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Some Inspirational Sharings

Mayo Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

golf balls in a jar - Piron Counseling

A friend shared this with me awhile back and I have always held on to it as I loved the message. So often we become so focused on the small stuff we lose sight of the meaningful people and purpose in our lives.

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your  spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

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Maintain Your Relationship


This post is related to couples counseling. I always had a wish that couples would come in for counseling when things were great and take time to explore why they were great and how to maintain that greatness and connection.

Unfortunately too many times couples wait until their relationship is disconnected or in crisis to come into counseling. Somehow “counseling” has earned a bit of a stigma – (enter the whisper of a friend) “oh, you’re in counseling”. As if it is a sign of weakness that you’re in counseling. I am here to set the record straight. Counseling is not a bad thing. Counseling is not a weakness. Things do not need to be bad to come in for counseling. I see counseling as a gift. It is a gift of growth, connection, and self-awareness.

Many couples come in for counseling and explain that their relationship was great when they first got married. Similarly, you don’t buy a brand new car and then never change the oil or need to maintenance it. Marriage (relationships) is no different. Yes, your marriage is likely blissful when you first get married – it is brand new! But the reality is you need to continue to maintenance your marriage to make it feel like new over time.

This relates back to my previous blog. If you’re connected – stay there – stay checked in and maintain that feeling. Yes, there will be challenges in every relationship. But if you and your partner are connected you will know how to work through it together.

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Check-in Time

It’s the time of year that we all take vacations – one of the questions we always ask the hotel, “What is check-in time”? Well, if your asking me, I will tell you check-in time is all the time. When was the last time you checked in with yourself? With your spouse or your partner? With your kids?

“Checking in” is critical.  This is a window to self-awareness. This is an invitation for growth and exploration rather than criticism.

I ask all my clients to “check-in” – if you’re a parent, ask your children, “How am I doing as a parent?” or “How would you describe me?” If you’re a partner, ask your partner, “How am I doing as your partner?”

I encourage everyone to take time each day to check in with yourself- whether it is through meditation, sitting in a quiet place, listening to music, exercising, through spirituality or religion – take the time for yourself whether it is five minutes or an hour to be present and in the moment. Walk away from the phones, tvs, magazines, etc and simply ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I being the best I can be for myself?
  • Am I being the best I can be for others?
  • What could I do better?
  • What have I done well?
  • What areas am I willing to change?


If you’re reading this, I challenge you to try this for one week. Be present. Be checked-in.

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I always think it is important to know your strengths and equally as important to be able to admit your faults – with that in mind – I am best at listening and observing, I am second best at communicating and offering discussion, and coming in last are my writing abilities- not horrible – but I would not classify this as a strength. So I mention this because I am challenging myself to offer a blog on my website. They say to do something each day that scares you – so I am going to extend my thoughts, inspirations, and experiences with you as they come to me…

I welcome your comments, thoughts, feedback – the best way to learn is from others!

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