STRONGER TOGETHER: Fill your cup with glimmers

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Last updated: 04/09/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses glimmers, and how they can help us to fill our emotional cup.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

It’s pleasing that in today’s society, we are starting to talk openly about our mental health. Prioritising the importance of our mental wellbeing and shining a light on the source of a person’s pain. With this comes a desire to better understand what might be sitting behind a person’s reaction or behaviour. When people are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or emotional, we usually become curious about what might have set them off, perhaps using words like trigger or trauma or even fear to make sense of what may be going on.

Looking for and expecting to be surrounded by triggers on a daily basis has become our modus operandi, and depending on the day and what is going on for us, we may be more or less affected. I was therefore delighted to learn recently that there is an opposite reaction to trigger, a concept that’s delightful and uplifting and personally, warms my heart. The alternative is glimmer, an internal or external cue that brings you have to a sense or joy or safety. Think a smile from a stranger, a beautiful sunset or seeing a picture of your pet.

Often, we are encouraged to be grateful, and each day I personally write down three things that I am grateful for. I have a diary that I keep these in, and I am up to 131 consecutive days; I’m finding that my gratitude bucket is overflowing! It’s a lovely practice and the power of it cannot be understated, however some days it’s more like a thing to cross off my to do list than a genuine reflection of gratitude and can therefore feel like a bit of a chore.

Glimmers, those fragments of joy scattered throughout our days, hold an extraordinary power – the power to fill our emotional cups. Like droplets of positivity, they accumulate, gradually enriching our lives with a sense of contentment and resilience. Just as a cup is filled sip by sip, these glimmers, whether in the form of a kind gesture, breathtaking view, or a heartwarming connection, gradually replenish our inner selves.

I was therefore heartened to learn about glimmer and have flipped my practice to instead note some of those precious moments of glimmer that I experience in my day, like:

  • Standing in Queen’s Park in Maryborough and looking up into this magnificent tree and noticing these beautiful, huge healthy stag horns happily growing on its branches
  • Watching the epic orange and red sunset as it beamed down over the rural landscape on a Sunday afternoon drive to Monto
  • Seeing the sunset over Milgil Beach in the Northern Territory
  • Getting every green light driving down Takalvan Street
  • Hearing that my son vacuumed the house and cooked dinner for his partner
  • Unexpectedly receiving some home-grown veggies from a friend

Every day we each experience these tiny moments of glimmer. These tiny moments of warmth in our hearts, a small rush of joy through our veins. Please don’t let them pass you by, and instead pause, and suck in those moments. Take notice of them, notice the feeling that you experience, write them down so that you remember them, and come back to them when you need them. That moment is unique to you and has the power to change the way that you experience what is happening around you.  

What glimmer have you experienced today?

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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