feeding your soul - making the choice to fill your bucket

Feeding Your Soul – Making the Choice to Fill Your Bucket

feeding your soul - making the choice to fill your bucket

Hey Dreamers! Wow, it’s been about seven thousand years since we’ve posted an article to the blog. But trust us, it’s for good reason! We’ve been spending the last three weeks exploring Italy, and consuming as many carbs as humanly possible (trust us, that’s a lot). While we have about 26796823 pictures, and just as many posts to write about it, we felt like this one should come first.

Let’s start it by saying we’re not millionaires. We’re not even six figure-airs. We actually spend most months stretching from paycheck to paycheck. Italy was a trip we couldn’t reasonably afford. It was way out of our budget (especially for almost 3 weeks), and most wouldn’t call it a ‘responsible’ adult decision. We easily could’ve used the money to put into savings. Build a nest egg. Pay off some students loans. Save for a deposit on a house (because apparently, that’s what people ‘our age’ are ‘supposed’ to do).

But do you know why non of that mattered? Because it did something that money can’t buy. It fed our SOUL. It stoked a fire that so many people let die down until it’s a tiny glowing ember that they forget about.

feeding your soul sunsets

We can’t count how many times on this trip we laughed until we were doubled over. How many insanely beautiful sites took our breath away. How many times we closed our eyes in absolute wonder of the place we were standing in. There were the dream-like sunsets. Heart stopping cliff jumps. Melt in your mouth meals. And the moments staring out at the ocean, realizing how tiny we actually are, and yet feeling so lucky to be a part of this vast world.

We took this trip, and all of the other trips we’ve taken (and couldn’t really afford) lately, because it fills our bucket. With what some may call reckless abandon, we seek the experiences that push back on normalcy and expectation, because they speak to us. Whether it be an outrageous trip, or unusual career choices. They make our hearts full, and our souls sing. They don’t allow us to sit back and wonder.

feeding your soul - ben hiking

As a first grade teacher, we would read our students a book about ‘our buckets’. Each person has one. And you can be a bucket filler, or a bucket dipper. Obviously, we encourage our kids to be bucket fillers. To help fill buckets by being kind, and helping. By doing the things that are ‘right’. Essentially, they get the message that we should all strive to fill the buckets of others, and this will make us happy too.

But what about your own bucket? See, the problem that we’re seeing more and more often, is that people are so focused on doing what’s ‘right’ by someone else’s standards, and so focused on being a filler of other buckets, that they forget about their own. We give and give and give. We follow all the rules, and do all the things that are right. Until one day, we wake up and realize we’re exhausted, empty, and regretful.

Don’t get us wrong, people do plenty of things for themselves these days. All a person needs to do is spend 5 minutes surfing social media and they’ll declare that people these days seem to be pretty pleased with themselves (and no, we’re not removing ourselves from that judgement).

feeding your soul sunset

But let’s think. In spite of the countless flood of bright pictures with smiling faces and arms thrown into the air declaring, ‘look how great this is!’, how many of us are genuinely satisfied? We’re talking deep, within your soul, fire blazing, satisfied. How many of us are actually making the choice to fill our own buckets with those things that feed our soul?

There’s no doubt that some will make the argument that choosing to fill your own bucket is ‘selfish’. That focusing on what makes you happy leaves everyone else ignored. But we believe quite the opposite.

Have you ever encountered one of those people who just radiates happiness? Who glows from the inside out? Chances are, that person spends a large amount of time filling their own bucket. Doing the things that feed their own soul. They’re not obsessed with pleasing everyone else. Yet, somehow, they manage to brighten the lives of every person they come into contact with. They inspire us. We feel more alive when they’re around. Why do you think that is?

feeding your soul nick and tizzy cliff jumping

The answer is that these people have focused so intently on genuinely filling their own bucket, that it overflows. They have so much to GIVE, since they’ve truly figured out how to satisfy their soul.

When we actually take the time to take care of ourselves, and do what makes us happy, we project that onto others. Similarly, when we’re worn out, half alive versions of ourselves, we tend to project that too.

