Full Cup, Thirsty SpiritPosted: January 8, 2013
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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