7 Ways to Fill Your Bucket of Happiness

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My son is five. He goes to a wonderful Montessori school with amazing teachers and a rich program. I love how they get the children excited about different subjects. Recently, they read a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. We got the book and are reading it at home. In a nutshell, it’s about being kind, being mindful of others, and filling other’s buckets throughout the day and watching yours fill, too. And how to not be a dipper!

We go about our lives doing. At the end of our day, we check off the things we got done: the errands we ran, the meals we cooked, the exercise classes that we took, the kid’s activities, walking the dogs, planning for tomorrow. But where does that leave us? For me, the answer is often unfulfilled. I say “yes” to things that fill others’ buckets but not my own. I spend time with people that are, sometimes, bucket dippers. They take and take and take.

How do I want to feel at the end of the day? How do you want to feel at the end of the day? I want to feel connected and free and inspired. I want my bucket full and I want to fill other’s buckets. What about you?

When I started paying attention to the simple ideas of bucket filling and how I wanted to feel, I came up with these seven questions:

  • Who am I aligning myself with? Who are my friends? Do they fill my bucket? Do I want to fill theirs?
  • What things am I saying "yes" to that are not filling my bucket, but are actually draining it?
  • What things am I putting on the back burner that really would be bucket fillers for my bucket and someone else’s?
  • Whose bucket did I fill today?
  • When I went to bed last night, how full or empty was my bucket?
  • When I make decisions about food, people, and activities, do I feel inspired, connected, and free? 
  • Sometimes, life requires me to do *adulting.* How can I feel connected, free, and inspired while doing those things?

Take some time to answer these questions for yourself. I have found that the best way to do this type of inquiry is by also doing yoga. You could take a run or brisk walk, but you are going to need your journal and that might be cumbersome. It is important to get out of your head. Physical movement and focused breathing help this.

Here are seven yoga poses that you can hold for three to five minutes each while you do this inquiry. Pair each question with the shape below. Breathe. Journal in between shapes. Take your time. Perhaps you only get to do three postures today—three questions. That’s OK. It’s not a race—it’s an inquiry. 

  • Child’s Pose
  • Caterpillar
  • Reclined Bound Angle
  • Reclined Twist
  • Supported Bridge
  • Heart Opener with bolster or pillow
  • Legs up the wall
  • Savasana 

This inquiry isn’t to be done once. It’s ongoing. It’s about being flexible, evolving, growing, and forever being a kindergartner. Now, go fill some buckets and don’t forget yours!

How do you fill yours and others' buckets? Share in the comments below!


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Jen Yockey is the Founder of SOUFUeL::  yoga + conversation in La Quinta, Calfornia.

Jen is a Coach, Yoga Teacher, Founder of SOULFUeL, Desire Map Facilitator, Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog Rescuer, and Community Builder. She is a woman on a mission to be the best version of herself AND to help others do the same.  

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