Welcome to Refresh with Dawn Herring!

Welcome to Refresh with Dawn Herring blog. I'm so glad you stopped by to peruse the transcripts from #JournalChat Live and Links Edition.

You're also welcome to join our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group where we share quality journal keeping content for your journaling practice!

Have a fab day and don't forget to refresh yourself!

Be refreshed,

Dawn Herring

Refresh with Dawn Herrng

Host of #JournalChat Live on social media

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quench Your Thirsty Spirit with Help from Karen Horneffer-Ginter

Welcome to the blog tour of Full Cup, Thirst Spirit with author, Karen Horneffer-Ginter!

As host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on Twitter, I had the delight of being introduced to the author of the book, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, Karen Horneffer-Ginter through her blog post, How Writing Saved My Weary, Pushed-to-the-Edge, New Mother's Soul, of which was chosen for #JournalChat Pick of the Week! It became the journaling resource for the next session of #JournalChat Live with our topic, Your Journaling: Your Life Lens (in November, 2012).

As a result of connecting with Karen and her fabulous post, I was invited and delighted to join in celebrating the recent release of her terrific book, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, which I find to be insightful, thought-provoking and refreshing, not to mention practical, helpful and revealing. I just love some of the visual exercises she provides in several places throughout the book to make activating awareness of our thirstiness more effective. She also provides what I refer to as "refreshing" activities to help alleviate our dryness.

Below you will find a terrific introduction to Karen and her book so you can get to know her a bit better and understand her purpose in writing it. I'm so glad she did.

In Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit, psychologist Karen Horneffer-Ginter helps us understand that life’s busyness—even good busyness—can create a disconnect between our outer life and our inner self, preventing us from experiencing joy and hearing our own wisdom about what needs priority in our life.

With an elegant narrative voice that inspires both laughter and compassion, Horneffer-Ginter shows us how to live a fuller life rather than simply filling our time. She focuses on six shifts to make in our daily life—teaching us to honor our rhythms, turn within, fill up, fully inhabit our days, remember lightness, and embrace difficulty. Through a weave of personal stories, client experiences, and practical exercises, she shows us how to find balance in the swirl of daily life so we can reconnect with what matters most.

A wife and mother of two, Karen has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for more than 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health-care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health-care program, and co-founding the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The aim of Karen’s work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in
finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.

Now, here are a set of Q&As Karen has provided that cover the subject of the book title, her inspiring goals, about her book's Shift focus, why she recommends a quiet tuning-in time, plus more!

 Q. Why did you choose Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit as the book’s title?
A. I love how this phrase captures the paradox I so often find myself and others attempting to name—that when life is full, even with good things, we can still find ourselves thirsty for what we most value. Many of us grapple with this predicament. We fill our lives in hopes of finding fulfillment, but the level of busyness we create keeps us from experiencing the things we’re most looking for. Whether this complaint is being voiced in a counseling office, over coffee with a friend, or while picking up our kids; I think it speaks not only to our frustrations, but also to our sense that life doesn’t have to be this way—that it must be possible to find meaning, joy, and balance without giving up the things we love. I think many of us want to have our cake and eat it too, and, in this context, I think we can . . . at least I think it’s worth whole-heartedly attempting.

Q. How do you hope that Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit inspires readers?
A. I hope to inspire them to see that it’s possible to lead a full life and still feel balanced and sane. I also want to encourage them to take time to listen to their wisdom, to be kinder to themselves and laugh more often, to take better care of themselves as they care for others, and to sense the beauty and sacredness of their lives. I guess you could say I’m hoping to help people fall in love with what life has to offer.

Q. Can you say a few words about the 6 shifts you encourage readers to make?
A. With these six shifts, I wanted to capture the key ingredients that I see as being most essential—and often forgotten— in carving out a life that holds meaning, joy, and balance. It’s so important that we find ways to honor our rhythms, turn within, fill up, fully inhabit our days, remember lightness, and embrace difficulty. The book encourages readers to explore each of these shifts and to understand how they come together to support their vitality and well-being.  