Now take a second, ask yourself, what fills YOUR bucket? What feeds your soul? And are you doing ANY of those things? And if your next thought after that is all of the reasons that you can’t do any of that, you’re bullshitting yourself. In some small way, you can do things that fill your bucket. No, these things shouldn’t happen at the expense of others. But you know there’s a way to begin nourishing your soul, and you know exactly how to do it.

So what’s stopping you?

feeding your soul vespa

As we sit on this flight back to the states, we’re not thinking about the charges on our cards. We’re not worried about the bills that wait for us. What we are doing is smiling while we go through our pictures. Laughing about the one liners that popped up along the way. And planning our next adventure with glorious anticipation.

On top of that, we feel inspired. We feel ready to inspire others. To be a better teacher, a better friend, and a better person. All because we made the decision to feed our souls. To do the things that fill OUR buckets.

So while we’ll be writing guides to adorable coastal towns in Italy, recounting tales of Vespa rides through the hills of Tuscany, what we really want you to do is ask yourself, what’s the next thing that you can do for yourself? The next thing that will genuinely feed your soul. And you might be surprised how much this helps you be better. Be a better mother, a better friend, a better coworker, or just a better YOU.



  • Amy

    August 8, 2017 at 6:14 am

    This post makes me want to book a flight and pack my bags! I love traveling and exploring. Hope you had fun.

    ❤️ http://TheBlushingPink.com

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Amy! Isn’t it the best?! We’re already itching to hop onto another plane. The travel bug is real!

  • dora

    August 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I completely agree! It’s all about priorities. Whether you want to do something for your soul or invest money in material things and comfort. We often do the same – sacrifice on comfort just so we can travel

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Exactly! Regardless of what it is, we all need to look a little closer at what makes us happy :).

  • Leah

    August 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    This is an amazing post! My husband and I have dubbed this year the honeymoon year and we are doing all the things we want to do before we settle down and have kids.
    xx Leah


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 9, 2017 at 2:04 am

      Thank you Leah! And we LOVE that! What a fantastic idea, and what a great way to become even closer before you add to your family. We might just be borrowing that from you guys!

  • Rach

    August 8, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Sounds like you had an incredible time! I definitely love being around people who radiate happiness! I definitely think you should do what makes you happy!


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 9, 2017 at 2:05 am

      It was absolutely incredible! And we agree 100%. Happy people always seem to make others feel the same!

  • Ellese

    August 9, 2017 at 3:29 am

    I love this so much! My soul felt better reading this! Thanks for sharing. XO, Ellese


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Thank you Ellese! It made us so happy to read that!

  • Jane

    August 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I love this! Feeling very inspired to fill my bucket haha, definitely a nice reminder at this point of my life 🙂 and great photos, they really complement the words!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Jane! Isn’t it funny how sometimes we just need a reminder to do it? It’s so worth it to take the time though. You deserve it!

  • Andrea

    August 11, 2017 at 4:22 am

    This was inspirational! I’m so proud of my girl!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      Thanks momma! I learned from the best :).

  • Kara Aragon

    August 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I can relate to it, very specifically actually (recently took a trip to MX that wasn’t exactly financially smart, but it was life-changing & therefore no regrets). I agree with everything you wrote. I try to keep my “soul” (if I believed in souls, lol) as hapy as I can & that’s with spending as much time just enjoying the moment with my Husband, our fur-kids & helping others as much as possible.

    Kara Aragon

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 11, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      Thank you Kara! SO glad that you were able to do that for yourself. Honestly, can you put a price on incredible life experiences?! We think not. Fur babies have such a wonderful way of filling up our hearts :). Yours (all your little foster babies!), are an absolute dream!

