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Full Cup Thirsty Spirit: A Book Review

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The irony is killing me. About eight weeks ago I was asked to review Karen Horneffer-Ginter’s book, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life’s Just Too Much for my blog. Of course I agreed – I love reviewing books that serve to help and uplift. The deadline was just far enough out for me to completely and promptly forget about it. I briefly remembered when the book arrived in early December. I read the back cover and thought, “Goody! Right up my alley.” I placed the book on my desk and that’s where it remained until the day before the review was due.

I almost deleted the email reminding me of the virtual book tour. I saw the name of the sender and confused her with someone else. I won’t name names because I don’t want people to think I just delete their emails. Or maybe I should.

I sent the virtual book tour coordinator a reply (because I nearly always reply) asking for extra time because between work, the holidays, and my bonus daughter and her family moving out of my home into one of their own, I completely brain farted on the book review.

I started reading Karen’s book around 4PM on New Year’s Day. Timing is everything. Karen’s words leapt from the page. They weren’t just talking to me. I think some of them were hollering at me. I have a confession to make. I get caught up in the busy-ness and the too much-ness of my everyday life. Another confession: I make things that aren’t important part of my busy-ness.

I read most of the book by 10 PM. And for the first time in a long time, this book deserves more of me. In fairness, there are parts of this book that I have down cold. I make time for myself on a daily basis. I’m really really good at self-care. But I’m not so good at “emptying out the debris.” And I can definitely do a much better job at flowing through the rhythms of my life and paying attention to my inner wisdom.

One more confession: Yes, my life has gotten to be just too much. I’ve perfected the art of busy procrastination. I didn’t think that was even possible. Yes, I’m a very busy procrastinator, a very busy doer, and a very busy over-achiever. I’m so busy being busy that I slept through most of the cruise I took this past summer. And the 12 days I just had off? After a very busy work season, I simply collapsed. Two articles, one video, and one book review – all with deadlines of NOW are just staring at me. No, I didn’t do them. I didn’t work out either. But I did watch two full days of back-to-back Dr. Who episodes on BBC America (and now you know I’m super geeky, too.) I hosted an awesome Christmas Eve party, I napped on Christmas day. I took care of my grandchildren. I wore my sweat pants most of my vacation. I went to one yoga class.

I didn’t write a word. Except on Facebook. Facebook = busy procrastination. Same goes with Words With Friends. All I can hear in my head is the voice of the Darleks “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Words With Friends = Darleks. (You’d have to watch Dr. Who to understand who the Darleks are. I don’t have time to explain.)

Karen (you know, I really hope she doesn’t mind me calling her by her first name) quotes Wayne Muller in the beginning of chapter one that perfectly describes where I am right now.

“She would center her clay, and then keep bringing it out, out, out to its edge, and then, pushed to its limit, it would collapse…she realized that she was the clay. She had been brought again and again to her edge, only to collapse. The invitation was clear, to live her life close to the center.”

And the rest of her book is all about living your life closer to your center. Each chapter is chalk full of wisdom, tips, and exercises. And the beauty of Karen’s words is that this is not one size fits all. What works for me, what gets me closer to my center may push you further from yours. You have to find what works for you – to stop the crazy-ness of busy-ness and too much-ness.

If you're like me and find your life cluttered with too much, I encourage you to buy the book. You'll be glad you did.

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