Q. You strongly encourage readers to take time to be quiet and turn their attention within. Aren’t you asking the impossible of people who are leading busy lives?
A. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I do think it’s a bit radical. It certainly goes against most cultural norms suggesting that in order to lead a productive and successful life we have to be constantly busy. It also challenges the idea that being busy is an acceptable excuse not to tend to our inner-life or our self-care. It can be tricky to develop these habits because we don’t learn these skills in school, and they run counter to our modern day tendencies to be on-the-go and to do things quickly—whether it’s eating, working, or running errands. They also runs counter to our habits of communicating, with quick bursts of texts and emails and the constant stream of  information and requests arriving in our in-boxes. The inconvenient reality is that those of us who are busy and want to keep our spirits alive need to find ways to slow down and listen within if we’re going to deeply quench our thirst—we just need to be more creative and flexible in approaching the task.
Q. Why do you feel so passionate about promoting self-care?
A. The notion of self-care sometimes gets a bad rap, based on the idea that those who want to achieve great things and help others and the world around them shouldn’t waste their time and energy focusing on themselves. Today, there seems to be a growing awareness that this isn’t an either/or issue—that if we’re going to be effective and successful in our life endeavors we need to tend to the vehicle that’s allowing for these things to come through. By taking care of ourselves, we’re better able to stay connected to our wisdom, which allows us to do good well.

Q. You encourage readers to lighten up, but also to embrace their pain. Can you say more about this pairing?
A. It’s important that we stay connected to life’s lightness and that we’re able to support ourselves through difficult times. I think there’s an art and a skill to both, and that sometimes we’re at risk of hanging out at one end of the continuum and forgetting about the other. Certain approaches to psychotherapy are guilty of this, focusing exclusively on what wrong with people’s lives. It’s also possible to see the bright side of things, but end up using humor as a way of masking our pain and avoiding what needs attention in our lives. Having the capacity to embrace life’s moments that call for lightness and whimsy, and the ones that deserve compassion and depth is important for our health—especially in recognizing that the word health means wholeness. To me, this suggests the importance of embracing all of who we are and all that life brings our way.

And now for several questions I asked Karen personally after my reading and note taking of her terrific book, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit. (Yes, her book had the kind of value I would take notes with!) 

Q. In Shift One, Honoring our rhythms, you share how we may feel hesitant to create breaks in our day since we might confront feeling disconnected from our ability to lounge, meander, relax, enjoy life, have fun or simply be. How important is re-creating that connection for our well being?

I think it’s extremely important because it represents the skill of being capable of be-ing vs. do-ing. I realize that phrase is overused and may seem more silly than serious, but I think it points to a way of experiencing life that is central to knowing joy. When we’ve programmed ourselves to always be on the go, working through our to-do lists and continually engaging in tasks, it’s all too easy to lose this capacity of feeling relaxed and at ease with simply being present in the moment. I think this way of being is as natural to us as rushing around—we just need to dust off this skill set as well.

Q. After we have immersed ourselves in an activity that depletes us or tires us out, you suggest choosing an activity that is opposite of what we just engaged in order to quench our thirst for nourishment. Why do you recommend an opposite activity?

It’s somewhat similar to doing a “counter-pose” in yoga, or having an acupuncturist aim to balance out the ways in which we might be “deficient” or “excessive” in terms of certain qualities in the body. Often, doing the opposite of what we’ve been doing too much of (resting when we’ve been overly-exerting or getting outside and walking when we’ve been sitting at our desk) is what we’re intuitively drawn to as a way of meeting our needs and feeling more rejuvenated.  Of course, as with everything, I’m sure there are exceptions to this as well!

Q. You share in Filling Up how we construct our lives that end up feeling like prisons which keep us from engaging in activities that most deeply nourish us. What do you find to be the most effective way to unlock that "prison" and find that nourishing freedom?

As a first step, it’s helpful to schedule in time for self-care activities. I think most of us would agree that the great illusion we fall into is thinking a time will come when we’ve completed our to-do lists and then we’ll have time to take care of ourselves and do the things that bring us joy. If we tend to be planners and schedulers, it’s often most effective to write in self-care and leisure activities as well, so at least they get a spot in our calendar.

Doesn't Karen have some insightful, thought provoking words to share here? I just love her focus on taking the time to nourish and refresh ourselves on a regular basis, tuning into our inner hearts and tuning into the world around us in our fresh awareness. 

Here's a final Q&A from Karen on where you can connect with her!

Q. How can readers connect with you?
A. They can connect with me through my website: www.fullcupthirstyspirit.com. From here they can email me, subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter, and find links to my pages, postings and offerings on Facebook, Huffington Post, YouTube, GoodReads, Beliefnet, and DailyOM.

No comments:

Post a Comment