It all started a few weeks ago. I overheard my children arguing and my son, through his tears, called my daughter a “bucket dipper”. I stopped and tried to process what that was…name calling is a punishable offense in our house typically. I asked him to repeat it so I could make sure I heard it correctly and then I asked him what he was talking about. My daughter clearly knew as she had become quite upset at the insult. What I didn’t realize at the time was how powerful of an insult that term really was.
It was based on a book that is used for character education at my children’s’ school called “Have You Filled A Bucket Today”. The idea very simply is that we all have an invisible bucket that we carry around and at any time we can FILL other people’s’ buckets or others can fill ours by nice actions or words. At the same time, we can also DIP into others buckets when we are mean, cruel and insensitive.
A major key here is that often “Bucket Dippers” have empty buckets themselves and they are trying to fill their own bucket by dipping into others. However, it doesn’t work. The way to fill your own bucket is to fill others. The happiness you receive from your good deeds fills your bucket as well.
I thought that was a powerful message to be teaching children (and us grown ups too). And I realized that when we have a FULL bucket; when we have given ourselves the opportunity to replenish, we have MORE to fill others buckets and then in turn ours becomes even more FULL…Karma!
So on our mats last week we focused on filling our own buckets with the belief that when we went back to our worlds we would be able to fill others.
Sun Salutations are a bucket filling practice as we warmed the body up to prepare for opening and replenishing. The deeper the breath, the more connected we became in our bodies. From that breath-body connection there is a deeper understanding that from our own happiness we have the power to make others happy and when we have empathy and compassion for ourselves in body and in mind, we will have that to share with others as well.
As we moved into balancing, deep hip openers and then Hanumasana (splits) I reminded everyone not to be their own “Bucket Dipper”. Sometimes we dip our own buckets by judging ourselves too harshly on our mats (and off too). When we stop ourselves from having a full bucket then we cannot fill others. The joy that we hold inside ourselves…that is our Bucket Filling Power.
As Savasana came and the breath became quiet in the room I looked around and connected to all the positive energy that had filled my bucket. I felt very blessed at being able to help guide my students in filling their own buckets and as a reward, mine was overflowing. Namaste.