If I were my own best friend I would think about…
Find the void.
Fill the void.
***So often I look at my life and I think it’s pretty darn full. It seems like there are so many things happening, events and people, comings and goings. But if I step back and look closely there are voids, spaces, cracks. There is room to fill in!
It reminds me of a story I heard once – a man held up a large clear container with nothing in it and asked an audience, “does this container have room or is it full?” The audience of course replied, “it’s empty.”
The man then put a bunch of large rocks in all the way to the top of the container and held it up again, “has room or is it full?” This time the crowd said, “full.”
Then the man added a bunch of small rocks that filled in the spaces in between the large rocks up to the top and he asked again, “has room or is it full?” This time the audience smiled and said, “aaah, now it’s full!”
So the man proceeded to take out a bag of gravel and pour that into the container. The audience sat and watched the gravel fall into the bowl and fill in the little spaces that sat between the large and small rocks. He again asked, “is there room left or is it full?” This time the crowd waited, some shouted out “it’s full now,” others said nothing and only watched, others pondered the meaning of the exercise.
The man smiled again and pulled out a large bag of sand; he poured most of it into the bowl, shook the bowl gently and was able to pour the rest of the sand into it. He smiled and hefted the now very heavy bowl into the air and asked again, “is there room or is it full?” The audience, fully engaged now, all shouted at him “it’s got to be full now.”
The man grinned and finally pulled out a large pitcher of water and proceeded to pour the whole thing into the bowl of large rocks, small rocks, gravel, and sand. Nothing overflowed. The bowl held all of it. And finally the man smiled and said “now it’s full!” The crowd sat silently, contemplating what they had seen.
Whenever I feel like I cannot fit one more thing into my life I think about this story. Where are the cracks and crevices in my life that I can fill with a little something more? Also, have I “positioned” things so that everything “fits”?
Sometimes I find I’m focusing on the “gravel” or “sand” of life, the stuff that should just fill in where there is space, and there’s not a lot of room left to fit the large rocks into the “bowl” of life. For me that’s a sign that I need to reassess, “dump out” the bowl and start over.
I’m going through this right now. And I find it very refreshing to get back to focusing on the big rocks first.