  • Tales of Two

    August 12, 2017 at 3:42 am

    I totally agree about filling your bucket and doing something that satisfies your soul. I make sure to travel whenever I want and gain experiences not materials. However in saying that, it seems like everyone’s soul is only satisfied through wanderlust, etc. these days. As much as I LOVEEE travelling and it allows me to grow and show new perspectives, I also know that my corporate day job feeds my soul too, the fact that I do something at work that makes a difference to other people’s lives gives me a mission and I feel happier travelling and letting my hair down knowing that I deserve it.
    Making your self happy is absolutely important but living only for yourself or close ones I feel is simply not enough when we have the capacity to do so much more 🙂

    Great blog guys !


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      So true! While both of us are hugely satisfied by traveling, fitness, etc., we’re also deeply filled through our ‘day jobs’ of teaching, and educating others about health and nutrition. One of Ben’s favorite sayings is that the best part of being healthy and happy is helping others feel that way too. We always believe in striving to better the community around us (whether immediate or worldwide) – but how lucky is it when they all intersect?! We love your perspective :).

  • Steph

    August 12, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I think we (society) tends to place a lot of emphasis on doing what is conventionally responsible In my mind that means paying bills, paying off loans and saving. But those ‘responsible people’ also end up with 6 figures to their name, bad health, a lot of stress and a lack of memories.

    I think it’s commendable that you put your memories and relationship first!
    Even if you live from pay check to pay check, you have your health, time and energy! NOW is the time to travel!


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      We so agree Steph! When Ben worked in corporate, he often asked the people he interacted with what their advice for us would be. Almost ALWAYS, they would answer to take care of your health, and to not waste your time, because no amount of money in the world can get that back. We’ll choose to be broke and happy any day :).

  • the adventurer

    August 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    First, I cannot wait to see what you have to share with us from your trip to Italy!!!
    Second, you are so right. I was just having a conversation about this with my mom. About people who are happy and those who are satisfied. It’s better to be satisfied (in our opinion) with life. Because even if you are constantly radiating happiness are you truly happy on the inside? I fill my bucket with travels and meeting up with friends during those trips =o)


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 13, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Ahhhhh so much to share! It was literally a dream trip. And we completely agree with that sentiment. Once you’ve really figured out how to fully, genuinely satisfy your soul, the happiness is just a great side effect of that.
      Traveling with friends is so amazing! We want to try and do more of that instead of just together (even though we love that too!). It’s fun to make memories, but it’s even better to share them with people!

  • Beatrice

    August 13, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    This is so inspiring! I am reading the 4-hour workweek right now (it’s amazing) and this post reminds me so much of it. One of the main points is that there’s no point to working your health and happiness away, all to save for some far-away retirement. It emphasizes doing what you want to do NOW while you’re young and finding (sometimes unconventional) ways to accommodate for that so that you have time and money.

    My teacher also read the book about buckets to our class in elementary school, although I don’t remember which grade it was. I love simple analogies like the buckets because you literally cannot fill other people’s buckets if yours doesn’t have anything in it.

    Also your trip to Italy sounds and looks stunning/amazing/gorgeous. I can’t wait for a full post!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Ahhhh you’re speaking our language! Everything about that is so true. It makes us so sad that our culture enforces this lifestyle of work work work, and play for a few years when you’re 75. It’s so unhealthy and stressful. Especially when there’s SO much opportunity these days to change that! Let’s stop overthinking it all and just LIVE.
      Also, we looked up that book on Amazon the second we read your comment and are buying it now haha. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Kim

    August 24, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Truly inspiring post. I have never heard of the “bucket” concept before. But anyways, life is for living! I’m sure you can handle and balance the art of living freely while doing the “adult” things that you’re supposed to be doing.

    Simply Lovebirds

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 25, 2017 at 2:09 am

      We SO agree! Life is here to be LIVED :). We’re hoping that we can handle it – so far so good!

  • Zung Vu Tran

    August 25, 2017 at 3:08 am

    You said it well – to truly help others, you first have to help yourself. The stronger you are, emotionally and physically, the more you have to give. I am so proud of you, and your ability to write about a universal truth!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      August 26, 2017 at 12:01 am

      Thank you! It’s something I’ve learned because I’ve had such amazing role models :). To have such passionate parents that have found balance between work and play is such a gift! I love you!

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