Managing stress and burnout this holiday season reminded me of my own childhood. As a child, I was surrounded by teapots. My grandmother had over 300 teapots displayed all over our home. These teapots were from all over the world and were interesting and fun to look at. Thinking about her teapots provided me with a metaphore for managing stress and burnout –very important life lessons, expecially around the holidays.

We each have a beautiful vessel from which to experience life — Your individual teapot. The world is full of teapots. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs.

Every teapot has a large opening for refilling. This opening has a lid that allows you to regulate when, where and what you will be refilling in your pot. When the lid is on, it cannot receive, therefore, it is vital to know when your lid is open and when it is closed. It is equally important to know what and how much you are going to allow to flow into your pot. Too much of some ingredients can spill over and make quite a mess.

It is also important to know that every teapot is one of a kind and cannot be replicated or replaced. Because of it’s individual characteristics, the teapot creates a unique brew –Your personality and gifts. Every teapot also has a narrow spout that allows for sharing. We can share our brew in equally endless ways; some of those ways will contribute, and some will contaminate.

It takes awareness to know how to regulate the flow into and out of your teapot. Sometimes life gets so busy that you can run low or empty. It often takes a long time to refill your teapot again. If that happens, don’t worry, you will get lots of practice. Life has a funny way of always providing us new ways to live and learn.

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