Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Sitting in my 50th year on the planet, I have met many people who care deeply about the environment, their families, their culture, and their local and even global community.
There are billions of dollars and countless time, energy and good intention poured into important works of all shapes and sizes. People all aiming to ‘make the world a better place’ — yet there is a growing chorus of people saying — ‘something is not quite working’.
What if that impulse, that nagging voice that says, ‘there has to be another way’ is true? What if there is something that we are missing, and it may not be more knowledge, research, funding or even passion? What if what is missing is YOU?
It seems counter intuitive to suggest that there could be passionate, intelligent and dedicated people not putting all of themselves into their work but let’s explore this a bit more.
What is in the watering can is what waters the garden.
The above is another way of saying, what we fill ourselves with is what we pour over others in our daily interactions. The person that is full of anger, is more likely to pour that anger over others when they talk and move. The person that is full of drive, is likewise likely to do the same. Add any emotional state and the result is the same (dismissiveness, neediness, disregard for your own well-being — masquerading as selflessness).
So, the critical question is what well are drawing from to fill our watering can?
Consciousness and energy are terms often relegated to the realms of the ‘spiritual new age’, rather than the day to day reality that we deal in both every day. There is something fuelling our actions, even our thoughts. Both have an outplay and an impact on the world.
People from very different upbringings can think in the same way and people from similar upbringings can view life very differently. We are indeed shaped by our personal experiences but there is also something more that shapes our actions, beyond the nature and nurture debate… that something more is the energy that we fill our watering can with.
There are three main approaches to effecting change that Ive seen…
Approach one is ‘motivation’: Personally, the era of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ has long past its used by date. The motivational speaker uses lofty oration to elicit emotions in others, and then walks off stage and abuses the sound person or themselves. This approach succeeds in showing people that it takes a force outside yourself to be moved, that short term ‘peaks’ of feeling are all we can aspire to and that what you say and do does not have to be congruent.
The next approach are people that ‘walk their talk’. They lay out a grand vision or ideal for what life should be and then endeavour to move and act in a way that matches those words.
This indeed is a big step up from the do as I say crowd but it still leaves people in the aspirational drive for something ‘better’. The message here is that you are not complete right now, as you are, and that change isn’t going to come from within.
But what about people who ‘Talk their Walk’, people whose knowing comes from what they are living, so there is no drive, or aspiration required, there is only the fact of what they live everyday. Most of us will have met someone that simply ‘walks’ ethics and they don’t need to achieve anything, to be able to respond to life in an ethical way.
This is where ‘self-care’ comes in. Because what the world needs more than anything is a deeper level of care and love for others, but if that care and love is not in the watering can it cannot water those around you.
True self-care asks you to show that love and care in all you do. Self-care is not a prescribed diet of kale and mung beans, it is about honouring and valuing the body that carries you through life. It is about a very deep level of personal responsibility blended with an honouring of where you are right now, so that it does not turn into a judgemental game of self-flagellation or a striving for some perfect picture of vitality. It knows there is no end point or goal in mind, but an ever-unfolding relationship with the one thing that supports and sustains all of us, our body. Self care is in everything we do, say or think.
Now imagine a being that moves through their day, not perfect in any way, yet brings that level of love to themself. They may not have perfect abs, or follow a specific diet but their body is full from being fed, rested and moved throughout the day in a way that is nurturing.
How differently would a being in that body respond to others?How differently would a being in that body respond to the issues that it confronts?How differently would a being in that body respond to the days stresses?
If our bodies are filled from our own caring choices (our own self-love)…then this is what pours out in all our actions.
It’s true that sometimes people mistake self-care for self righteousness and can come on a bit strong with the pride of what they do and don’t do. It’s also true that there can be peer pressure NOT to look after yourself. When was the last time a friend tried to convince you to go for a drink on a night you were tired compared to convincing you not to go out and drink because they thought you looked tired?
Imagine a world where people have taken responsibility for what goes into their body (watering can), not to simply avoid getting sick but because they love themselves enough to do so?
What would happen to the global health bill if more people moved in this way? What would happen to war, if the soldiers, and more importantly politicians, are connected to their own fragile flesh that unites us all?
There are many beautiful passionate people that I meet that want to change the world and this indeed is a noble endeavour…but the reality is changing the world starts with your inner world.
 Term coined by Serge Benhayon