Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Summer remembered

Summer remembered

I’ve come to see that any journey we take around living consciously, growing personally, or serving others is inevitably influenced by our dance of forgetting and remembering — and then forgetting and remembering again.  Maybe it’s not that we ever fully forget, but our awareness of our intentions ebbs and flows as the demands of life tug us in different directions.

These rhythms of showing up fully and getting knocked off-balance are not that different from the movements of ocean waves as they rush onto shore and withdraw into the sea.  They’re an inherent part of life, and any conversation about finding balance or nourishing ourselves needs to take this ebb and flow into account.

~ Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D., Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit


I’ve been sitting here for quite a while trying to decide where to start on my review of the book Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit by Dr. Karen Horneffer-Ginter.  I like the book so much I don’t know where to begin.

Full Cup Thirsty Spirit

So let me start with the description from the cover of the book:

We live in a world of constant movement, and our day-to-day lives seem to get busier by the hour. Our days are full of information, full of obligations, full of friends and family, full of everything . . . except fulfillment. And rushing has become a national epidemic. Even when we’re rushing to and from the good stuff—like a rewarding job with wonderful colleagues, or quality time spent with loved ones—we can still end up feeling drained and exhausted, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life.

In Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, psychologist Karen Horneffer-Ginter helps you understand that it is this volume, this busyness, that creates a disconnect between your outer life and your inner self. This separation can cause your soul to wilt, preventing you from experiencing joy and hearing your own wisdom about what needs priority in your life.

With an elegant narrative voice that inspires both laughter and compassion, Horneffer-Ginter shows you how to live a fuller life rather than simply filling your time. She focuses on six shifts to make in your daily life—teaching you to honor your rhythms, turn within, fill up, fully inhabit your days, remember lightness, and embrace difficulty.

Through a weave of personal stories, client experiences, and practical exercises, she shows you how to find balance in the swirl of daily life, so you can reconnect with what matters most.

Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.

Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.

When I began reading Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book that I could relate to given the current circumstances of my life.  While my life is full and can be busy, I do have plenty of time to myself to honor my rhythms and turn within.  I wish I’d had this book to read when I was younger, working full-time, and raising my sons, being the best wife, mother, and employee I knew how to be with little time to be or become the best Me I could be.  Even though I wasn’t quite sure this book was for me, I did enjoy Dr. Horneffer-Ginter’s approach, writing style, and what she refers to as the “six key shifts” the book is organized around.  I especially like her comparison of these key shifts to the cycle of the seasons.  I also like the Practices at the end of each section as it gave me a way to apply what I’d read, making me realize that even though my busyness is not that of my younger days, my life is still filled with activities that sometimes lead to a sense of being overwhelmed.  As it turns out, this is a book I can relate to on many levels, within the current rhythms of my life.

I truly connected with the book about half way through, at Shift 4 (Fully Inhabiting Our Days).

Over the long run, it only makes sense to honor our rhythms if we find that such honoring provides us with more energy and presence in our life, just as it only makes sense to fill up through self-care if we experience the benefits of these activities in our personal health.  The importance of turning within, taking reflective time to connect with our spirit, only makes sense if we can then act on this clarity — moving our practices off the mat and off the cushion in order to live them authentically in our daily life.

~Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D., Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

This is where I’m at in life, wanting to live what I have been practicing so it is no surprise that this was one of my favorite sections of the book.  Trying to translate what I’ve learned through my 365 challenges (stepping outside, yoga, and now meditation) is no easy task, and Dr. Horneffer-Ginter gives useful suggestions on how to go about moving those practices off the mat and off the cushion and into life.

“Remembering Lightness” was another favorite section, one that helped me laugh through a tense situation recently.  It’s amazing how quickly laughter can switch a predicament into a positive experience.  Or, if not positive, at least bring a sense of light and ease.

I really enjoyed the book, and I look forward to spending more time on the practices (something I couldn’t do due to time constraints and the deadline to read and review the book).  I’m also thrilled that TLC Book Tours has made giveaways available for this tour.  If you’re interested in a chance at a free copy of Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, leave a comment on this post letting me know and I’ll put your name in a hat for a random drawing.  The giveaway is available to those in the U.S. and Canada only.  Please keep in mind that if you are the winner, I will need to send your name and address to my contact at TLC Book Tours so they can mail the book to you.  The drawing will take place sometime next week (just to give people time to catch up).

Thank you for stopping by and joining the book tour.  Wishing you a delightful day, evening, night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time.  🙂

More memories of summer

More memories of summer

Typically, in order to bring balance to our system, we need the opposite of what we’ve been immersed in.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this balancing is viewed as fundamental to healing.  When the body is stagnant, it needs stimulation to begin moving again; when it’s depleted, it needs nourishment; when it’s damp and cold, it needs heat; when it’s hot and dry, it needs cooling moisture.  In everyday life, the same idea holds:  when we’ve been extremely active, we need rest; and when we’ve been sitting at a computer inside, we need movement outside.  Similarly, when we’ve been in our head with too much thinking, we need to reconnect with our heart and our feelings; when we’ve engaged in repetitive tasks, we need inspiration; and when we’ve been serious, we need some lightness and laughter.

~ Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D., Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

34 Comments on “Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit”

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    One thing about life is that the view is fairly clear when we look back, but when we are in the midst, what seems clear is actually a blur. When you stated that you wish you would have read this book earlier in life (when much was going on), begs me to wonder this — if you had, would you have heard the message? If so, would you have acted accordingly? Just food for thought …. thanks for the review.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting questions, Frank. I had a conversation with my daughter-in-law about the book. I mentioned that I thought the book was more appropriate for someone younger whose life is full (in her case, life is full with work and raising her children). She said to me, “If I had some ‘Me’ time, I wouldn’t be reading this book.” She laughed, but I think she’s got a good point. She has other things she would love to do, and other books she hasn’t had time to read. I suspect — and I could be wrong — that she would not appreciate (or hear) the message this book has to offer at this stage of life and so, my long-winded answer is: No. I probably would not have heard the message. Or if I had, I might not have acted on it.

      • aFrankAngle says:

        Robin, Many thanks for your response. Most of us (but not all) would have either not read, not heard, or not acted on the message when we were younger. I say that not to take away from the message, but to point to how people tend to act.

  2. I find book reviews – though I love books – some of the most difficult writing. I truly admire those who do it well, and you’ve done a fine job here. I hadn’t heard of this book before, but I’m now thinking it is exactly what I need. Thanks!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Cindy. To be honest, this is only my second (possibly third) book review, and it’s something I didn’t think I would be good at doing. I was surprised when I was asked to do another review. You’re spot on about it being difficult writing. It took me most of a day to write this up, based on notes I’d been writing since I started reading the book. The really hard part was keeping it relatively short.

  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Robin–and Good Morning as our hearts long to fully inhabit this day.

  4. Fully inhabiting my days is something I’ve been focusing on in recent months, too. Your review inspired me to add this book to my “to-read” list… Thank you!

  5. Ellen says:

    I liked very much the passage you chose, wish I could read more!!!

  6. dogear6 says:

    That book sounds interesting and I’d love to read it (and will, whether I get it here or buy it myself). I’m currently reading “You’re Already Amazing” by Holly Gerth about how we are good enough the way we are. I’m enjoying it so far and it sounds like it complements this book. Thanks for the review!


  7. A wonderful review, Robin. I love the title of the book and think that is probably exactly what I need to read right now. The idea of six key shifts sound intriguing, especially your insight that they serve can as seasons. I’ve been trying to turn off all the “projections” in my mind and learn how to do less with more intent. Please put my name in the hat, Robin, and thank you for offering that opportunity 🙂

  8. that’s not from a bog! 🙂 looks like a lovely vacation spot.

  9. dadirri7 says:

    lovely words in the opening quote, about awareness moving, i have found it usually does not stay in one place too long, but shifts around, yes, it ebbs and flows … in my craniosacral work i watch awareness moving in a quiet rhythm, outside and inside, so i guess in life as a whole that is what happens … she puts it beautifully, thanks robin!

  10. I’m so glad that this book worked for you even at this less chaotic time in your life.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  11. Joanne says:

    I’ll be heading off to my favourite local book store to see if I can buy this book Robin. Sounds like a great book to read and also, from what you have said, one that can be applied to the different stages of our lives. 🙂

  12. Sallyann says:

    Lovely memories of summer, thanks. We’re expecting a few hours of sunshine this morning so I’m planning to wrap up warm and do a little weeding in the front garden .. the daffs are peeping through so if I take the weeds away I can watch them better from the warmth of the other side of the window. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Your daffs are coming up already, Sallyann? Wow! We won’t see ours until March or April unless winter decides to leave early.

      • Sallyann says:

        I didn’t make it to the weeding, I sat in a chair in the kitchen and enjoyed the sunshine through the window in the warm and did some crochet granny squares – I’ve got another great niece on the way but I can’t blog about another baby blanket until I’ve made it and given it to her.
        Our daffs are only up about three cm, they’ve got a long way to go to flower yet and now we’re expecting snow so I won’t be able to see them for a while anyway. 🙂

  13. Hi Robin,
    I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read my book and offering such a thoughtful review!! I really appreciate it, and I love reading all the comments here, and seeing the wisdom of your blog!

    Many blessings,
    Karen Horneffer-Ginter

    • Robin says:

      You are very welcome, Karen. I enjoyed the book, and it has helped me sort out a few things (always a bonus!). Thank you so much for stopping by. Blessings to you, too. 🙂

  14. […] all from the Bogs for today except for one more item on the agenda.  The winner of a free copy of Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is Lynn.  Congratulations, Lynn!  I hope you enjoy the book, and that you get as much out of it […]

  15. Dana says:

    This book sounds amazing, Robin! My only regret is that I came to this post way after the giveaway deadline, though I’ll see if a local bookstore here carries it.

    I have had the gnawing realization that busy-ness is consuming me for several months now. We are currently on vacation, and my intention is to, yes, see the sights– but not let the rushing around and the newness of our locale completely overcome the other side of things: resting, breathing, and just being. (I’ve even been told by a number of sources– books, health practitioners, etc.– that my rosacea might be directly linked to busy-ness and a decided lack of balance.) Definitely something to ponder!

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.