. xo

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