I wanted to talk a little more about a concept I touched on in the first episode of my podcast, Go, Set, Ready. If you missed it, be sure to listen on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you download your podcasts.
If you did tune in, you might remember me mentioning that I often feel like I am a “vessel,” an empty cavern that fills up with the energies around me. I also referred to myself as a chameleon, in that I would and could adapt to any personality type that I encountered. I thought this would be a good blog topic since a lot of people can probably relate to this, even if you don’t realize it. You may find yourself thinking, “why am I in such a grouchy mood all of a sudden? I started the day feeling great!” Here is my theory on that.
Basically, the concept of a vessel is a metaphor for your spirit. If you’re not spiritual, you can call it your mental well-being or day to day state of mind. And the things that we fill our vessels with, affect not only how we feel, but how we see the world.
I’ll give you the cliff-notes version of how I came to describe myself this way.
My nature is to give everything I can to anyone and everyone, especially my friends. These are people who I love with all my heart, but it seemed like some of them always saw the glass as half empty. On the flip side, I have other friends with loads of positive energy, enthusiasm and drive. When I would spend time with one or the other of these types of friends, I would come home having mimicked their mood. My, then husband, would ALWAYS notice this shift in personality and eventually “banned” me from hanging out with certain friends because they always made me feel so down and depressed, when I returned home.
Another example of this is that pre-COVID, obviously, I would travel frequently all over the country, for my direct sales job. I would be gone for 2-3 days at a time. As you can imagine, that in and of itself is exhausting. In addition to that, as a top leader I was always approached by others wanting inspiration, advice, or leadership. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a naturally giving person. Because of this, I didn’t want to leave anyone out and I would offer everyone my help, to the best of my ability. These people were coming to ME for a reason after all! And there were hundreds of them. However, I am only one person and often at the end of a day, I would feel overwhelmed and almost “sick.” I would get migraine headaches, body aches and my eyes would throb in their sockets. I always wondered what the heck was wrong with me?? I also wondered what could I do to prevent this???? besides hiding in a bathroom stall, HaHa!
It was a dear friend of mine, Heather, that first introduced me to the idea of a “shield,” an invisible force that would protect my body, mind and soul from OVER filling with all the different energies. She told me, to put up an imaginary bubble around myself and then speak a mantra that “I cannot absorb all of the energies around me, good or bad, but only be a messenger of information. I cannot internalize each person’s issue, problem, question, or complaint.” So, whenever I found myself in a situation that was emotionally overwhelming; I would take my hand and form an invisible bubble over my head and speak the mantra to myself. And guess what? IT WORKED!! It obviously took some practice and, also a lot of FAITH but what used to be an unconscious reflex… to absorb everyone’s energy, was now a learned behavior… of protection and mental calm.
This is a concept that is not unique to me. As human beings, we all have an impact on each other. That’s a good thing! We should care and have empathy for one another; but not at the cost of our own mental and physical wellbeing. So, whether it’s a vessel, a bowl, or a whiskey flask…the concept is still the same. Choose whatever metaphor you like and keep in mind what you fill it with!