How many spoons did you get this year? And what or whom gave them to you?
There's something about approaching the end of the year that puts me in an introspective mood. Maybe it's the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree or too many mince pies, but I like to take time to think and talk about what the last year has been like, and what adventures I might plan for the next.
Martha Beck, subscribes to 'Spoon Theory,' the idea that every task we ever do, costs a spoon from our metaphorical cutlery drawer. And, more importantly, some things, can give you spoons, or as Martha says those 'occasional, inexplicable surges of energy.'
At it's heart this is really about noticing: what takes energy from you and what gives energy to you?
Because of our brains' negativity bias, you're probably pretty well acquainted with the things that take energy from you. Your commute. Your annoying neighbour. The boring work. The bills you need to pay. The yard that needs mowing. The boss that can't be reasoned with.
But have you noticed what gives you spoons?
This morning, I sat down and wrote out my spoon count for 2017. It included:
- performing poetry at a local open mic for the first time ever (PoetiCas)
- doing the University of Iowa poetry MOOCs
- discovering weekly Tantra Goddess yoga with Jane Mallick
- reading story books to my daughter
- getting a last minute spot in a Gunnas Masterclass with Catherine Deveny
- claiming a day every week for self-care and creative experimentation
- accepting an opportunity to be part of panel discussion about motherhood and art
- giving feedback on a friend's book chapter
- establishing a daily meditation habit.
This doesn't have to be a heavy, or long exercise. I did it in about twenty-minutes at a cafe and simply asked myself, what were the moments I felt amazing this year!?
Once you have your list, ask yourself, how can I have more of these spoon generating experiences in the coming year?
It's important not to get caught up in judging what gives you spoons, or wishing something else gave you spoons. For example, there's a part of me that's not super happy about being into poetry. Like seriously, poetry. Not very practical is it. But, there's no question, it gives me spoons. Likewise, I'm kinda envious of people who are natural networkers. Oh, how I wish networking gave me spoons! But no, it doesn't. Onward.
Count your spoons. Don't judge the spoons, or waste time wishing for different spoons. Move towards what gives you spoons. Merry spoon hunting!