When I attended my very first Birthing From Within training, one the first things they taught us was how to empty our cup.
How do you empty your cup, you ask? Well, first let me tell you a story.
A Zen student was having tea with his Master. He held out his cup to be filled with tea. His Master began filling his cup.
The student cried, “that’s enough, its almost full!” But the Master didn’t listen, and he kept pouring. Till the tea was over flowing the cup and pouring over the sides. The student cried, “Stop!” That is enough! It’s spilling!!” The Master replied, “How am I to teach you anything, if you come to me with your cup already full?”
You must empty your cup. Then you can learn from me.
So what’s in your cup?
In your cup is everything you think you know about anything and everything. You can apply this to pregnancy, birth and parenting. You might have come to pregnancy, birth or parenting with your cup so full you can’t even begin to learn from your experiences. Or you may have quickly emptied your cup upon arrival to these events, because once you entered you realized you knew nothing!
Have I lost you yet?
You could also apply this to learning anything new. A new idea, a new concept, a new way of living. If you empty your cup, you can begin to open your mind to learning something new or imagining a new way of living.
When you have a knee-jerk reaction to something it’s because your cup is full. When you make a judgment too quickly its because your cup is too full.
What can you learn if you throw out everything you “know”? Who are you, if you empty your cup? What kind of parent would you be if you could throw out everything you “know” and be open to receive something different?
Maybe its not good to throw out EVERYTHING. Maybe just de-clutter your cup by 75%? 50%? Experience is helpful. So keep some of your experience in your cup, but empty it enough to still be able to receive new information, new ideas and new possibilities.