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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Thoughts-Words-Actions: Our Own Jar of Marbles

Brené Brown describes trust and vulnerability in a beautiful metaphor in her book, Daring Greatly. Dr. Brown’s daughter had a teacher who used a glass jar and colorful marbles to visually explain wanted behavior. Every time the class behaved in positive or productive way, marbles were deposited into the jar. Conversely, marbles were removed for negative behavior. Brown went on to describe trust and vulnerability within relationships as marbles going into the jar. There are friendships that grow trust and confidence with marble deposits such as keeping confidences, remembering important events, being able to read our feelings, checking in when things seem off. Our friendship jar is filled with colorful deposits that enable us to trust, be vulnerable, and show up as our authentic self in relationships. In this same way, small events can remove marbles. Being late to a coffee repeatedly, forgetting something important, or joking in a stinging way about you can all be marble removers. Large acts of betrayal like revealing a secret to another or behaving inappropriately in anger or jealousy can smash the jar completely. Which led me to further the metaphor with:

Marble Thoughts: I’m the Jar

I’ve made several mistakes this week. I broke the shower. I blended a silica packet into my dried nettle mix for rice. I garbage disposaled a spoon that jammed the works. My thoughts could easy stay in the “You Messed Up” space that brings down my energy. Watching my thoughts, I chose a neutral, “It happened.” I guarded my jar of marbles and chose not to take any out over these events. I picked marble depositors of gratitude as a response to my blunders. “I am thankful my spouse could fix the sink.” “Thank goodness it’s the beginning of nettle season and I can start over.” “Epsom salt bath time.”

Depositing Thoughts: Working on thinking more marbles in my Jar

  • I can…

  • There is only one me to be in this world…

  • I’m thankful for…

  • I matter…

  • What marble deposits can you use as a mantra this week?

Marble Words: Am I going to Deposit or Remove from those around me?

Your thoughts become your words. As I pick kindness and marble depositing thoughts for myself, I can more easily choose kindness and gratitude for those around me. What I say and how I say it affects me as well as those around me. My goal is to show up with kindness, peacefulness, and compassion. This is much easier to do when I am giving myself those thoughts first. Showing up as a depositor of marbles is attractive and contagious. Imagine your words as an actual marble being given as a gift. How does this encourage you?

Depositing words: Filling the jars of those around me

  • I noticed that…

  • Nice job on…

  • This is why you’re a great person…

  • I liked your…

I choose how I fill my Jar by what I Think, Say and DO

I choose. What we think produces how we feel which influences our words which frame our actions. Knowing the shower is busted and company is coming probably means a plumber is on the way. I decide to make that thought an action item. It is. No marble out. No stress eating, dwelling on the money involved, or my mishap. Marble win when I see it in this light! What wins can you add to your marbles jar?

Marble depositing actions:

  • I am eating foods that nourish my body to thrive.

  • “I can” is the energy I’m using to approach a new task in my job that feels overwhelming. I am lifting my arms over my head like an air hand-stand and saying I CAN to double the body-mind connection.

  • Meditation 2x a day

  • Walking outside daily

We are the jar. Precious treatment is required. When we allow our authentic, vibrant self to show up in each moment, we are living in alignment with our energy, peace and contentment. So how about you? What are ways you can add marbles? Who are marble adders in your life? How can you change any marble withdrawlers?

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