In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to find ourselves giving away our energy without realizing the impact on our well-being. Recently, I stumbled upon a gem of a book, “The Sugar Jar” by Yasmine Cheyenne, which explores the metaphor of our lives as a jar filled with precious sugar – the sugar – represents our energy, time, money, and resources. It is every single part of us that can be given or exchanged.
In The Sugar Jar, Cheyenne describes the jar’s lid as our boundaries – these are the limits that define how much we can give and to whom.
So, let’s pause for a moment and reflect:
- How big is your jar?
- How much can it ‘hold’?
- What do you have space for?
- What do you WANT to MAKE SPACE for in your life?
The Sugar Jar Philosophy
Without a lid, your sugar becomes accessible to anyone and everyone, leading to a chaotic and unfulfilling life. People are able to “come into your kitchen” and grab a teaspoon of sugar here – a cup of sugar there – and it will get messy. It’s important to understand the size of your jar, to get curious about your needs, and to question why you’re saying “yes” or “no” to something that is asked of you. The ultimate goal is to have a jar that feels right for you, providing a sense of security and self-care.
Often, we find ourselves spread too thin with an excessive amount of commitments, realizing we don’t have time for the things that truly matter to us. This is a gentle nudge to challenge the belief system that suggests we must constantly seek fulfillment outside of ourselves and externally. Without a lid on our jar, people and commitments can freely dip into our sugar, creating chaos in our lives.
- What is taking up the space in your jar instead?
- Are you on the verge of burnout due to over-committing?
These are the questions that invite us to reassess and realign our priorities. Have you recently reflected on your priorities and reassessed your commitments?
Creating space for sweetness in life is an ongoing practice. We can’t control external factors, but we can control our responses. Yasmine also suggests redefining joy and what it means in your life. Joy doesn’t need to be a grand event; it can be found in daily moments. Joy can be a quiet moment to yourself, a cup of tea, reading a great book, or laughing with friends.
The metaphor of the sugar jar extends to the fragility of life. The jar can break, and the sugar can spill. This is a reminder that life can be messy, and boundaries are not about setting others straight but about advocating for yourself. You are responsible for managing how your sugar is used by having boundaries in place – which is the lid of your sugar jar. You have no control over the opposite side of the street; focus on your side, that’s where your control lies. Boundaries are a shift from people-pleasing to saying “yes” to yourself.
As women, we have been conditioned and socialized to prioritize everyone around us. People pleasing can mean thinking this is how I should show up in this situation as a mother, daughter, friend, wife, etc… Boundaries, however, are not just for protection but also for your well-being. It’s a shift from the discomfort of people-pleasing to saying “yes” to ourselves.
How are you making yourself feel better? Shopping on Amazon? Scrolling mindlessly on Social Media? Shopping is often used as a distraction, a way to numb ourselves or entertain ourselves. Buying a new pair of shoes is a temporary fix.
The Comparison Trap
Additionally, the comparison trap is another obstacle that is addressed. Comparison sneaks in subtly. It’s not just casual observation. Comparison doesn’t always look like you saying “I’m not worthy”. It may show itself by you saying, “I wish I had that.” “I wish I was thinner.” “Look at her!” “I wish I had blonde hair like her.” It’s putting another woman’s hair, body, home, possessions on a pedestal. It is important to remember that you are comparing yourself to a snapshot in time that was curated and is not based on reality.
Nevertheless, we all struggle as humans beings – it may be in different ways but we all go through learning how to love ourselves more. The real question is “what do I need to feel like I am enough in this moment?” Remind yourself, “I am whole and perfect.” In a world with social media and unrealistic standards, unlearning comparison becomes an act of self-love, reminding you that you are enough.
In the realm of self-healing, Yasmine advocates starting with internal care, especially when external care may not be readily accessible. The journey begins with understanding your internal voice. asking tough questions and setting self-boundaries. Boundaries guide us how to interact with others, teaching them how to treat us and vice versa. Self boundaries start with you. You get to decide want you want, what you will allow in your life, and how you will react.
In conclusion, in embracing ‘The Sugar Jar’ philosophy, discover the transformative power of setting boundaries, reclaiming energy, and nurturing self-love to craft a life overflowing with joy and fulfillment. Remembering the acronym S.U.G.A.R. will help you steer through life, ensuring each day is made up of intentional choices that prioritize your well-being and empower your journey of self-love.
- S – Say No
- U – Use Your Voice
- G – Give to Yourself Too
- A – Always Check Within
- R – Resist the Urge to Over-Give
As you embark on this journey of self-discovery and well-being, create a jar that holds the sweetness of life in abundance.
Journal Questions to Contemplate:
- What do I want to make space for in my life?
- How much sugar do I have?
- Will saying “Yes” fill me or deplete me?
- Do I want to say “Yes” to this?
- How Often am I Filling my Jar Up?
- Do I have enough sugar to keep myself feeling full, loved, safe, and fulfilled? If not, what can I change?