The Jellybean Jar

Imagine a clear glass jar filled with jellybeans of all different colors and flavors. The beans’ size is close to the size of Easter style jellybeans.  These jellybeans are bit larger than the typical jelly bellies so factor in there is less room for more beans.  As you picture it in your mind, take a guess how many jelly beans are in there. So, this isn’t one of those “guess how many beans, and you win the prize” at a school carnival.  This jar of jellybeans contains the magical number that only you can arrive at.

Now that you’ve created this picture in your mind’s eye, imagine placing your jar of jellybeans on a table in front of you.  You are observing it with great curiosity, not just for the rainbow effect of color, or the craving for a watermelon flavored jellybean, but rather, for the number of beans.

Let me take this a step further. Bare with me, there is a point to this visual guided imagery exercise.  Now….

Whatever number you have guessed, let’s say for example, 100 jellybeans is your number.  One jellybean represents each  year of our (hopefully long and healthy) lives.

Here’s the catch!

Once your jar is filled, that’s it. You don’t get anymore.  There’s no replenishing or refilling or replacing. You get what you get, and that’s it.  We want to savor our jellybeans.

Now, imagine every time you expend necessary energy on something that is stressful, all consuming, such as fighting an illness, going through a divorce or losing a loved one, we lose a jellybean from the jar. It’s inevitable that life’s sorrows will have some impact on our psyche, our emotional well-being, our physical health, our self-concept, our communication styles, and how we relate to others.

The key to not losing additional jellybeans is to not waste mental or physical energy on ANYTHING UNNECESSARY.  SAVE IT FOR WHEN YOU REALLY ARE GOING TO NEED IT.

You don’t want to be the person at the end of your life saying to yourself,  “I shouldn’t have wasted those jellybeans”.  The ideal picture would be for the jar to still have a few beans left, and then you can smile with pride that you used your jellybeans wisely throughout your life.

Examples of Jellybean Wasters

The workaholic wastes extra beans because that person worked too much and burned out.

The person who is kind to others, but forgets to maintain self-care.

The married couple that bickers too much, creates stress and brings the drama…so too will burn out eventually of emotional exhaustion.

The person who develops  physical ailments as a result of holding on to years of intense stress.

The person who can’t forgive and lives with vindictiveness and bitterness is on a path of self-destruction.

Even after difficult events have come and gone, the experience still stays with us.  We remember, we perceive, we judge, we ruminate, we secondguess…did we measure up? Were we enough? Are we enough?....

Guilt, shame, regret….poor self-esteem and low morale to follow….


When we can slow down, take our life experiences in stride, and become more aware, mindful, nonjudgmental, accepting, tolerant, and understanding that at the end of the day, we are human. We are just trying to do our best to get through our lives without losing our way.

It is when we can honor each life event with the attitude of setting realistic expectations, and even better, being open to not having any expectations can be freeing.  Be open to a variety of outcomes so you don’t limit yourself to only one possibility.

Remember circumstances change, attitudes change….nothing stays the same.

As I bring you back to your jellybean jar sitting in front of you, imagine each jellybean could be rationed in small sections as opposed to eaten and swallowed whole. In other words, when you can slow down negative fear based thinking, you begin to get back your clarity. You mind is now ready to focus on what is most important to get accomplished.   You now have eliminated distractions keeping you away from your top priority.

And you know what that top priority should be?


Make yourself TOP PRIORITY because you DESERVE IT!!

Don’t let anything or anyone make you think differently.

When you give yourself permission to release stress and negative energy, you are healing yourself.

As you heal yourself, you begin to have more vitality and greater confidence to overcome life’s challenges.

Now that you know there’s no “Refills” on the jellybean jar, perhaps you may now look at each jellybean with greater appreciation.  Maybe you’ll only take half a bite of one, and save the rest for later.  Or maybe it’s just that time that the challenge is great, and you make the tough choice of taking two at a time, but it was essential at that time.

Now that you have a new perspective of our finite energy levels we have, and you have given yourself your own jellybean jar, know that it’s yours to keep.  Take it with you, and take it out whenever you need to stop and take inventory of your life.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.

All The Best,


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