An important businessman, hurried and stressed, visits a Zen master, seeking guidance. The Zen master sits down, invites the businessman to sit, and pours the visitor a cup of tea. But even after the tea fills the cup, the Zen master continues to pour, allowing the tea to spill, now running over the entire table.
The businessman is taken aback. “Stop! Please stop pouring the tea! The cup is full and obviously can’t hold any more.”
The Zen master replies, “Yes. So it is with you. And you will not be able to receive any guidance unless you make some empty space first.”
As shared by Terry Hershey in The Power of Pause
Is your cup overflowing? How do you respond when life pours more into your personal space than you can embrace? Do you reach out for answers only to discover that you don’t have the bandwidth to receive them?
Like the businessman, you may react by asking for the flow to stop. Maybe the leaders in the organization you work for demand more than seems humanly possible. Perhaps it’s your family wanting more from you than you believe you have time or energy to be with. Maybe you’ve faced unforeseen challenges like illness or snow storms in April and everything has piled up around them.
Regardless, only YOU can choose to empty your cup – to make space to receive more. Only YOU know if you’ve actually made space in your being to receive this message deeply. Possibly you’re just skimming the surface and will forget it as soon as you scroll on to the next one.
No one can do this for you. No one can assess what is enough for you. And no one but you can courageously say “No”.
Today, stop. Close your office door. Retire to the bedroom – or, better yet, the nearest park bench. Step out of the flow. Explore your “too much” with questions like these:
What on my to-do list is extraneous?
What is a “should” and in no way a “desire”?
What am I afraid to release?
What’s the fear about?
Who am I afraid to disappoint?
What will I release?