How a Cup of Coffee Changes my Life

Knots in my muscles, too much traffic in my mind
Traffic in my mind, traffic in my mind
Knots in my muscles, too much traffic in my mind.
Bruce Cockburn

Ever find yourself with too much traffic in your mind?

What is the traffic in your mind?

What is causing the knots in the your muscles?

We need to hit the pause button, stop, disengage, rest and reflect.

Spiritual exercises are often an opportunity for under stimulation. For centuries people have practiced various ways of reflecting on life and listening to where God maybe dancing through the pages.

Throughout the Bible there are many stories of where God drew those with too much traffic in their minds and knots in their muscles to quiet places. They pulled off the cerebral motorway and took a rest.

St. Ignatius taught a model of this called the Examen.

I do something similar but on a weekly basis.

I call it

‘Cup Fillers & Drainers’.

  1. Grab a journal and pen.
    Have some writing paper, a journal, or your diary so you can write down your experiences of the week.
    Keeping a record of your entries will enable you to see trends in your life and it may well point out to you things that God wants you to take notice of.
  2. Imagine your life as a cup.
    A cup is something we are all familiar with. Jesus used a Cup as a metaphor of our lives.
    You can have practical cheap cups, dainty pretty cups only brought out on special occasions, or basic cups that are used every day.
    Some cups haven’t been washed for some time and they’re stained both inside and out.
    Some are measuring cups, very practical and functional. Other cups have written messages on the outside.
    What sort cup would you sit comfortably with?
  3. Write down your Cup fillers and Cups drainers.
    Cup Fillers – what has given you a sense of life?
    It might be the smallest of things such a smile from a stranger, something you have read, something you have achieved. It is anything positive that has been poured into your life.
    Cup Drainers – what has drained life from you?Write down those things that have stressed you. It might be a relationship, a conflict or a work situation. It could be anything, but for whatever reason this has drained life from you.Prayerfully look at the Fillers and Drainers. Examine them, ponder them. You might like to problem solve some of the drainers with others. Set yourself some goals that focus on both filling your cup and dealing with the drainers.By the way, some things will always be drainers, it’s just the nature of them. Some things can be both drainers and fillers. For example, I love talking with people; it both fills my cup but also drains it, and that’s ok, as long as I manage it.

    You might like to also ask these questions:
    · Do you notice any patterns in what has filled you or drained you?
    · Is there anything you need to do differently?
    · What do you need to let go of?
    · What do you need to embrace?
    · How full is your cup at the moment?
    · What will repeat itself if you don’t make some changes?
    · What drainers are directly in your control, that you have direct influence over. Knowing that you can’t control others but you can control yourself and what you are responsible for.
    · How can you replenish your cup?

  4. Prayerfully give thanks for all
  5. Write down and plan what you will do differently in the next week.

Questions to consider

  1. What causes the traffic in your mind?
  2. Do you have a time each week to simply stop and examine the Cup of your life?
  3. What type of cup are you?
Barry Pearman
Image: Creative Commons

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